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Sewing for Charity Projects

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Sewing for Charity Projects

 

sewing for charity projectsIf you’re anything like me and many others who enjoy sewing, you’re going to end up with a large stash of extra fabric and embellishments. Do you go to the craft store and buy reels of ribbon from the bargain bin, off cuts of fabric at 75% off? Charity shop bargains you plan to cut down and upcycle?

You walk into your craft/spare room and start to wonder what you’re going to do with it! Of course, this is all done with the best of intentions and your stash grows to mammoth proportions. Making things for charity is a great way to upcycle and use your stash, so I’ve come up with some sewing for charity projects.

There are numerous charity organizations all over the world that would be grateful to receive donations you’ve sewn yourself. Using your sewing skills this way is a win win situation, you get to do something you love and at the same time you’re helping those less fortunate than yourself.

There is a sewing for charity project out there that will fit your skills and which you’ll enjoy making. You could be a quilter, stuffed toy maker, make baby clothes and toys or just enjoy sewing generally! You can make items, like blankets or pillowcases, for use around the home, anything you might make for your friends and family you can make for a charity organization.

Quilts and Bedding

 

There are many charitable organizations who accept quilts and other bedding items which are handmade. These organizations range from your local homeless shelters to orphanages around the world. With a Google search you can find charities local to you; or larger organisations who organise shipments of useful items to places torn apart by war, catastrophic weather etc.

If you can sew 2 pieces of fabric together then you can make a scrap quilt or “crazy” quilt. These are made from a variety of fabric scraps like old clothing or fat quarters left from a project and are very easy to make. You don’t need any special sewing skills to make these and by following my simple tutorial you’ll have a useful patchwork quilt made in no time.

Another simple project is making pillowcases and I’ve found this great tutorial video (from the Missouri Quilt Company), making pillow cases for charity. I love the technique used to create the pretty trim!

 

Stuffed Toys and Fabric Books

 

fabric bookThere are charities all over the world that help neglected and abused children, donating toys and books is a great way to help. Sewing for a children’s organization is a wonderful opportunity to help others.

Some local police officers and fire fghters carry a supply these toys and books in their vehicles, ready to give comfort to children when a tragedy happens. Children’s toys can be simple to make; like this plush baby toy and handmade fabric books can be easy to sew too; as demonstrated in the video below.

Clothing Projects for Charity

 

pillowcase dressThere are various types of clothing needed for charity which are easy to sew (and knit if you’re also a knitter). This article gives you 25 ways you can make a baby/toddler dress, including one from an old pillow case!

Search in your local directory for charities you can contact for donating your projects; and also for advice on what is needed more urgently.

 

 

Chemotherapy patients appreciate head coverings, and this article describes the importance for self-esteem during these debilitating treatments. Contact your local health authority to find the place to donate these items to. This is another “how to” video on how to make a simple head covering.

 

No matter what your sewing ability, or your financial status, you can sew (or knit) for charity. Whether you make crazy quilts out of old cast-off clothing, or you make chemotherapy caps for cancer patients, your items will be used and appreciated. So why not start today, dig into your stash and start sewing for charity.

I’d love to hear about you your sewing for charity projects so feel free to leave a comment below or contact me and I’ll update this post with your creations.

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How to Patchwork Quilt

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I don’t know how to patchwork quilt so take this journey with me and we’ll work together to create a patchwork pram quilt. I have another Grandbaby on the way and thought this would make a great gift. There are plenty of tutorials and advice, I’ve already done my research, and am ready to get started!

I’m going to do this ‘How to patchwork quilt’ tutorial in 3 parts. This will give us time to complete each part before moving onto the next.

I have the materials that I need having taken advantage of the special offer from Hobbycraft (see here) and buying the half price fat quarters (Fat quarters are usually 56cm wide x 50cm, (22 inches x 18 inches)). I’m using an unwanted quilt cover for the backing and some of the patchwork squares.

What is a Patchwork Quilt?

A quilt is described Elaborate Quiltas being a type of blanket composed of three layers. A top layer, a layer of batting or wadding in the middle and a fabric back. Quilting is where the layers are stitched together with either simple or very elaborate patterns. (Image “Russellquiltera” by Russell Lee Courtesy of Wikipedia)

Patchwork is described as simple patchworkneedlework that involves sewing geometric pieces of fabric together to form a large piece. Generally the larger piece is based on repeating patterns built up with the fabric shapes. The simplest form is squares, which you can see in this image.

 

So, a patchwork quilt is using the pieced patchwork to form the top layer of your quilt.

Of course, there is much Elaborate quiltmore to this kind of sewing. There are some beautiful examples like the picture on the right. (“Korea-Joseon-Bojagi-01” by by angela n.)

I’m keeping it simple for my first attempt by using a basic square patchwork.

 

Lets get started.

Based on an existing pram cover I’ve decided to make my pram quilt 61cm x 81.4cm (24″ x 32″) with each square being 10cm (4″)

If I’ve done my calculations correctly that means I’ll need 48 squares. There’ll need to be a seam allowance added so I’ll add 1.27cm (1/2″) to each square.

Materials.

  • A piece 61cm x 81.4cm (24″ x 32″) How to quilt materialsfor the backing.
  • A piece of wadding/batting 61cm x 81.4cm((24″ x 32″).
  • Colourful fabric for cutting the squares. I’m using two of the fat quarters mentioned earlier plus a one fat quarter cut from the backing. So that’s three fat quarters.
  • Rotary cutter and self-healing mat (optional, you can use scissors).

Instructions.

The next step is vey important; IRON YOUR FABRIC! For accuracy when sewing the squares together this needs to be done. You’ve cut out your backing and wadding piece so now it’s time to cut out the squares. There are special patchwork and quilting rulers for this, like this one here Sew-Easy Patchwork Quilting Ruler 24×6-1/2in. I don’t have one of these so I’m going to mark out the squares with tailors chalk and a mitred ruler.

Lay the three fat quarters on top of each Fabric choiceother and mark out 48 x 11.27cm (4.4″)squares.

 

 

 

 

Measuring the squares

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once you have all the squares Fabric Squares Cut outmarked out it’s time to start cutting. Cut along the long length first. You’ll then have 4 separate lots of fabric. Cut along the markings you made earlier to form the squares.

You should now have 48 neatly cut squares ready to start forming the patchwork.

 

The next step is to lay out the squares in the pattern you want to sew them. That will be covered in Part 2 of How to Patchwork Quilt.

I’m really enjoying learning and will definitely want to do more patchwork quilting. I found this great resource where you can download all the quilting patterns you want – it’s FREE!

If you have any questions or comments about this tutorial please comment below or contact me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Festival/Utility Belt

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Ever seen a cool looking festival/utility belts, you easily make your own with an old pair of trousers and scraps of fabric. It can be used at festivals but staying on the theme of Upcycled Baby items you can keep your own bits and pieces in it when you’re trying to juggle baby and paraphanalia! I made this festival/utility belt up as I went along, but you can let your imagination run wild for pockets and trims.

MATERIALS

I started with a pair of cords, a fake leather jacket, (both off bargain rail in charity shop) and some vintage fabric given to me by my Mum..

Materials

Instructions

I wanted the belt to be adustable, size 10 to 14 (UK measurement) so I cut off the trouser legs (leg length was 30″), turned one leg inside out then put one leg inside the other right sides together.

1Leg Inside Other

Cut along the top to straighten, then pin and stitch.

CutToStraighten

Turn right side out and you’ll be left with a long tube.

LongTube after being sewn together

The next thing to do is shape the bottom edge, I used an existing festival belt for this,.Turn the tube inside out and draw the shape with tailor chalk then cut it out.

Cut Shape

CutShape2

Stitch along 2 long sides and 1 short side, if you don’t use an overlocked seam trim (use pinking shears if you have them). Turn right side out and give it a press.

Sewn and turned right sides out

This is the basic belt so now it’s time to think about pockets. The jacket already had zips in the cuffs so I utilised 1 cuff by cutting it off and sewing up the 2 sides leaving the zip in place.

Cuff Pocket

For the next pocket I used the vintage fabric. I wanted a mobile phone to fit in it so took measurements from that but doubled the fabric for extra strength. Remember to leave a bit of room to allow for the thickness of the phone.

MoBile Phone pocket measurement

Keeping the folded edge for the top of the pocket stitch 3 sides and trim seams. I used the neck fastener from the jacket for the fastener on this pocket, you can use your imagination here or Velco (hook and loop fastener) works well.

Phone-Pocket laid in place with fastener

This gives you some ideas for making pockets. Depending on what you want to carry you can make pockets to suit with any scraps you have. It’s also useful to make a discreet pocket on the inside for carrying money/credit cards. I used some of the trouser fabric that was left, overlocked the edges then folded the piece so there was a flap and stitched it to the back of the belt. A bit of Velcro under the flap to fasten so there’s nothing to rub against the skin works well.

Secret-Pocket

 

Position the pockets onto the belt then stitch them on. I had to hand sew the “cuff” pocket as the seam was too thick for the sewing machine. Sew on any fasteningsDepending on what you used or your taste a little bit of trimming can be added. I had some in my stash (picked up from a sale in Hobbycraft) which I thought was a good match.

trimming Finished

TIP: Keep your eye on the bargain bins in craft shops, there’s quite often end pieces of trimming from the large “by the metre” rolls

Finally it’s time to get the press studs on. To make it adustable use 6 and sew them on at an angle. It’s useful to have a model here to position the studs! I sitched mine on but you can use the snap fastener rivet type.

Stud fasteners sewn on

Finished

And that’s it, lots of scope to use your artisticness (is that a word?)! This is my grandaughter with the belt on (excuse the photobombing Rosie dog!).

Festival/handy belt on Eve

Festival/utility belt on Eve 2

Festival/Utility belt on Eve photo bombed by dog

 

 

 

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