I just finished reading this book I saw recommended on Instagram. It is all about handmade clothes, sewing, knitting and why making and wearing stuff we make is important. It also touches on taking care of our clothes with mending, buying quality when necessary and all the good this brings to both society and our own mental well being.
As some of you know, I have slowly been working towards trying to develop a handmade wardrobe over the past few years with learning how to sew and to wear more of my handknits. I really felt this book was speaking to me as I am learning more about the process of making a garment, a wardrobe and to express myself how I have wanted to for years but haven't.
It is definitely written as a doctoral thesis paper so there were some parts of this book that I found were getting TOO detailed, but I did find myself nodding in agreement for most of what she writes about. Here are a few excerpts I thought noteworthy.
Page 3: "Making attracts people who are somewhat frustrated by their jobs and are searching for an activity they feel to be more meaningful."
Page 146: "Go ahead, dive in, have fun, play with colour, break the "rules", and use colours that sing songs of joy to you even if only your ears can hear them."
Page 161: "Putting together a wardrobe and a home will become a life long process and something of a quest"
Page 177: "...they reflect the fact that these sew-ers are constructing, physically constructing, in the case - the person that they feel themselves to be. While everyday items may get a great deal more wear, these aspirational garments - even if never seen by others - help them to feel that their 'everyday self' is not all of who they are."
Page 187: "The intrinsic motivations of the craft process meet our needs for identity and participation and create a positive sense of well-being. This positive feeling can be heightened by integrating a greater sense of creativity into the activity. In many cases. these satisfactions extend to the wearing stage; makers enjoy wearing on-off, personalized garments they have worked hard to produce.
Page 192: "Making provides us with an alternative means of participating in fashion."
She also has a list to sum everything up starting on page 199:
"1) Make to suit the maker, the wearer and the materials
2) Spread your wings
3) Enjoy the journey
4) Seek and give validation
5) Share, reflect and act"
If you are a maker of any kind, I feel this book is worth a read. It talks much about making and its effects on society and how us, as makers have a stronger impact in the world than we may think. We also need to focus on making just for the sake of making. Creativity is important in this digital world. With that said, it is also important to connect with other makers on the internet, whether it be on blogs, through social media or communities like Ravelry. Think of how making something with your hands and mind makes you feel, how this will get passed down (either as a skill or an actual item). These things are important. I feel that what all makers do is important so never give up what you do and never stop learning.
I don't do resolutions but here are my goals for 2018
- Live more "handmade" when possible (including food)
- Knit at least a pair of socks a month - this will be helped by The Naked Sheep's #SockFlock2018. When not working on a KAL pair I will try to have at least a vanilla pair on the needles
- Wear more of my handknits (and make more handknits for myself that are wearable)
- Work towards 65% handmade wardrobe, 25% thrifted, 10% store bought (with a focus on buying quality)
- Learn more about mending, hand stitching and fixing clothing.
Thank you to all those I met, talked to, taught, learned from and supported me in 2017. I have been doing what I can when I can as I suffer from chronic pain so please be patient with me as I am also trying to be kinder to myself this year and resting when I must. I appreciate everyone who has ever tried one of my patterns, read my blog, bought my yarn and handknits, visited me at sales and taken my classes, I hope to continue to keep up this year. I have so much up in my brain that one day it will get out and I can share even more of myself.