Category Archives: Volunteer

Pattern Winner and Projects

I’m sorry for the delay in posting the winner of the Vida pattern.  I wanted to wait until I had more sewing projects to share, and that has taken some time.  Our pattern winner is Denise!!!  Congratulations Denise – I hope you’ll enjoy making some of these Vida dresses for the special little girls in your life!

I’ve been busy sewing more Christmas things for the kids.  I have 2 more Disney outfits finished for Livvy and Liam.

For Livvy, I made the Children’s Corner “Callie” pattern, but shortened it to be a top rather than a dress.  I’m pretty sure that this pattern has been discontinued, though you may still be able to find it at some of the heirloom shops.  I loved the princess carriage embroidery design and I’m sure that she will as well.  Every princess needs a knight in shining armor, so that’s what Liam is getting.  I’m sure that he will enjoy the fierce knight!

 

 

I also managed to finish up some of my Sweet Cheeks diaper covers.  The pattern is available in my Etsy shop.  These were complete, only lacking the ribbons.  I don’t love those tedious little hand sewing jobs, so after months of sitting on my sewing table to be finished, I finally have them done!

These 2 are the tiniest sizes, appropriate for preemies or Bitty Baby size dolls.

I do like adding the gingham bias for the leg casings!  That little bit of color is so sweet!

The next diaper cover is the largest size – a 24 mo.  I was thrilled to have the perfect 2-color ribbon in my stash that I could use for the bows.  I think they really set the diaper set off beautifully!!!

In addition to that sewing, I’ve been working on class material for the Make Welcome Sewing School.  I have taken on the challenge of creating small projects and then writing up the instructions so that the could be followed by anyone – even those with limited or no ability to read English.  I hope to have someone test them and let me know if I’m on track with these.  The students will make this up in class, so the instructions are so that they can make them again when they get home if they want.  Here’s what part of a page looks like:

Writing instructions such as these take time to get written and illustrated properly.  I am enjoying the challenge and hope that many of the ladies will benefit from them.  I have stitched several projects, but have only written up 2 class instructions so far.  I’ll continue working on those as time permits.  Some of the projects need to be tweaked to make them easier to sew, such as this table runner.

The next runner will just be a simple pieced rectangle.  I think that will be easier for the beginners to turn those corners rather than have these odd angles to work with.

At the end of our class last week, we had a woman come in with a suggestion to make a simple apron that could be used for post-mastectomy patients to hold their drainage apparatus.  She told us how helpful it was to have the apron.  She gave us the one that she had, which was falling apart, and I took it home and made up an apron and have since written up instructions.  These should be easy for our ladies to stitch up.  This is a great way to use up small pieces of fabric and trims and it’s fun to decorate them as well.  I am sure that there will be lots of creative decorating once we get the ladies sewing these!  I should have used a darker thread to stitch out my “hope” word. In person it’s easier to read, but it certainly doesn’t show up well in my picture.

As you can see, I’ve been busy sewing!!!  I’ve also been busy working on new patterns/classes.  Now, what will be next?

Kathy

Sewing, sewing, sewing…..

I’ve been sewing a LOT since my last post, but many of the things aren’t quite finished, which is why I haven’t posted about them.  😛  However, without having deadlines, who knows when they will be finished, so I’ll go ahead and post the nearly finished things.  LOL!

First, I thought I should sew one of the Tamarack jackets from Grainline Studio that we are making in the class with the refugee women at Project 658’s Make Welcome Sewing School.  I felt better prepared after making the jacket.  Of course, it is lacking the closures.  The pattern recommends snaps.  We’ll see – might be buttons.

There are many of the instructions that I don’t care for, so some of them I did my way, while others I went with the pattern directions, but would do them my way next time.  I love the fabrics that I chose for the jacket, but I’m not sure that I’m a fan of the jacket.  Perhaps that’s why it isn’t finished!

If you decide to make this jacket, I would recommend quilting rectangles large enough to accommodate the pattern pieces and then cutting out the pieces after they have been quilted.  Quilting does shrink up the fabric a little and if you follow the pattern directions, which have you cut the lining, face fabric and lining of each piece, then sandwich them together and then quilt – well, the pieces don’t end up matching correctly at the edges, no matter how carefully you cut and stitch.  Then the quilted piece isn’t the same size as the pattern piece. I quilted first, then cut – much more accurate.

I chose to bind the seams inside, but am not a fan of how the bound seams match up with the bias outer edges (which has the very edge cut and unfinished).  Next time I’ll do a Hong Kong seam and I’ll finish the edges of the bias binding properly.  The pattern indicated to stop the side seam stitching at the “dot”, which is above the bias band.  I didn’t like that look so I stitched to the bottom of the bias binding.  I followed the pattern directions for the welt pocket, but will never use that method again.  I don’t believe that it is durable enough for constant use of the pockets.  One of the other volunteers teaches a more traditional way to stitch the pocket, which is how I’ve done them in the past.  I’ll continue using the traditional method in the future.  I like to try the pattern directions, but after that, things are done the way that I prefer.  Anyway, this is project #1 that is “nearly” finished.

Then, the next projects were supposed to be stitched while enjoying a sewing retreat at the beach with some special friends.  After a week of getting projects planned and supplies kitted, meal planning, grocery shopping and meal prep, hurricane Florence arrived and changed those plans!  Since I’d made kits for each dress, all the fabrics, trims, threads, etc. and the hard decisions were made, the kit made it easy to take out one project and move forward.  I had my “retreat” at home.

The first project I cannot show since it will hopefully make its’ debut in Classic Sewing magazine next summer.  Here’s a sneak peek – ignore the stray thread!  Hahaha!!!!  How did I miss that one???

Then I moved on to more Vida dresses that will be Christmas gifts.  These are for Ella and Eva, so the same prints in different colors.  You may remember that Livvy has the Minnie Mouse dress.  Of course, both of these are missing the buttons and buttonholes and I’m still deciding if they need a monogram or appliqué somewhere.

This was my quick, unprofessional cell phone picture of the dresses carefully placed on the coffee table!  LOL!  I love the Tilda fabrics and have been saving them for the right dresses and these were just the ticket!  Once I decide about what else is needed, I’ll have those finished and put away until December.

I also started another Minnie Mouse Vida dress for Livvy’s other cousin, but had to set it aside as I’m waiting on the last of the fabric to arrive.  So, another UFO – we’re up to 4 now.  🙄

In addition to all the fun sewing for the grandkids, I’ve been doing some sewing for Caleb Ministry, which is such a wonderful ministry to women suffering miscarriage/loss.  I have made 4 boy gowns with matching caps (the tiniest size doesn’t get a copy).  Thankfully, these are all finished!!!  No UFO’s.  I tried different thread colors to try to get the best match for the corded pintucks.  I think my favorite is the middle gown.  Now, to mark that one so that I know the next time!

The next thing I  tackled was embroidering hankies that are put in the memory boxes.  I think I embroidered about 20 of these.  The stitching goes quickly, but the prep work and set up takes forever.  The hankies need to be washed, ironed, starched and then marked for embroidery.  They do seem to take forever just to get little feet stitched on them.  I’m not a fan of production style sewing or the amount of stabilizer used for these, so these are definitely a labor of love.

The last group of embroidered items are the blankets.  I was given these blankets to embroider – someone else stitched the blanket edges.  They did such a nice job with the rolled hem edge – something I haven’t been able to master on my serger!  I think that there’s about 15 of these – 3 different sizes.

So, you can see that I had my personal sewing “retreat” and loved spending the time sewing with few interruptions.  It was good to have all that distraction from the hurricane happenings.  My thoughts and prayers go to all of those whose lives have been affected by this disaster!

After all that stitching, I cleaned up the sewing room and last night I cut out 2 dresses for the little girls.  I hope to start on them this week but need to do some cleaning in the rest of the house first!

What have you been stitching?  Have you started Christmas sewing yet?

Kathy

 

New Sewing Opportunity with Make Welcome!!!

I’ve been busy working on a dress for the magazine, so I have nothing that I can show now for my sewing projects.  LOL!  You’ll just have to wait to see this one.  Maybe next summer!   But, in the meantime, I’ve found a new ministry that can use my sewing skills and I’m so thrilled to be part of it!

This week I had the opportunity to spend 2 mornings sewing with the refugee women at their sewing school.  This is the most wonderful, well thought out ministry that falls under the umbrella of Project 658.  Beth Pickney and Julie Caminesch started this sewing ministry and more recently it has joined with Project 658.  Project 658 encompasses so many areas that minister to the needs of the refugee population.  It is located close to neighborhoods where they live and has multiple ministries, including ESL classes, culinary classes, a medical clinic, Bible studies for homeless, after school enrichment programs, the Make Welcome sewing school and much more!

They provide childcare in the mornings so that anyone participating with little ones can still attend any of these classes free of charge.  At lunch time, the culinary students serve a delicious meal (and plenty of it!) to anyone that has been involved that morning from the little ones to the homeless and all the employees.  The food is delicious!!!  I’ve been so impressed with everything about this ministry and know I’ll be blessed by being part of it!

There were 7 ladies at the Tuesday morning beginner sewing class.  Beth did an amazing job teaching them, starting at the basics of the sewing machine and the sewing tools and then moving on to let them test drive the machines.  There are 8 machines for students to use.  They did a great job!

The Wednesday class is making the Tamarack jacket by Grainline Studio.   They spent the morning cutting out their fabrics and batting for the jackets.  Next week the sewing will begin.  Almost EVERYTHING that these ladies use has been donated except for the sewing machines which have been purchased.  EVERYTHING!!!  Check out the wall of fabrics.  One of the other volunteers, Lisa, spent much of the summer organizing the fabrics!  Doesn’t it look great!

The sewing school has a dedicated space at Project 658, so at the end of the class, everything is put in the proper bins and ready for the next class.  Classes are currently Monday – Thursday mornings and there’s a waiting list of ladies that want to participate!

Even if you aren’t in Charlotte, you can still participate by supporting this wonderful ministry!  I hope you’ll consider it!  You can go to the this link.  I know that every dollar donated will be appreciated and will go towards supplies for the classes.  This is a non-profit agency, so all donations are tax-deductible.

Not only do the ladies learn how to sew in this school, but they have the opportunity to “earn” a sewing machine just by attending classes!  They have to pay only 1/4 of the cost of the machine after they have attended enough classes.  Many women have done this and now know how to sew AND have a sewing machine at home.

The ministry works hard to find sewing opportunities for the graduates of the school that are interested in employment.  These 2 ladies come in each morning and sew on 2 of the other machines doing all sorts of sewing projects.

One day they were making men’s ties for a cottage industry that sells them.  Here they are sewing labels into t-shirts for another company.  There is a mother/daughter team that sews headbands at home (1000 or more each week!!!) for another cottage industry.  Holly and Sage owner, Jennifer not only volunteers, but also employees 4 of the ladies to make her line of children’s clothing.  There are other businesses that provide opportunities as well – I’m still figuring all of this out.  But, what an amazing ministry for these women!!!  They are paid fair wages for their work and can work from home or can come in and sew on site.

This is truly showing hospitality and the face of Christ to so many of the refugee and immigrant population in Charlotte!!!  I am so thrilled to be a small part of this ministry and look forward to getting to know the ladies as well as everyone else there.

So, to keep up with the ladies, I’ve purchased my pattern, have it taped and ready to trace off my size and I’ll be making my jacket at home so that I can be one step ahead of the group and be able to answer any questions that might come up.  Of course, the other fabulous volunteers have already been involved in teaching this class and have answers for everything!  I know I can count on them.  🙂

Keep on stitching!!!