Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Homemade--Cool or Lame?

So, the other night, I wore my new poncho. I wore it out to get some dinner (while I finished reading my book group book) and then I wore it to book group. When I sat down at the restaurant, my server came right over and said, "Oh, did you make that?" When I said, "yes," she told me that she could tell right away that I had made it--that she can always spot handmade things. She gushed over it and said that is was elegant. I was very proud.

But it got me thinking. I can remember when homemade was definitely not as good as store bought. That homemade meant "lame." When I put my poncho on, I imagined (read: fantasized about) people coming up to me and saying, "Oh, I love your poncho, where did you get it?" And then I'd say that I made it and they would say, "You made that? No way!" But I hadn't really envisioned the compliments starting with, "Did you make that? I can totally tell that you made it."

Now, these days, I think homemade--or "hand made"--stuff is really cool, but is that because there is a revolution afoot and everyone thinks hand made things are cool? Or is it just because I'm getting old and matronly and nostalgic for the "olden" days when I was five and my mom made dresses for me that I just loved? Or is it just because I've been reading too much Little House on the Prairie to the kids?

11 comments:

TKW said...

You are totally right. Homemade used to mean: Your parents are too poor to afford the store-bought kind. I felt so ashamed of my homemade pinafores and dresses.

Now, I'd kill for those things.

The Thirty-Something Bride said...

Have you seen the website Handmade Gone Wrong? It's hysterical. It will make you feel fabulous about your poncho.

But you already know that hand made is always better. Always.

Well, except for the lavender and ivory Laura Ingalls style homecoming dress my mom made. THAT was a disaster.

Contemporary Troubadour said...

These days, homemade definitely has cachet -- it usually brings to light the fact that the maker possesses a refined skill that most people do not. Now that we don't get shuttled into the home ec track in school, it's not expected that we know how to sew French seams. (My mother once showed me her sample book of stitches for her home ec class, and yes, they got graded on each example of a sewing skill they were supposed to have mastered!)

baxie said...

Etsy has made 'homemade' cool again.

Flo said...

The poncho is wonderful. I have seen it and touched it. The woman knew the poncho was hand made because you just don't buy a mass produced poncho like that.

angelapea said...

Oh My! Handmade and Homemade are cool again?

That is certainly good news. I remember as a child how embarressed my sisters and I were over our homemade clothing. It singled us out as the "poor kids" in class. Now, we are all THRILLED that we know how to sew, knit, crochet, etc. and our kids art tickled with their "custom made" clothing and accessories!!

The Thirty-Something Bride said...

Baxie is right - Etsy is incredible. In fact, I have been contacted regarding my DIY wedding hair toys. Once the wedding is over, I might start my own Etsy shop! :)

Petunia Face said...

Grass is always greener because I used to WISH my mom made me things. :)

Good Enough Woman said...

I've got to checkout "Handmade Gone Wrong." I might need to contribute after I attempt a baby quilt. The fabric is ready to go. I'm just building the courage to turn on the sewing machine. I worry that I've threaded it wrong and so the needle will snap and come shooting at my head. But I doubt that could ACTUALLY happen, right?

Ink said...

Etsy has sparked a renaissance, I agree.

If the needle does come shooting at your head, take a picture to send to the company for when you sue them.

And then post it here.

Wait, I didn't mean that last one.

You could always wear safety goggles like they wear in shop class!

bobbincat said...

I've been laughing out loud at all these comments! Must check out handmade gone wrong also! I'm trying to sew without my glasses on which isn't that good either. Too vain. I've returned to sewing after about 10 years (because shop prices for skirts got to over $150 when fabric is $20 (NZ)per metre and my hubby got made redundant. I also want people to say "Did you make that?" Sometimes they lie and say it looks good. Haven't had too many disasters so far - haven't been game to put disasters online - only my successes! Didn't appreciate that they could provide entertainment. I'm after a good pinafore pattern that would suit me for work. Winter's coming up over here so need some new boots, some merino tops and some stylish pinafores (homemade of course).