Thursday, February 7, 2008

Handmade vs. Homemade

I admit it. I'm a snob. I'm a nose in the air, lip curled in distaste, pinky sticking out while disdainfully holding things between my forefinger and thumb s-n-o-b, SNOB!

I love all things handmade, kitchy items made from retro prints, dainty doilies in delicate white and ecru thread, jewelry...oh the jewelry! quilts, hats, mittens, socks, cards, prints, paintings, carvings, woodburning, metalwork, lamps, cushions, blankets, shoes, glasses, dishes.....i just looove handmade things.

I love to look at them, touch them, examine them for all angles to figure out how they were made. I am amazed at the ingenuity of people and the usefulness of everyday items. I will often purchase something just because I am impressed with the quality of the work.

But what I am not amazed at is shoddy workmanship. Seams that unravel, poorly finished needlework, exposed wire ends in jewelry, beaded strands that break the first time worn. It only takes an extra few minutes to take an item from homemade into handmade.

It is the attention to detail and those little finishing touches that take an item from 'can't give it away at the church bazaar' to 'i have to have one of those in every color!' Finish all exposed seams with bias tape or a simple zigzag stitch to prevent raveling. Tie off and bury all loose thread ends. Use quality yarns when crocheting and knitting and take the time to block the finished item if it needs it. Tighten up and strengthen beaded jewelry. Be sure to use the appropriate weight stringing materials. File and smooth the ends of wire and be sure they are tucked in nice and neat. I know it's a pain to make sure every little aspect of an item is neatly finished. But that's the difference between homemade and handmade.

12 comments:

Elizabeth said...

OH YEAH!! Right On! This is why people will look and not buy at bazaars! And this is why people are leery of purchasing handmade items that they can't touch and feel - they have been "once burnt" and are "twice shy!"

At least I have the advantage of touching and feeling Sew's items and knowing her quality is of the the highest possible standard. She consigns to the "circular file" things that I think are lovely and would happily carry or use, but she won't have anyone thinking she made them because they aren't up to her standard!!

Just wish more people could touch and feel, see up close so they would be able to trust that they are getting a product that is high in quality.

Shannon said...

Excellent post. I have been thinking about the difference between homemade and handmade, but you summed it up very nicely. :)

Sharon said...

I must be a snob too because I totally agree ;)

I love your crocheted berets!

Joan said...

I love your points. I just had this conversation with my husband as I was burning the ends of ribbon so it won't fray...

Marissa Fischer said...

I have to agree. I take a sewing class for crafty companionship and I'm shocked at how many times I have to fix the surger tension (2 hours into the class period and tons of people sewing on the machine) and I'm the only one who noticed it was screwy. I think it's these kinds of things that make a difference. Homemade is okay with messed up tension handmade isn't.

Amy Yang said...

Amen! (I'm a snob too)

Fog and Thistle said...

Well said!
I guess that makes me a snob too.

cuddlyquilts said...

Good points! The details are so important, I think this is the same reason I love making the packaging just as beautiful as the product.
BTW I love your business name!

Anonymous said...

I don't think that's snobby. I don't think only a snobby person recognizes shoddy workmanship. that's common sense.

Lori Anderson Designs said...

Absolutely agreed. I make jewelry, and I have bought my fair share of other people's jewelry because I love it. I'm often surprised at the finishing touches that aren't, well, finished! Tucking ends in, using crimp covers, things like that. It makes such a difference!

Not that I'm perfect or anything, but I think we all should strive for the best we can do and not scrimp anywhere!

Lotta said...

I got an item from an Etsy seller where the glue was gloppy and obvious. The good thing was that it made my hyper aware of making sure my pieces were immaculate before I would list or ship.

westcoast2007 said...

Good post! Wanting quality in an item purchased is not a snobbish quality. You are right on with this topic!

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i sew because i cannot draw.