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Feature on Clothing

Page history last edited by Anna Delaney 10 years ago

By: Anna Delaney

 

Some of us shop only designer, some of us shop only bargain bin, and some of us hardly shop at all (well, for clothes at least). These people are makers of clothing and accessories.

 

Beth Graham, a yarn seller at Shall we Knit in St. Jacob's, is one such maker. She started knitting seven years ago when she noticed all her friends were knitting, and she wanted to jump on the band-wagon, she said. Graham knits socks, scarves, and sweaters because she can make exactly what she wants.

 

"Socks I can make myself, I can fit to my large, skinny feet," said Graham. "And they fit better, and they feel better, and they look better, I think."

 

Graham is like a lot of makers, she makes items for herself instead of buying similar products in places like Wal-Mart. Other makers, like Jackie Vass, make products for themselves and for others. Vass started making jewelry four years ago after her and her husband retired from the pottery making business. She currently sells her work at St. Jacob's.  Since she also wears the jewelry she makes, she often sells pieces right off of her neck, she said.

 

"Then I go put another one on, and some days I've gone through three necklaces that I wear," said Vass with a laugh.

 

But there's more to makerculture than simply making for the self or for profit. There is also an element of sharing between makers. Marie Sharpe, the head costume designer at the Arts and Culture Centre in St. John's, N.L., began making her own clothes as a teenager and turned her passion into a career. Although she makes most of the costumes for various shows herself, she uses donations from the community to build her collection of costumes.

 

The costume bank has become a place for people to bring things that are precious to them, said Sharpe. If people in the community have things from their parents who passed away, they know the heirlooms will be taken care of here, she said.

 

"(People would say) I don't want to put Dad's top hat in the Good Will, or Mom's fur coat, or Mom's beautiful evening gloves," said Sharpe. "She loved this stuff so much. I could give it to a charity for it to go in a bin. But if I give to you, you'll use it in a show, and then it lives on."

 

 

 

 

Websites:

 

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1528122/what_is_maker_culture_diy_roots.html: an artcile about makerculture by Todd McCall for Associated Content, to give extra background information

 

http://readymade.com a do-it-yourself guide in magazine form, which dedicates a section for do-it-yourself clothing instructions

 

http://stjohns.artsandculturecentre.ca/main.asp the homepage for the Arts and Culture Centre in St. John's, NL where Marie Sharpe works as the Head Costume Designer

 

http://www.therovingspinners.com a website which provides more information on the yarn sold at Shall we Knit in St. Jacob's, where Beth Graham works

 

http://www.needlesandpins.ca/about.html a knitting store in London which sells various types of yarn and supplies for knitters

 

 

 

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