I'm not sure if it is gentic or a product of how I was raised, but it seems that members of my family - and I'm talking like even second and third cousins here - have a need and a talent for making things. A common phrase in the family is "I can make that." Perhaps that is why so many of us are engineers, contractors, mechanics, and generally creators of something. It is a talent created by necesity I believe, but has continued through the generations out of frugality and sensibilty. and perhaps there is more than just the "look what I made" aspect. there is the joy and relaxation of process. There is the connection to my family as I knit with my grandmothers needles (and finish a project she bagan 30 years ago!) or as I make my homemade bread in my great-grandmothers bread bucket and yes family, it IS just like my grandmother's!)
My great-great grandmothers knit socks for their families because there was no Walmart (not such a bad thing...) and no other way to keep their feet warm. I knit socks for my family, but not because they are cheaper or easier, but because I enjoy the process and I enjoy giving of my self to those I love. and, well, if you've ever worn a pair of socks that were hand knit just for your feet... you wouldn't ask me why I spend $15 on yarn for a pair of socks when I can pick up 6 pairs for $5.
All is not socks tho. I sewed the curtains for my house because the fabric was MUCH cheaper than buying them premade and let's face it, you don't need to be a rocket scientist to sew a rectangle! I knit winter hats and mittens for my boys because appearantly, you can not buy either in sizes that fit children between the ages of 2 and 8! my boys are big guys, but not that big!
Although Todd appreciates and understands my need to make things (especially if they are for him) he is just beginning to understand the self satisfaction of making it yourself. my boys, however, have either inherited the gene form me, or I've already got them brainwashed. Ryan prefers anything I made to anything store bought. Andy constatnly asks "who made this". If we need something, "let's make it!" or "how do you make this?" They want to knit. I am not yet brave enough to give a 4yo and a 5yo a pair of pointy sticks each.
Then came the diapers... when I decided to use cloth, it wasn't a huge leap for me to consider sewing my own. IMy first discovery was that old towels and flannel reciving blankets can be sewn togehter to make a fantastic cloth wipe! now, since I had some laying around headed for the rag pile and I have a serger... I whiped up a few... dozen.. well 4 dozen.. FREE! RECYCLED! awsome as that is, they work better than store bought disposables! they really clean well. even if your 3yo pooped in his sleep and it is dried to his butt (yes that has happened.. more times than I care to discuss right now...) Next, I learned that those microfiber towels made for detailing your car (or boat - Dad swiped some from me...) are PERFECT for pocket diaper inserts! 1 towel=1 insert. I got some at Job Lot, 3/$2. then I find out that Costco has them 20/$10! Inserts run you about $3-5 + shipping typically. so I serged those into rectangles for inserts. Now I need a cloth liner for my diaper pail. I unearthed it - nice and clean with all the refills inside with an airfreshener! so, I'll use up what I have, but a cloth bag can get tossed in with the diapers. saves $, reduces waste AND reduces teh amount of times we need to touch dirty dipers to the actual changing part. after researching the fabric, it turns out that the best thing to use is the same stuff as you use for the diaper covers... so I ordered some for the liners. adn they had this REALLY cool one that looked like leather. how cute is a baby in a leather diaper?? I have 5yds of microflece from a project I abandoned so long ago, I can't remember what the heck I was going to make! then... I find a site with prints in this fabric! tie die! Nemo! frogs! firetrucks! you name it! HAD to have soem of that... so while I wait for my fabric in the mail, I look for patterns. free ones. I have some diapers, I can make a pattern if I need to. I found several that were almost what I want and leveral sites with instructions on assembly, so I'm starting to feel prepared adn then... DOLL DIAPERS! yup! a pattern for doll diapers! So I print it out, head for my fabric stash (imaginary pee & poo don't leak fortunately!) and I get ready to sew. now, doll dipes don't need to be particulary detailed or accurate, but I figured I'd use pocket diaper construction and include the elastics as well to practice for the real thing.and yeah.. I'm glad I did! that first one is a little sad. but I gotta say that Elmo looks rather adorable in that Cookie Monster diaper! I learned a few tricks I'll try next time, but I think the boys will have a good stash of doll diapers before I am confident enough to put the PUL near my serger! I had a friend that made her own several years ago, and I thought all that tofu had gone to her head! Now, well, it just makes sense!