Monday, June 6, 2011

Why do mums become crafty?

I was reflecting yesterday about the number of women who take up home based craft/ hobbies once they have children.  Is it economics?  I'm not really sure about this as my crafting hobbies tend to end up being quite pricey.  The amount of money that I can easily spend on a nice fabric starts adding up.  My husband tried to work out the cost of his latest project (a very gorgeous and well made merino T-Shirt) and, charged at his usual hourly rate, probably cost around $600 (excluding materials - add another $50) to make!!  Is it a return to domestically mindedness - I don't think so.  I kind of have enough to do around the house.

Recently I've been wondering if it is a combination of being stuck in the home (my nine month old's sleeping habits mean that I really need to be home for most of the morning and an hour or so in the afternoon, as well as from about 6.30) and a desire to put your own stamp on parenthood (this only applies for those who started crafting after they had children).

I took up knitting when my first daughter was a year old.  I taught myself using books and magazines and have gotten a lot of pleasure out of making baby blankets and hats.  Sometime after my second daughter was born I decided to just re-learn how to sew, figuring two years of Home Economics would mean that some latent sewing ability remained deep down.  I started with a simple Cath Kidman padded tablemat pattern, then made a matching (rather wonky) tablecloth.  From there it quickly progressed to simple baby clothes, some gorgeous peasant dresses and this weekend I've made a bag and dress from pillowcases.  Somewhere along the way I also started cheesemaking (again, not at all economical because we just consume more cheese now) and recently picked up a magazine with the intention of mastering basic crochet.

Now I find myself with about a dozen crafty blogs in my blog reader, and attended Handmade at Te Papa this weekend - a kind of crafting masterclass/ conference/ workshop that was just brilliant.  I've come a long way craft wise in a short amount of time.

I do get a lot of satisfaction from the completed project, but am now beginning to get satisfaction from the process involved in the craft - this is a big change for me, as I was very destination-oriented when I started crafting - now I enjoy the pleasure in the details of the craft.

I'm curious as to how other people came to crafting, and what they get from it.


  1. I got into crafting prior to parenting. First was probably sewing and that was due to my love of dressing up in various costumes. You can't buy those things easily, thus you must create them!

    Knitting I picked up while I was teaching, I think I wanted something to do while I was watching tv? Or possibly I saw other workmates doing it and thought I'd try and then was hooked. Or maybe it was because I wanted an easily portable craft. I forget why I started... I haven't done any for ages, but I've bought books.

    Millinery is an extension of costuming for me, but is a cool craft in its own right.

    Preserving (is that a craft?) I started when I was housewifing and had access to various free produce (mostly lemons and feijoas).

    Some reasons I like craft:
    I get to say I made it
    I get a kick out of being able to do stuff other people think is tricky/beyond them (it really isn't!!)
    I get to have things that you can't just go out and buy

  2. Your preserves are so yummy Giffy - we have gone nuts for your rhubarb and ginger jam and reserve it for special stuff - the other night we had it to glaze duck. It was amazing!

    I really enjoy making things, and I do like it when I get a compliment for something that I have made that someone else likes! I was in Babystar and someone asked me if the bib DD2 was wearing was from this particular shop. I explained that I had made it from an old towel and some left over fabric. They couldn't believe it!