The revival of designing and making

The recession has seen a big resurgence in people wanting to design and make things themselves as well as a ‘make do and mend’ mentality as people try and save cash and this is something I have been thinking about this week.

I think it all started with the hot weather as it meant I have spent time digging out summer clothes. It is always as the seasons change that, like many others, I have a bit of a clear out. I have always altered and upcycled things rather than throw them away but I find I am doing this even more than ever now. I have even caught myself thinking about how I will alter or upcycle something when I have finished with it as I am buying it! It seems to add an extra dimension to the value of a product when I buy it if I can see it will have a variety of different uses over it’s lifetime. 

I consider myself lucky to have the skills to be able to do this but many people don’t have those skills. When I grew up these skills were things my mum taught me and lots of people say that has changed as the traditional skills have skipped a generation. I think however that the current design and make revival is different in that with all the  technologies that are around today you often don’t actually need another person around to show you how to do something. It is easy to get one to one tutorials on the internet and I think this is one of the things that will mean the current craft revival will last longer as you can learn in your own time and keep going back to the internet as many times as you want without anyone getting impatient that you need to be told again!

This doesn’t however mean that I don’t thing there is a place for ‘experts’ whether it be your mum or someone running a class. Indeed I think once again it is the internet that means you can search a wider area to find classes that suit you rather than you just having to make do. You also come across things you would never have considered learning and it wets your appetite for finding a class that you can go to.

What I really like about the current revival combined with how easy it is to access information is how you come across new things to learn every day as well as other bits and pieces that are just interesting for their own sake. You can probably tell by the name of my website that I am a big fan of upcycling denim as it is such a versatile fabric and I have come across a number of new ideas for future projects this week. Favourite things include the leg of a pair of jeans that has been made into a cover for a plant pot and jeans pockets used as place settings to hold cutlery and napkins.

The recession is definitely not a good thing but I am always someone who looks for the silver lining in situations and the revival of an interest in designing and making is definitely something positive to come out of the gloom.

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