The return to simplicity is not an easy road, in spite of all the slogans that like to say “It is easy to be green”. The truth is that one has to work hard – garden, animals (for some), preparing food, being self-sustainable. My parents used to scare me into studying by saying that unless I do well in school I would end up working in the fields. That is hard work. But now, I look at my parents and I understand that hard work might sometimes be healthier, more desirable, might make one happier. After holding office jobs for most of their lives, my parents, now retired, went back to the country, to the fields. Now they are happy.
Even if I didn’t really get the pleasure in working with the soil and seeds until very recently, a few other things I did love from an young age and I did learn from my mom and my grandmother: sewing, knitting and crocheting. I am proud of that. I am proud of the things that come out of my hands. I am. Love and care are woven in.
So here are a few of the things that I have made this summer.
The photo on the top shows the blouse and the diaper bag I made for myself. The bag is made from a remnant fabric I bought from Jo-Ann’s for $4 or less. I has beautiful colors.
These are three dresses that I made for my daughter. As you can see, I used the same pattern (the only pattern for me – you can tell that it was used for that blouse too). The best thing about these dresses, besides having been easy to make and proving very comfortable to wear, is that they are made from recycled fabric. The blue dress was once a dress for mammy, that didn’t fit mammy anymore. The brown linen one was once a skirt of mommy’s, that mommy wore for a long time, but again, didn’t fit mommy anymore. The red dress is a remnant from a pillow case.
These up here are some small projects – handkerchiefs and cure bandanas made of fabric quarters for Jo-Ann’s again, and two old T-shirts of mine made into nightgowns for my daughter (I just cut the shape into the T-shirt and then sewn the edges).
Here are my knitting projects. The one in the far back is a cotton sweater I began and never finished. But I am close and I hope this cold fall weather will give me an impulse to finish that job. The orange jacket was made by my mom for her granddaughter, but has become a bit short in the sleeves, so now I am working on it. I am making the sleeves longer and my daughter will be able to wear it for another season. Aren’t handmade things just beautiful in every way?
It is easy (and fast) to go to the store and buy maybe cheaper, maybe even prettier things that in the end are just that – things. They don’t mean anything. They have only a monetary value. They end up in the trash sooner rather than later. Making them by hand gives things invaluable dimensions. It gives them soul, life, it gives them a place in nature, in the universe. And it turns us into the creators we long to be. It turns us into the loving, caring people we need to be. That justifies it all.