“Aiyah… Why handmade? It takes so much time and if you can get them made in China for $5, why?”

My friend said this to me the other day and my response was “Well, why not?!”

There is something about getting my hands ‘dirty’ that I like. Be it sewing or cooking or working on a table, there is something deeply satisfying and therapeutic in that process.

As opposed to buying a mass produced tote bag, made by a low waged worker in some darkish, badly maintained factory in an industrial estate somewhere in China, I find much more fulfillment when I can design and use my hands to bring a sketch to a reality that I can use. Yes it will take 3 hrs of my life but really, I find that I learn so much more. It’s about creativity, problem solving, analytical and ultimately honing my skills.

Not only do I find much self gratification in ‘handmade’ but when my friends receive a handmade gift from me, I can almost always expect a surprised gasp then a quiet appreciative look of ‘I’m so touched!’ on their faces and a shower of “thank yous” is bound to follow. That, money cannot buy…!

There is also another growing trend in sewing; groups out there are monetizing the trade. A recent article on Straits Times Urban featured a lady who started sewing lessons and she quit her full time job and went into designing and making clothes for kids. There are also many products online where good quality handmade products are offered. Sewing is not just for grandma anymore, it has set people off on new career paths!

But alas, sewing do require a certain level of skills and may seem just a tad daunting. I am going to list a few venues (in my next post) that offer sewing lessons, so that should help some of you kickstart that sewing journey. Be it sewing for yourself or for your little boy/girl or for that special someone in your life, some basic sewing skills will definitely help you get past that initial hurdle of even wanting to try.

Welcome to the world of ‘handmade’. Welcome to sewing.