How It Feels to Make Things: Why I Love to DIY
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There are so many blog posts out there about DIYing: make your own clothing, learn how to macrame, thrift store furniture makeovers, and on and on. Let’s be real: I’m into it. I love making things I am going to use, and I like being able to tell people who compliment something I’m wearing with, “Thanks, I made it!” So what is it about crafts that I love? I’m sharing why I like to DIY, as well as a few of my favorite DIY projects, below.
I’ve always been a trier. The prospect of failing does not deter me; in fact, I usually fail in some aspect when I try new things. That’s just part of the process and I consider it a learning opportunity. It’s important to me to have a corner of my life devoted to trying, especially by making things: intangible things like music or videos or recordings, but also tangible, useful items that I create by sewing, crocheting, or building.
I’ve made hats, scarves, blankets, curtains, wooden frames, decorations, embroideries, weavings, macramé, a preamplifier, audio cables, a mobile app (for a class project, but still), websites, a business, music, podcasts, videos, recordings, and even plants (through propagation, of course!). Interior design also counts as DIY, I think. That’s probably why I like it so much.
I’m such an amateur at sewing, but I like to do it anyway. It gives me a sense of completion, even if the final product is wonky and uneven. When I am making something, like the pair of linen pants I sewed this past month, I feel like what I imagine a scientist must feel like when she is conducting an experiment. Meticulous, step-by-step movements. Occasional ‘what the hell is going on?’ moments when the results aren’t what you expected. Plenty of mistakes. Plenty of redirections. And an end result that tells me something about myself.
I tend to go at things at full force—like, kind of not-thinking-straight full force—and that’s not always good. With these pants I made, I really tried to be deliberate and careful. I wanted them to be perfect, but of course they didn’t turn out that way. I had to modify things to fix errors in judgement. At one point, I was up past midnight (a crazy notion for a new mom whose baby wakes up every night multiple times, and is ready to go for the day at 7:00) ripping out seams I didn’t end up having to rip out, worrying about fabric tearing apart and becoming unusable after I already spent hours and hours of my time on the project.
But that’s what is so neat about it all: I had to modify aspects of the pattern. I made something up. When I wore them for the first time today, and someone casually said, “I love your pants,” I felt a sense of pride. I mean, it feels huge when someone says that about a thing you spent hours and hours creating—I don’t care what it is. Even pants.
In 2019, I hope to make more things. Making clothes is very appealing to me right now, so I’m going to start with that. My goal is to make one item of clothing per month (I just finished this shirt), until I get sick of it. I also have two woodworking projects at home I’d like to complete: a platform for my sunken planter, and a super modern railing for the balcony above the front entrance of my house.
“Big ticket” items I’d like to make some day? A record, and a book. Maybe an empire? We’ll see.
What do you like to make? Leave a comment below, or “like” this post to show your support.
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