|One of 100 dresses by Sonja Phillip|
Sonja Phillip says:
"It may be unrealistic for everyone to make their own clothes, but everyone should know how to sew. At one time students did learn in home economics. I went to an international school overseas where all students – male and female – took needlework and cooking, as well as woodwork and metalwork classes. Maybe it was this experience that informs my thinking – that even if a person doesn't make their own clothes, knowing how to sew leads to appreciation of skill and recognition of quality. It also enables people to mend or modify the clothes they purchase, helping extend the life of the garments.The point of "making your own stuff" is not always about the "stuff." When we become engaged in making something, developing skills, growing in understanding of materials and techniques, we are engaged in the construction of self. What we do in the making of self, effects our own lives, and reshapes our relationships with all those whose lives we touch.
"The act of making anything by hand comes from a place of contradiction. It will probably always be cheaper, faster, easier to buy a mass-produced item. It's the way the market functions, economies of scale.
"To go counter to that comes from a place of concentrated attention. Can we begin to see labor and craftsmanship as valuable? Can we go beyond labels and logos? Can we determine value in the context of provenance, memory or lineage?
"We need to fill our lives with meaningful objects and not simply quantities of stuff."
Make, fix and create...