I’ve finally decided to part with a winter coat I smocked for DD1 about 8 years ago. It’s another pattern from Australian Smocking & Embroidery Issue 66. It included a little purse, which I thought was a cute touch. The roses and leaves are made from strips of cashmere.
It was my first attempt to smock a heavier fabric by hand…. I mean actually marking the fabric and pleating it by hand, as it was too bulky to put through a pleater. What’s a pleater? A little hand-turned wonder that pleats the fabric for you, saving a lot of time, not to mention ensuring that the rows of pleats are precise.
But back to the coat. It’s a beautiful coat – a little heavy – but warm and there is so much wear left in it! Why keep it in my closet for someone 30 years down the line when I can always make another one – and would enjoy it, too? So I handed it down to a friend who has a daughter younger than all of mine. In a way I’m happy that it’s going to someone who will appreciate it, but on the other hand it makes me sad to part with it. This particular friend’s mom was a seamstress, trained in Italy, so I know she appreciates the work that goes into a garment like this. But it’s hard to part with something that has a lot of love and time put into the making of it.
Just last night DH managed to encourage me with an offhand comment about how art isn’t really worth anything until there’s someone willing to pay for it. In his defense, I see his (time = money) point, but it still is a hurtful and sad comment. Is what people create really so “worthless” if there isn’t a return on the investment, so to speak?
I know I would be very hesitant to fork over what this purse is actually worth in terms of material and labour (maybe $15?) if I saw it in a store, but is that because I know I could make it if I really wanted to have it? Because I’m not one of the “rich” that don’t think twice before paying ridiculous amounts of money for one-of-a-kind garments? Or because I don’t think it’s worth it or that it will be tossed after 3 days of use? Yet I love to spend my time to create an item like this! It’s enjoyable, I’m pleased with the tangible result of what I spent my time on, and it most definitely gives me a creative outlet…. a place to wind down and relax while I do something that I love!