Crafty Manolo » The Hard Way Is Worth It

The Hard Way Is Worth It

By Twistie

 via Handmade News

“It’s cheaper and easier just to buy stuff.”

That’s often true.

As much as I recommend DIY as a money-saving option for home decor, wedding and party planning, wardrobe expansion, etc., the fact is that there are a lot of things you can buy more cheaply than you can make them. Add in the time spent on creating things, it can be easy to ask yourself why you would put yourself to the trouble of making things you can buy anywhere.

After all, when Mr. Twistie and I got engaged, I spent the next year making lace for the wedding gown, and then one of my bridesmaids spent another six months creating the gown the lace festooned. I could have spent the same money, gone to a bridal salon (or even opened up the pages of the JC Penney catalogue) and gotten a wedding gown for a lot less effort. Sure, the dress would have been acetate and the lace nylon, as opposed to the pure silk I used for both gown and lace, but I could have gotten the whole shebang handled for the fuss of a couple fittings… and I could have looked like nearly every other bride of 1993.

The thing is, I wasn’t nearly every other bride of 1993.  Most of the typical bridal styles of the year weren’t especially flattering to me, either. They didn’t speak to me. They weren’t built for my 5’2″ body with zero shoulders and a waistline in my armpits. Sure,  a good tailor could have fitted a typical gown to me, but it would never have been anything but a dress.

The wedding gown that hangs in my closet is designed for me. It fits (well, fitted eighteen years ago!) every nuance of my figure. It made the most of the features I most liked about my body, and deftly improved a couple I felt were lacking. No shoulders? You’d never know it between the slight puffs and the elaborate epaulettes. That unusually high waist became a flattering empire line. The skirt was made to just brush the tops of my feet since we were getting married in a redwood grove and I didn’t want to wind up with a train and hemline filled with forest detritus.

So yes, I wound up spending just as much money and a couple hundred times the time on my wedding gown… but it was worth every cent and every minute. I looked and felt incredibly good. When I leaf through my wedding album, I know I made the right choice. One of our wedding guests actually told me I was the most beautiful bride she’d ever seen! And while I think I’ve got rather a good face, I’m not precisely supermodel material, and never was. What made the effect so good wasn’t my exquisite natural beauty, but a combination  of absolute certainty in the step I was taking and a gown that was built to bring out the best in me.

Whether your project is a wedding gown, a dog house, booties for your precious new baby, the perfect earrings for your big night out, or baking graham crackers to make your cheesecake crust absolutely the way you want it, there are times when cheaper and easier exist, but aren’t worth the savings they offer.

Only you know when it’s worth spending the extra time. Spend it wisely.




3 Responses to “The Hard Way Is Worth It”

  1. Miss B Says:

    Pics? I would love to see some photos of the lace at least! :)

  2. Orora Says:

    I totally agree. I could buy 6 pairs of socks at target for less than the price of one ball of inexpensive sock yarn. But nothing’s toastier for your toes than slipping them into some wool socks you’v e made with your own hands.

  3. ZaftigWendy Says:

    There is something about making things with your own hands that is deeply satisfying, right down to the soul. It’s more than just pride at a job well done. For me, it’s almost a spiritual experience. God creates and so do I. I feel a part of all those who’ve gone before, and in that way, almost touch the infinite.

    Just by playing with string.

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