Respecting the Wabi-Sabi of a Handmade Business

These pajamas are part of a cuddly winter play set (including a fur coat) I have just made for Baby Egg. 

I was thinking to redo them. Can you guess why?

The Wabi-Sabi of Handmade

When I sew, I have a tendency to redo my work. Some times more than once. At times way too much.

It does not always make sense to be such a perfectionist. It can be counter productive and so I’ve been trying to draw a line.

I am sure anyone who runs a handmade business is familiar with the urge to redo and the need to draw a line.

Very few maker’s can have a style of making and constantly remaking. They cannot stay in business. It can be financially and emotionally draining. We are all perfectionists in our craft, but we need to determine to what degree makes sense.

So each maker must relearn what is a flaw and what is may be considered Wabi-Sabi, a Japanese philosophy that respects impermanence and imperfection.

I have been working hard to redo less.

First I see “flaws” that often only I see.

But most importantly, a decision to buy handmade is often a decision to embrace variation and a bit of quirkiness. A handmade purchase is not a the same as off the shelf, or slick or mass produced. Those items are all predictably the same. Mass production eliminates all evidence of the hand.

Handmade will have the mark of the maker. This includes the makers’ unique vision and the maker’s style of production. Often a flaw is also part of the essence and charm of an object. A slight tilt, a mis-matched thread color,  a few hand stitches that show, an extra row of smocking. These are the mark of the maker and part of the many details that give a handmade object its character.

I am always happy to redo upon request, if the request is reasonable. But I need to relearn to not be too beholden to my own eye and mind.

The Wabi-Sabi of Handmade

Have you noticed why yet?

The Wabi-Sabi of Handmade

The label is at a slight tilt. I am leaving Baby Egg's pajamas for Baby Egg to enjoy as they are and I am beginning to enjoy leaving well enough alone .