I've been sewing my own clothes for years and knitting sweaters, hats and mitts. While making it myself is economical I also enjoy the design process and the chance to be creative. The appeal of making handmade goods is spreading. According to the U.S. Commerce Department, retail sales in crafts and related supplies is increasing. More people are doing a do-it-yourself Christmas because of the economic downturn and because people appreciate making things themselves. We're becoming more interested in sustainable living and realizing the health benefits of crafting as a major form of stress reflief. Even people who don't have the time to create their own gifts are buying handmade gifts directly from artists on sites like etsy.