A friend of mine who just doesn’t get the whole handmade thing once said to me, “Wouldn’t it be easier to buy stuff, rather than make stuff?”
My immediate thought was that she was probably right, but I have been giving it some more thought recently and nope, my dear friend, handmade is not only more rewarding, more unique, more personal and sometimes better quality, but also it can be a lot less stressful.
Every year I make Christmas presents for 3 delightful little sisters. Daughters of a friend who is as devoted as I am to handmade gifts.
At Christmas, I decided to make slippers for the little lovelies. Now imagine if I had decided to buy the slippers instead of making them.
Picture the scene…
I have decided to go to my local shopping centre to find some slippers for the girls. I plan to leave early to avoid the rush. Avoid the rush? It’s Christmas for goodness sake how can you avoid the rush? And isn’t everyone thinking about ‘going early’? But I still don’t change my plans. Here lies Problem number 1. A three year old who doesn’t really understand the concept of time. Who wants breakfast but doesn’t know what breakfast she wants. Who knows how to use the toilet but decides to use the floor on this particular morning. Who doesn’t want to clean her teeth even with the Nurdle Shmurdle app that you ‘cleverly’ downloaded to your tablet that she loved yesterday. And she certainly doesn’t want to wear a coat when it’s 2 degrees outside. Can you see how leaving early doesn’t happen?
Problem no 2. On my street parking is restricted between 11am and 12pm (that’s London living for you), so I’m a bit anxious to get three year old child into the car and off to the shopping centre. Three year old child does not care about parking restrictions, parking fines and parking problems in London.
If you have been reading and not skimming (yes, I know, we all do it, who’s got time to read excessively long blog posts?) you will remember I said I wanted to avoid the rush (and the traffic). Problem no 3. There is no way I can avoid the rush (or the traffic).
I get to the shopping centre and pay for 2 hours of parking, (that should be enough, I’m only buying slippers). The pursuit begins. Problem no 4. I have no idea where I am going to find present worthy slippers.
After traipsing from crowded shop to crowded shop without much success, (just a
few 6 items for myself that I never knew I needed), time is running out. Three year old is whining, three year old is hungry, three year old wants to get out of the buggy (admittedly three year old is only in the buggy because time does not allow me to let her dilly dally walk when I have a time limit to purchase slippers).
I stop at M&S for a sandwich and a drink for three year old to eat on the go. As I’m there I might as well get myself a 685 calorie sandwich (and don’t forget the cake). Oh and that looks nice I’ll get some of those to have with our dinner tonight. Problem no 5. A quick bite to eat for a three year old can actually cost £18.75 depending on your will power.
Three year old takes two bites of her sandwich and falls asleep. Problem no 6. What do I do with half eaten sandwich? Put it in the hood of the buggy, forget it’s there and find it a month later? Or eat it myself to add another 480 calories to the 985 calories I have already eaten? Meanwhile I notice the drink that she had taken one sip from, leaking all over the floor of nice shop that actually sells nice slippers.
Problem no 7. Do I quickly leave the shop hoping no one has noticed? Or tell someone but still feel too embarrassed to stick around? (Even if I have spotted some lovely slippers). No need to decide, I have to leave anyway, three year old is awake and wants to use the toilet.
Problem no 8. I have 10 minutes to get to my car before parking ticket expires. Do I risk going back to nice shop, with nice wet patch on the floor to get nice slippers and join the 35m long queue? Or do I go home and call it a day? At least I got 6 things for myself (that I will probably never use). I’ll get the slippers next time.
I can safely say that in my made up scenario experience, it is not easier to buy gifts than it is to make them.
Buying gifts is stressful, making them is gratifying.
For the slippers I used a pattern found on Etsy from Winter Peach. I had to do a bit of hand stitching which I’m never very happy about, but the slippers are easy to make providing you are not making 3 pairs at a time, all different sizes and you don’t get your left mixed up with your right and your size 12 mixed up with your size 13.
The bag was a free pattern from The Purl Bee. It’s called a lunch bag, but I’d be reluctant to put a sandwich in it. Good job I don’t like donuts or watermelons.
Perhaps the girls can use the bag for their PJs once hey have taken their slippers out. I can’t imagine them putting their slippers back in the bag after each use.
I’m thinking of making a few bags for Darcy’s Lego. I can not tell you how many times I have stepped barefoot on a stray Lego piece that has fallen out of it’s box.
So, what would you rather do? Buy the slippers or make the slippers? Answers on a (handmade) postcard please. Actually, the comments box below will suffice. Thank you.