General ramblings

Wonk

May 24, 2013

The other day, for reasons that will remain unexplained and enigmatic, I had a long day, child-free with little else to do all day other than surf the net.

So, what’s a girl to do? I surfed the net!

And I found this great blog, called Ginger Hendrix, or maybe Weiner Dog Tricks, I’m not sure, by an incredibly funny lady called Ginger Hendrix. And I LOVE it!
In her own words, Ginger is “a writer; sewer (the people who use the thread and the machine, not the pipe); thrifter; gluer; maker of things. Huge fan of the word Maker.” And did I mention she is incredibly funny?

I often find lots of the ‘lifestyle’ type blogs incredibly a little bit depressing. They photos are always brilliantly lit and composed, the children always smiling and beautiful and the house is always neat and tidy and decorated with impeccable taste. Much like my very own blog and my very own life. NOT.

So this blog is a breath of fresh air to me. Yes, the photos are pretty amazing, and about a million times better than anything I ever manage to snap, but she talks with refreshing honesty and brilliant humour, about living with a husband and 3 children, and trying to MAKE.

AND all the lovely things she makes are from reclaimed fabric. That’s right, from the ‘thrift store’ (that’s American for charity shop-sounds way cooler). With a particular penchant for polyester. What this woman hasn’t made with polyester, can’t be made with polyester. I think I too am starting to fall in love with polyester, and feel the need for a charity shop/car boot rummage to find some polyester.

There are a series of ‘pep talks’ on the blog, and they are all wonderful. I implore you to go and read them all. Very slowly and very thoroughly. And to inwardly digest.

Ginger implores us to “Grow a Pair” when it comes to making things and just give it a go.
I relate to this. I don’t know what scares me sometimes about sewing, or attempting to sew, but I often am a more than a little cautious about making a start. I have no idea why-what’s the worst that can happen? I mess it up, and have to unpick and start again? That’s not the end of the world. It’s annoying, and frustrating, but not the end of the world. And as long as you’re not using £40 a metre antique fabric, it shouldn’t really be a big deal.

And then my favourite Pep-talk is about embracing Wonk.
Wonk is…you know, when you make something and it’s a bit wonky and not quite perfect. That’s Wonk.

Here are some examples on things I have made (actually, these are ALL just on ONE thing-that’s how much Wonk there is in my sewing….)

Very 'un-neat' finishing...

Very ‘un-neat’ finishing…

A VERY wibbly wobbly hem line...

A VERY wibbly wobbly hem line…

A nice bit of fraying at the top where I failed to fold it all under properly...

A nice bit of fraying at the top where I failed to fold it all under properly…

I am always uber critical when I make things, and think that if it’s not perfect and shop quality then it’s not really good enough.

But surely that is the point. You’ve made something. Not bought something from a shop or a catalogue and it is not going to be perfect. And it is that bit of wonk that means that you have made it and that you have put love and thought and time into making it. And that really, it is the process of making, rather than the end product that is the point.
So from now on, I am embracing Wonk. I am actively celebrating Wonk.

And I think you should all join me..!

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  • Reply Shauna June 5, 2013 at 2:09 am

    Thankyou for this post on Wonk….several months ago I thought I’d take it upon myself to create slipcovers for our lounge setting.I am not a sewer at all but had seen a blog about how to make slipcovers and it looked sooo easy…so gave it a go.I have covered the first armchair and it has serious wonk…so much that it put me off trying to finish the other chair and three seater lounge!!However after reading this and seeing your photos i feel I can face it again and attempt to finish it.And I will embrace it in all its wonkiness because I am encouraged that I am not alone in having a go and so what if its not perfect!Love this site by the way!

    • Reply Jen June 5, 2013 at 10:23 am

      Thankyou so much Shauna. So glad that you are going to try again. A little bit of Wonk is to be embraced-who cares if it’s not quite perfect-at least you’ve given it a go, and if nothing else, you will learn from the experience! Good Luck. Let us know how it goes 🙂

  • Reply kneehighmum May 27, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    Love the idea of Wonk – in all things and not just those sewn (I’ve given up on trying to creat beautiful cakes that DONT sink in the middle and have a funny tale about a friend donating a cake to the playgroup fete and a member of the playgroup committee taking it home to ‘re-ice’ so that it would look more Martha Stewart/Kirstie Allsop!!).

    • Reply Jen May 27, 2013 at 8:49 pm

      Wonk in all things should be embraced! Not sure I would ever have the balls to take someone else’s cake home to re-ice-bet your friend was mortified!

  • Reply Jo aka Kiwijo May 26, 2013 at 7:41 am

    Most of my sewing has added wonk, it happens all on its own, how clever is that! :o)

  • Reply --ginger. May 25, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    It’s official: we are friends. 🙂

    What a lovely post. Thank you so much. Can’t wait to see what you do with polyester!

    • Reply Jen May 26, 2013 at 6:02 am

      Yay! No problem at all 🙂 Will let you know how how my polyester hunt goes..!

  • Reply knitstitchsew May 25, 2013 at 11:48 am

    Wonk is the best thing I’ve heard in ages! I am a maker of all things wonk. (But lovely none the less!)

    • Reply Jen May 25, 2013 at 7:02 pm

      Hurray for wonk! I bet they are all fabulous 🙂

  • Reply Jo May 25, 2013 at 3:26 am

    Do show us what you were making out of ..old jeans? And sunny yellow?

    • Reply Jen May 25, 2013 at 9:09 am

      It was a skirt I made ages ago. Will post the picture on FB!

  • Reply Jen May 24, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    That sounds very like the sort of thing I would do-brilliant!

  • Reply mehubbyandthekids May 24, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    Hear! Hear! I have often made things that I then don’t wear for fear it looks “homemade”. I used to dread people asking if I had made an outfit I was wearing as that to me was proof that it was shoddy looking!

    Nowadays I am a bit more relaxed (only slightly) and try to take the dreaded “did you make that?” as a compliment. So what if its not perfect, People like character. I think…….

    • Reply Jen May 24, 2013 at 7:31 pm

      They do. Or they will if I have anything to do with it. I am always so chuffed it I can wear something I have made without it falling apart..! Sounds like you are doing much better than me 🙂

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