Handmade has in recent times got the reputation of not being as good as other commercially produced times. Why is this?
Is it because our mothers/grandmothers may have been taught to sew, but their success rate wasn’t that good? Indeed, discussing homemade childhood outfits with a degree of horror is a common topic in groups of women of a certain age!
The ability to sew in a straight-line sounds humorous but not everyone can do it! Maybe it is in the genes: when I look back at my family history I see many dressmakers and milliners. You also need a creative vision of how fabric will look when made up, and patience and an attention to detail are essential. Fans of The Great British Sewing Bee will have seen the unflappable Ann http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0165nv7 diligently working to create a perfect piece without the aid of a speedy industrial sewing machine that sounds like an angry wasp or a commercial steam press which smoothes the life out of fabric. I think industrially produced items often look tight and stretched from skimped fabric and over pressing. Then there are those annoying dangling threads where the maker hasn’t had the time to finish properly. It is becoming more and more difficult to buy well-made and affordable products.
An experienced sewer can demonstrate that they have mastered the basic skills and are creative. Every item uses carefully chosen fabric, cut with care and stitched with an experienced and critical eye. They will present an item without a fault or flaw, which will last for many years.
This is what you are paying for in the ‘handmade’ label. So, if you want a premium quality item that will last for many years, then ‘yes’, handmade is worth paying extra for.