Buy less, buy better

My family and I have spent the last two Christmases in the magical town of HoiAn in central VietNam. We agreed not to buy presents and Christmas lunch was a roast pork baguette with a cold beer in our favourite cafe. It was heaven! We have tried to replicate the layback, no fuss feelings of those Christmases this year, at home . The new rules are: one present each and keep everything else simple.

Gift giving

With only one present per person I want each gift to be extra special.

I found some practical help in the latest edition of Selvedge Magazine. A very interesting piece entitled Buy Less, Buy Better. The article helped me think about my gift giving options and as I shopped I found Buy Less, Buy Better a useful mantra to have in my head.

Buying less is the easy part but when you only give one present it puts the pressure on to buy better. But what is better exactly?

Embracing the makers movement

The Selvedge piece asks us to consider our gift-giving as an opportunity to invite family and friends to “embrace the maker movement.’ To give gifts that provide enabling experiences, for example a gift that includes some form of making.  A kit to make a kite, a needlepoint cushion,  or a cookbook all come with the expectation the receiver of the gift will make something and along the way may enjoy:

  • learning something new
  • developing new or existing skills
  • problem solving
  • tactile experiences
  • sharing with others
  • the lasting satisfaction of having made something themselves.

N is for #Needlepoint

It has never been easier to find a gift that provides such experiences with kits available in shops and online for everything from A-Z. And don’t forget,  N for #needlepoint.

There is a seemingly endless choice for every age and interest with tutorials, books and online communities there to help successfully “make stuff”.

Another aspect of buying better is the important considerations of the social and environmental impact of the gifts we choose.

  • Who, how and where is it was made?
  • Is it sustainable?
  • Was the maker paid a fair wage?
  • Will your present last beyond the new year?

A better Studio Stitches

In 2019  I changed the packaging of my kits to include a calico drawstring bag instead of the plastic zip bag I’ve been using for some years. It felt good to provide customers with a sustainable alternative and tick the list above.

I hope you find your perfect gifts this Christmas and perhaps resolve that 2020 will be your year to buy less, but better.

Thank you for your support over 2019. I wish you a joyful holiday season and hope 2020 is a fabulous year for you.

I have a number of exciting new projects to share in the new year, including an Aussie themed Christmas stocking, ready for giving next Christmas.

Happy stitching!


PS #Selvedge magazine – The Fabric of Life- This is a great gift idea, subscribe to this extraordinary bi-monthly magazine or gift it.

Selvedge is filled with well researched, beautifully photographed articles about all things textiles past and present from all over the world. The latest issue is all about silk. I get the digital version of the magazine so I can access articles, shops, exhibitions, galleries etc it on my iPad when I’m travelling.



  1. Utta Brown says:

    For me ‘19 has been the year of two hip replacements & recovery.
    My darling sisters gift of her Studio Stitches “Hanoi” cushion kit, has been a wonderful diversion. Not being a “ sitter” , I have loved the rhythmic process of needle & thread though canvas, a soothing balm when sitting is required!
    I hope to continue to stitch into the new year & beyond. Thank you Barbara!x

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