Sunday, September 19, 2010

Handmade is Beautiful

The other day I was shopping at the mall and I overheard a woman say, “I wouldn’t wear anything that looks like I made it” (referring to a chunky knit sweater). The comment kind of stopped me in my tracks. What did that mean? Did she say that because anything she made wouldn’t look good? Did she say it because she finds more value in mass produced products? Sadly, I suspect the latter. There’s this view that handmade equals ugly, too poor to buy clothes, cheap, fill in the blank_________.

Now, as for me I have a very strong opposing opinion. I’ll be honest and say that I'm biased since I like to make things. But here’s the thing, when I look at something handmade I see a one of a kind item that no one else has. I see an item that is far superior in craftsmanship. I see an item that someone put a lot of care, thought, love and time into. I see an item that is beautiful, expensive, and rare. So YES, I'll proudly wear something handmade any day!

26 comments:

Fuji Mama said...

Amen to that! My mom made all my formals but one during high school. I remember her telling me once that I really did have the option of going to find one and buy, that I didn't HAVE to have her make them. I was shocked at the thought. In my mind, I was the luckiest girl alive, because I got my dream dress every time and no one else ever wore the same one! Homemade is better. Not only is it unique, but then you get to be reminded of the love that went into making it every time you use it!

Danna said...

AMEN!

Anonymous said...

Huh. I won't wear anything that looks like I *didn't* make it. ;)

Deanna said...

Tell it! I totally agree!!

ana @ i made it so said...

i so agree with you. in fact, we just had this discussion on my blog, about the worth of handmade, and in the comments, what you mention about "that handmade look" came up. it's so interesting to hear different perspectives on this. i enjoyed reading yours.

(if you're interested, here is the post )

Open Roads Mama said...

I'll second your line of thoughts! :)

ILikePaperCutting said...

perhaps it just sour grapes to her as she does not know how to handmade.

Violet LeBeaux said...

Couldn't agree more!!

Living Creatively said...

Wow, what a sad conversation to overhear. Someone is missing out!!

I couldn't agree with you more. If I had the time, I'd make -everything- that we wear.

My Mimi made most of my clothes growing up, and I saved each one of those treasures for my kids. Then she made most of my kids' clothes, until she died this January. Every one of those items is amazing-- unique, perfect, cherished. She poured herself into those items, as gifts of love, designed specifically for each child.
I want to do the same.

Michelle L. said...

Hee hee, I love the comment by anonymous. That lady is soooo behind the times, good grief. Handmade is the new chic, dahling.

Anonymous said...

How can anyone not appreciate something someone took the time to make with their hands? Her loss.

Anonymous said...

I've got to agree- My mom can make the most beautiful dresses and skirts- one of these days I have got to try!

Anonymous said...

My daughter-in-law always called it "homemade stuff", and not said in a good way. So, her kids got store bought stuff, and my handmade toys and quilts went to the other grandkids. (And now, my great-grandson is playing with toys I made for his mother!)

She's a lovely person, and I love her to pieces, but she just never got it. ;-)

clara said...

It's great to make good things with our hands and when we have the skills (whatever they may be) we should put them to good use all the more! If we haven't found any skill, then we can always learn and explore! Yay that handmade is the new chic!

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Big Mook Craft said...

Me too Iwish i could make everything by my self!!!!!

Glenn Family Gardens said...

I think some people are so disconnected from everything that they can't appreciate the time, energy,and craftsmanship that goes into something handmade. Same thing with food. Some people (more then I think there should be) could care less where there food or any of there stuff comes from. And I looove the way handmade stuff look.

Christine @ Origami Mommy said...

I can't agree with you more. There is simply nothing like handmade. The nice thing about making handmade things is that we can help transmit a love for handcrafted, handmade things to our children, too.

Dinah Soar said...

I used to sew...and got two kinds of comments. One "did you make that?"..meant it looked good.

The other 'you made that didn't you" meant it didn't look so good.

Home made one of a kind is good if it looks good. But some home made one of a kind looks not so good.

Some people--like me--can sew well, but when it comes to design, style, fitting, etc...sadly lacking.

kawaii crafter said...

Thank you to everyone who responded to this post. I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels this way.

Diana said...

That woman's attitude is exactly what I've been dealing with all summer when selling my crochet bags at a local farmers market. When people who appreciate handmade see them they snatch them up and tell me I'm not charging enough. I agree, handmade is so much better than commercial and maybe one day people will wake up.

Anonymous said...

I take great pride in refashioning my daughter's clothes. Especially adding length to shirts so she can wear her clothes for another season. Homemade is great to me! The socks I handknit for her look a little folksy, but she loves wearing them to school and her friends are so impressed. In fact, I had to make 3 pairs of fingerless mittens for my friend's 3 daughters because they loved my girl's mittens. Handmade is made with lots and lots of love. You can't buy that kind of love at the mall. There, I said it!

allyson said...

I'm reading the little house on the prairie series with my son and it fascinates me to think that everybody walking around in those days wore completely handmade items, from the lace to their bedsheets! It makes me sad to think that some people don't value a handmade item and that perhaps they would judge me for wearing one!

Anonymous said...

I used to have the same attitude of the woman in the store (mostly because I'm a frustrated crafter). That changed about 4 years ago when my mom asked me to knit her and my aunt matching scarves. She chose some beautiful but hard to knit yarn, but I got them done. They both proudly wore the scarves all winter and when people complemented them, they would point to me and say, "She made it! Isn't it beautiful?" It makes a difference when you make items with love for those you love. ~Linda

tamdoll said...

I love handmade! I get frustrated sometimes - everything we can buy looks the same!
Handmade is so precious, rare and full of love, that lady is missing out.

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