I'm not going to lie, I am getting pretty good at making and designing garments. I make a lot of things for myself. However, I am constantly thinking about what I can make for my family and friends. Those are the projects I get most excited about.
However, I am often way wrong when I try to guess which pattern / color they will choose.
Take my mom for example. She is a typical (lovely) mid-western woman. If you don't know what that means, her style is mostly functional with a little flare. She only wears shoes that she can walk in all day if need be. She is a teacher after all. When we go shopping together, the first question is will I be comfortable in this all day long? No, don't buy it. Or will this necklace hurt my neck after an hour? Can I go to my kids soccer game and my other kids art show in this and then meet my sisters for dinner? Yes, excellent. Needless to say, I think of her as someone who goes for versatility and functionality.
My husband is athletic, does fieldwork for his job, and in general doesn't need to dress fancy a whole lot. I feel like he needs to be able to go from the office to digging in the dirt without pausing to think about his clothing. Trust me, this is normal - he's a scientist.
When I am pattern browsing for these two, I think timeless, simple, durable, and colors that match everything. Perhaps these:
Instead John was really excited about some colorwork in a fair isle pattern. I still think the colors I chose are too subdued for what he wanted...
Come on Carrie, these aren't that different. It's not like I made a crazy pattern from Stephen West or anything. Still, this felt pretty radical for John. Also, he has since asked me to make him a sweater from all of my leftover yarn!! It will be a sweater made up of browns, greens, pinks, purples, turquoise etc. He knows this and is stoked. He surprises me every day.
My mom is another quirky one. I thought she might like something like this...
Every time we are at a yarn shop, however, she gets excited at the most colorful and odd patterns in the shop! So I will be making this shawl for her birthday...
She doesn't know about it, so don't tell her. I hope is a good mix of quirk and functionality so that she will actually wear it.
Ultimately, I think mass production suppresses our individual flare. Perhaps getting something handmade makes people question what they really want, outside of quick consumer trends and play with the possibilities. I really hope this is the case.
Be quirky. Make something strange and wear it everywhere! I love the surprises.