Crafting for a Reason


When I read today’s post at Down to Earth I realised that much of it rang true for me.  None more so than this section where Rhonda writes:

“Many of the older readers here would know that I don’t consider craft to be a hobby. For me it’s part of my housework. I sew, mend and knit so we have good quality and long wearing scarves, cardigans, jumpers, hats, dishcloths, tablecloths and napkins. I see that as part of my homemaker’s work, not a hobby. Back in my great grandmothers’ day, making clothing and woollens for the family was part of almost every women’s home tasks. Somehow those tasks where either moved to become separate hobbies or were not done at all. They still hold an important place here, I still do all of them, still enjoy them, and they’re a part of my work.”

Any craft that I do is almost exclusively for practical purposes.  I remember being invited to join a patchwork group some years ago.  I probably could have been a bit more tactful but my response was along the lines of, “Why would you cut up perfectly good fabric so that you can sew it back together again?”  I also reminded my friend that I had had quite enough sewing to fill my days making clothes for all the members of my family.

I am appalled by the amount of time and money that is spent on useless and impractical craft materials such as patchwork fabric.  Patchwork evolved as a way of making use of every last bit of fabric, often being unpicked and re-made into other items.

Here are a couple of examples of making the most of scraps of material.

I made this bag last week using the facing from the hem of a dress.  You can read more about it here.  Scroll down towards the end of the post.

Here is a photo of Belle (in 1993) wearing a patchwork jacket I made using up scraps of sweatshirt fabric.  I sewed the scraps together to make a large piece of fabric and then cut the pattern pieces out as if it was a normal piece of fabric.

Do you do any practical crafts?


3 thoughts on “Crafting for a Reason

  1. Yvonne I have been collecting my daughters old shirts that she has collected from camp quality and want to make them into a quilt for her 21st birthday (only 12 months away) I am not a great sewer and any advice would be greatly appreciated. I was thinking of sewing up the button on the neck area and then just cutting out squares from the shirts to include the smiley face design on the shirts. Not sure how this will work out with the collar on some of the shirts. Hope this makes sense…lol

  2. I also only make practical things, crochet dishclothes, shopping bags (while trying not to stuff them up 😀 ) but I never thought of it as work till I read that same post at Down to Earth. I think I will have continue to think of it as craft for enjoyment or I might stop doing it if I think of it as work 🙂

    Love the patchwork jacket.

  3. I agree with you, but some folks are frightened of sewing clothes as “they won’t fit”. At least they still sew and are keeping the skill alive. I spent most of my time making crochet tops to hand towels, mending, crocheting edges on face washers, mending, teaching newbies whichever skill they would like to have and finishing off all my unfinished projects.
    I don’t know who shifted making things to craft, but someone told me that they cannot apply for a grant to help them to some really top notch embroidery unless they call it a craft.. That person was most upset as she considers herself an artist not a craft maker. Her work is most definitely ART. There is nothing slapdash or crafty about her work. But she has to call it craft work if she wants her grant. The guys with the big bucks don’t know any different and apparently neither do their advisors who set up the rules.

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