I get a lot of stick from people when I tell them something I did was easy. Easy for you, is a common retort.
But when I say easy, I mean easy.
I don't mean, I turned my back and it just happened like magic. Nor do I necessarily mean it is something a blind monkey could do without the use of its good arm. But neither did I mean easy for someone used to professional level production in their chosen field.
But I do mean it was something that with basic skills in the area required little care.
Take the sewing of a skirt for example. It might be easy, or easy but tedious, or easy but fiddly, or actually quite difficult, or a total bitch, or, you know, forget it. There is a scale.
The skirt I made last weekend which has been much admired (mostly by me) was pretty easy. No complicated pieces to fit together, no fussy finishes, no lining even if you use the right fabric. It did have a zip, and I guess for some people that's hard (though I tell you - get at invisible zipper foot for your machine and for a very small investment a zipper will never freak you out again), but that's it for anything beyond the total basics.
The grey version did have lining, but that wasn't any harder, just a bit more sewing (I put that in the tedious basket). And the machine embroidery was similarly easy if a little tedious - round and round I went with the machine chug chug chugging. I deliberately chose the overlay of lines to remove the need for any kind of precision.
And I feel I can call it easy because I have made hard stuff. Fully faced, lined and tailored suits with welt pockets and covered and faced button holes, things with structure and engineering as well as fancy and mind bending complicated finishes and flourishes.
Some of those things require real skill, but quite a lot of them simply require time and persistence. A preparedness to unpick a dodgy sleeve ease, to sew a little more slowly while you poke and prod and stretch and manipulate piece together. a preparedness to try it on a few times to check fit and adjust it where needed.
There isn't much I sew these days that goes past the easy category, sometimes a little tedious (a bit more sewing, more embellishment to conceal the plainness of the garment or the crappy joins) and sometimes a little fiddly (like the collar on that black and white shirt from last weekend which wasn't hard but which could have looked bad if a little crooked or such).
So when people say they like something I made I often say it was easy. I'm not saying everyone should do all the things I do, but I do like to challenge people who feel they can't do something I have done. With the right materials and tools and good pattern selection most of the kinds of projects I do are totally achievable for even very beginners.
In fact while we were sewing last weekend there were a few conversations about exactly that - our self defeating beliefs about what we can do, and recognising the difference between the choice not to do something and our inability to do it. It's fine to decide you can't be fagged to knit socks, but there isn't anything about knitting socks that's so complicated that pretty much anyone couldn't learn how to do it should they choose.
I hold great respect for people who tackle really hard stuff - professional millinery, shoe making, silver smithing and so on, or who become astonishingly accomplished at anything (they are genuine artisans and craftspeople in the old fashioned sense of the word) and I do not compare myself to them. I am a garden variety crafter and happily so most of the time.
So I admire people who set out to learn new things, who take up quilting or spinning or knitting socks when they used to have no idea. Who make the time and the space and gather the will to do something new, even when it is something that's easy, or when their made objects are wonky and unpolished. I admire them not because of their specialist skills or perfect products but just because they did it.