6.23.2010

So I've been doing some sewing...

Over the last couple of weeks, I have spent more time than usual sewing. My sister's getting married, my friend just had a baby, and I had the privilege of sewing for a very special project called the red tent project.

The Red Tent Project was started by some adoptive families who wanted to provide sanitary napkins for girls/women in Ethiopia who cannot afford them. Many must use whatever they can find. Sometimes it's old newspapers that they put inside themselves. Other times it's dirty rags. This leads to infections, which are not being treated, either do to lack of financial resources or access to proper medical care.

Initially they were trying to send over disposable products, but this proved costly and was only a short term solution. So they got the idea to provide them with cloth pads that they can wash and reuse. These products are quite expensive to buy, so this adoptive mama wrote a blog post petitioning the help of sewists. Over 90 women participated/are participating in sewing for this project. Click here to read about the incredible response to this need.

What I love about this project is that they aren't just handing out pads on the street. They are giving them in packs with underwear and, best of all, education. I can't wait to see how this project continues to blossom. Here's my contribution.






My sister's getting married in just over a week! Jude is going to be the ring bearer and Indi the flower girl. We found this ring bearer pillow tutorial and my sister liked it, so I made it.



It was a lot of hand sewing. A LOT. It was one of those projects that I thought I could whip up in an hour on my machine, but took more like 8 hours. (I wasn't anticipating all of the hand sewing.) Thankfully, the great thing about hand sewing is that 1. I enjoy it and 2. I can do it while the kids are awake. For part of the time, we played music, the kids danced and we all sang while I went, stitch by stitch. There was so much love and vibrant energy in the room while I worked. It was a lovely reminder to slow down and savor each moment of life.

My friend recently had a baby so I wanted to sew something special for her little one. Given I was somewhat pressed for time, I kept it simple. I made this blanket using this tutorial.





The front is Anna Maria's Folksy Flannel and the back is her voile, which feels like silk. It's like wrapping yourself in buttery goodness. Amazing stuff, really. I want one of these blankets for myself! :)

I also made a changing pad for her. I use the ones I made for myself all the time (having two in diapers!) and I love them. The oilcloth side is great because it can be wiped down after each change.

I have officially busted my Folksy Flannel scrap pile on the this (and this and that)

The back is Anna Maria's oilcloth


Finally, not technically sewing, but still fabric related, we recently reupholstered some chairs. I found the fabric but it was Dan's handiwork.

Here's the before and after (or after and before as it were).




Ah, much better! Thank you, hon!

My handy husband also made this sweet heart for my sister's wedding. We're attaching it to Indigo's flower girl basket. (it's an outdoor wedding on my parent's farm).




13 comments:

  1. Wow - LOVE all of it! What a great thing about the pads for women and I love that you made them as darn pretty as possible.

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  2. I love your blog. Your friend Nicole Hofer Korensky suggested it because we are adopting from Ethiopia too. I have been looking for something I can do for Ethiopia. This is awesome! Is there a pattern somewhere?

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  3. becky - you can get the pattern by leaving a comment for the woman who's blogged i linked to (who's organizing this). she will email you a pattern.

    thank you for your kind words as well! :)

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  4. I am in awe....just in awe my friend.

    I can just picture your little ones dancing and the giggles, joy & love while you created that masterpiece!!

    Each piece is so beautiful and none moreso than the contribution for the Red Tent project as I know of the urgent and great need.

    Hugs to you all...enjoy the wedding!!

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  5. LOVE all your projects expecially the reusable pads - what a great idea! Maybe I need to take up sewing so I can get on that!

    Just met up with a family here in SA who has a 2 girls - 4 year old from China and a 16 month old from Ethiopia. I told her about you since her youngest and Evie are about the same age! Would love to maybe get together to introduce you all. I'm coming across more and more families who have adopted from Ethiopia and it's so exciting! Maybe we could form a group here =)

    Would love to get together soon!

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  6. kathryn,
    i would be happy to host a sewing party here, if you think we could generate enough interest from other adoptive families perhaps. i have a serger and a sewing machine. sewing is a lot of non-sewing: ironing, cutting, pinning, etc. so even non-sewists (vs sewers, haha!) could help. let me know if you might be interested in this.

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  7. You are amazing, seriously! What a great thing to do for those women! And that pillow is gorgeous! You'll have to tell your sis I say congratulations. :)

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  8. You always find the greatest fabric. I can tell you the stores in this part of TX do not have cute fabric like all the ones you find!

    Have a beautiful week!!

    (hey, my word verification is "ingio" So close to Indigo huh?)

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  9. Ok you two are the craftiest little gomers I have ever seen. I swear you need a reality show!

    love the pad idea! They are going to be so blessed by you guys!i really wish i could sew. I am soooo bad at it that my Home-Ec teacher told me that it was a good thing I was cute...Mean Old Bitty! lol!

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  10. I love that blanket! What a great, quick project for your friend. I bookmarked it as an easy baby gift. I love that Anna Maria oilcloth! I used the same pattern to cover Ro's table and chairs so they are easier to wipe off. Love it!

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  11. You are amazing Rachel! Your family is beautiful!! So glad you are all doing well!!!
    -Chrissy in California (AAA family)

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  12. That blanket is wonderful! I think I might make an attempt at it for a few friends who are having babies this winter. :)

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