Friday, October 5, 2012

Seam Allowance Project - Time to Love What I Make

Alabama Chanin dress in progress
I've become quite fascinated by the Seam Allowance Project started by Kristine Vejar, founder of A Verb for Keeping Warm in Oakland, CA.  (Despite my trips to Oakland, I have yet to make it to the shop, and now with my "no new craft materials" pledge, I will have to go "just to look.")

The Seam Allowance Project asks that you pledge to make 25% of your clothes.  At first I was like, "No way."  (Yes, I was "like" no way.  Sometimes it just makes sense that way.)  But I was still intrigued.  Anyone who has read more than a post or two knows I like a challenge, and when it combines my love of clothing and crafting, it's pretty irresistable.

Yet even when she explained what that meant, saying that she figured daily clothing consisted of a top, a bottom, socks, & shoes (therefore if you made just one of those items, you'd be rocking 25%; if you wore a dress you'd made - 50%!), I was still resistant.  And my resistance was puzzling.

Until I made a realization last night - I undervalue my own work.  I was resistant because I didn't think my own work - my knitting, my sewing, etc. - was good enough.  I hate to say it, but it felt like an epiphany.  Duh!  My criticism of my own work can be unforgiving, relegating sweaters to the bottom of the drawer and dresses to the back of the closet (or the unfinished pile).  This may also explain why I'm constantly trying to learn more skills, make more things, drive myself crazy.

Get ready because it's a self-love moment.  I need to do this.  I need to value my own work as much as I value others'.  And it doesn't stop with my crafting; it extends to my own writing as well as my art practice.  Yes, kids, it's deep.
Bad joke:  Girl on toilet, high on pot
So I'm going to give it a shot.  I put on my favourite Alabama Chanin skirt, which is like a great pair of jeans, and I'm going to figure out what needs to happen to make this a successful endeavor.  For example, I'm going to expand the "socks" category to include underwear (I haven't made any underwear, but I wear it daily, which can't be said of socks).  I'm also going to be a forgiving, understanding that sometimes I may have to make exceptions.  But the point is - I'm going to try.  I'm going to try because not only is it an ethical, economical, sustainable, and creative decision as Natalie Chanin puts it; it's a philosophical choice that could extend into the other areas of my life.

Now I'm excited!

1 comment:

  1. Your project really inspires me to do the same in some way. Maybe I won't buy any tea until the old ones are used up. I don't buy much for my studio practice anymore-- thank goodness! I used to buy too much for each series that I was making, probably because I lived on the edge of Canada and the textile stores weren't well stocked. I look forward to seeing how your two projects shape up.