I Made This is a weekly blog series that features makers from around the world and aims to talk about the things we are proud of; of the objects we make that have meaning to us and the journey we take to make them.
This week's I Made This features my very good friend Jenn. She doesn't have an online crafty presence for you to check out, but she happens to be one of the most inspirational crafters I know. I'll let her speak first, but at the end of the post I'll tell you just why I find her so incredible.
It was the inaugural Craft Sessions Retreat in 2013 that finally shifted me from wanting to ‘make’ a garment to actually getting down and just doing it! Oh and the exceptionally kind and encouraging words of my mate, a seasoned ‘maker’ who said with gusto and a big cheeky smile ‘yes of course you can do it’. So, I chose to believe her and thought why not just give it a go.
I chose this wonderfully comfy and simple to make garment for a relative beginner - The Made by Rae Washi Dress that I saw the spunky Georgie Hallam wondering around in at the first retreat. It wasn’t long before I had my fabric, was fumbling around with the PDF pattern puzzle pieces with a girlfriend and getting busy with my not-so-sharp scissors. I couldn’t believe it even in the midst of making the dress that the bodice fit perfectly and it came together so quickly without assistance from anyone. I love that way the dress gives me a sense of wearing something fitted but also allows my lower half to be totally comfortable.
It is my favourite piece to date as it has given me the confidence to surge forward and make more and more. Yes it is bit of a hack job made with a wonky neck, fraying around the underarms and stiff crafting fabric, being the novice that I am - but there has been much joy from regular wear and positive comments from friends and family that reinforce the lovely feeling of having made something for myself.
Being a mother of two young children in between careers without a crafting background this dress represents for me exploration, fun and creativity – a sense of achievement. Fearlessly learning to sew has given me an accessible outlet to connect with one of the things I love most – fashion and clothing = lots and lots of joy!
Hi - Felicia here - so I wanted to postscript her post with a little bit about why I think she is so inspiring - and it comes down to her get-it-done attitude. She has been making clothing for not even two years and in that short space of time has made a full size men's jumper, herself a 5ply cardy, many small person carries and numerous frocks…..things many a crafter before her would not have attempted to make, without more experience. I wrote a post really early on on this blog called "Good technique is overrated - discuss" and she is the epitome of that. She didn't get stuck on doing it "right". She just made. And now with each project she gets more skilled and is doing beautiful work all over the place. Which is why I love the photo below so much - it reminds me of her courage and her determination. She just did it. Didn't worry that it wasn't perfect, wore it proudly and then made another. The other post I wrote that makes me think of her is "The false economy of not making". She practices. She makes me want to be courageous in my craft! Thanks Jenn x