I've found writing this ramble a bit trickier than some of the other posts I've written. And I think that's because it's about something that is so ingrained in our everyday lives that it is hard to explain the meaning behind it. But to me it is THE most meaningful part of making. So bear with me....today I'm going to tell you a little story about our day to try to illustrate my point.
It's school holidays - I had three kids at home and not much planned, which made for a super cruisy day. Other than the screeching obviously. Over the weekend I made the kids get their whole wardrobes out, put everything in piles and figure out if they needed anything for the summer. Happily they are all pretty OK. My boy child needs shorts and the middle girl needs a couple of skirts/frocks to freshen things up. Always nice to have a new frock, isn't it?
And the "baby". Well she is a champion at "having her needs met". She chases me round with bits of fabric she has pulled off the shelf saying "You make me dress mama?". She uses the super cute smile and upwards inflection to really make her suggestion as appealing as possible. So she is totally covered. More frocks that one almost 3yo could ever use. Champion!
Anyway back to the thoughts of today. So my 5yo asked first thing this morning if we could make her skirts today. She wanted to help. She is five and doing a bit of sewing is her idea of a good time. But she only wants to help until it gets boring - obviously! This works well for both of us. By the time it is boring for her, it is starting to get frustrating for me and so she leaves and I can take over and hoon through to the finish line.
She went to the cupboard and found some fabric she liked. And so we started and made one. Pretty simple pattern from Girly Style Wardrobe - Pattern D. Even with other kids, drinks, snacks, some washing, blah blah, we had it done and dusted by lunch. Super cute and she even let me take a photo - it involved a bit of complaining - totally worth it.
Fast forward an hour or two, and we are about to head out. I had some stuff to do before an appointment and so was herding them out of the house about 1.5hrs early. She had her new skirt on and was ready to go......when she said "mama, I need a bag to take out with me today. I have my wallet to put in my bag and some pencils. It needs to go over my shoulder and come back around." Me: "It's too late matey. We have to go." Her: "But mama you can do it really quick. You know you can." And because I remember being 5yo and desperately needing something so badly I did.
Hacked out two rectangles, sewed them together, hacked off the corners, turned them inside out, sewed the sides up and then sew on a strap. Done. Took all of 15 minutes and resulted in a super happy child that has been proudly wearing that bag for the last week.
Anyway so what was all this rambling about? I guess it just got me thinking of how much craft is part of our everyday. And how much making, and making together, gives us that is unseen. Because it isn't the things we make that are the outcomes of our craft. It is the intention behind the craft that we get to carry around with us when we wear and use the things we make.
The outcome of that 15 minutes is that each time she wears her bag she knows that I made it for her, even if it isn't something she consciously thinks about. She knows that I changed our plans to make time to stop and do something just for her. Just because she "needed" it.
I feel the need to say here that even though this post is talking around making with children, this applies more broadly than just our immediate families. I really believe that when we make for friends or family, or even a stranger, that we are putting that intention out into the world.
Making is part of how we show love and connection to one another. It might be something as simple as a bag with dodgy seams and sewing. However, it is the process of taking the time to create with or for someone that is really special. And the impact of it lasts a lot longer than just the giving/recieving transaction. Every time it is worn or played with, it carries with it the love that went into making it; for the giver as well as the reciever. And that has to feel good - yes?