Every few weeks, I get an urge to be crafty – handcrafts, that is. Especially when I look at my budget, and then consider my closet. Clothing is just not affordable now! I do most of my shopping at GoodWill, but the options are slightly limited there. Unless…I’ve taken to looking at every piece of clothing as a potential blank canvas, to be remade in any way I can dream up. Last summer, I purchased Megan Nicolay’s book Generation T: 108 ways to transform a T-shirt (9780761137856, $14.95) and started down the primrose path to T-shirt frenzy! My culminating triumph (so far) was my handsewn wedding dress, which took more time than I care to admit, and was worth every second of it when my husband realized that I had made it myself. Whenever I clean out my closet now, I make three piles instead of two: keep, give away, use for cloth. The only problem is that the potential projects pile up so quickly!
It struck me recently that what was a neccessity for our ancestors has become a hobby for us. I sew, knit, and crochet for my own pleasure, not because I will go naked otherwise. I find ways to re-use objects because I have the time and an urge to experiment, not because I can’t afford to purchase something new. Hard on the heels of that thought came another: we have made it more expensive to create than to purchase. How sad is that? If I lived in poverty, I would not save any money by making my own clothes. Yarn, cloth, tools, and time make any project more expensive than simply buying an equivalent item from a department store. While our culture professes to celebrate individuality, we are pressed into purchasing monotony.
My new goal: to wear only socks that I knit myself (as soon as I learn how to knit socks). To make the majority of my own clothes, not just the occasional funky top. To live as though I couldn’t run down to the store to purchase new things. To rediscover the pride of creating in all aspects of life. To sew a straight seam.