The Satisfaction of Making

I am a sewer, a baker, a cook, a crafter, a knitter-and-crocheter. I am a maker by nature, and I always have been. It helped that I grew up in a household of makers; my creative projects were admired, and my practical projects were appreciated. Years ago, "I make things" was my reply when a serger saleswoman asked me what kind of things I usually sewed.

Nowadays, I am more likely to be working on a new pattern design or handbag for sale than I am to be sewing garments or piecing a quilt, and I admit that I wish I had more time to sew for pleasure. But I've learned to feel the same maker's satisfaction for my commercial endeavors as for my personal ones. In the earliest days of Bucklebee, I would feel a twinge of sadness when I had to ship one of "my" bags to a customer. I no longer get emotionally attached to my production work, but I do smile when I know that I've made something to the very best of my ability. I am proud to stamp my label on my work almost all of the time. And if a project isn't quite up to snuff, I either fix it, or shelve it, cannibalizing the useable parts and putting the rest well behind me.

That's the trick. Do your best work. Your best may be entry-level. But as you hone your current skills and learn new ones, the bar will raise.

Handbag shown in photo: High Gear convertible backpack--a pattern designed to show off your fabric and your skills. Shown here in vintage marimekko canvas.


Joan Radell