Saturday, January 30, 2010

Uganda Update

I am starting to get very excited about the upcoming Uganda project. I just got off the phone with John, our facilitator, and am getting full of ideas.

We will be spending most of our time at the villages of Busanna and Kasana. We will be staying at a small "hotel" in a nearby town. We will bring the ladies to the hotel in the mornings to do sewing since there is electricity at the hotel (we will need for lights and irons and any electric machines we use) as well as covering in case it rains. It rains a lot in Uganda this time of year.
In the afternoons we will be going back out the the villages to meet with the women again and do "workshops" on Christian living.

Life is so difficult for these women. When I was there last year, I saw the women working all day long. Most (not all) of the men sat in the middle of the village and played games, gambled, and drank. The women take care of the children, prepare the food, do all the cleaning and washing, help other families, and put up with abuse. There seems to be a lot of domestic violence in the villages, and some of them even have thier own peace-keepers (kind of like police.)

We want to give these women as much encouragement as possible, and tools for dealing with whatever kinds of situations they have to live with. Most of all, we want to share the love of Jesus and give them hope.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Uganda Bound - Again

I am so excited that I have the opportunity to go to Uganda again! For those of you who are new to my blog, last year I went to Uganda to teach women how to sew. It was awesome. Right now we are in the planning phase of another trip. We are planning on going March 27 to April 10.

Another woman from my church is going with me this year and we should be meeting two other women from back east (not sure where yet) who will be assisting us.
This is Karen and me.

Last year we went to Kampala, Busanna and Kasana, and I'm assuming we'll be going to the same areas this year. This year we will be teaching women how to sew skirts. Although there is electricity in the city of Kampala, it is very unpredictable. The villages do not have electricity, unless a generator is used for a special purpose - amazingly, all church services have loud PA systems! I think this year we will be using all treadle machines since they are more widely available there and certainly more practical. Last year we were unable to do the sewing in some of the villages due to unforseen events, and the women were disappointed. I am so glad that we will be able to go back this year and bring this opportunity to them! Many of the people (especially children) in these villages do not have any clothes at all. Last year I was the only one working with the sewing, so I am very thankful to have others with me this year.

Sewing is such a valuable skill. If you are reading my blog, chances are that you love sewing! It is so wonderful to be able to share a skill that not only do I love, but it is a skill that these women can use to provide clothing for their families and even produce income.

Time is short and I know the trip will be here before I know it. I still need to go get my shots, make up some sample skirts, and get my own things in order before we go. We will probably buy all the fabric there since they do have a "garment district" in the city of Kampala with some beautiful fabrics. The trip is going to end up costing around $4000.00, so we are in the fundraising stage right now.

If you are interested in helping the women of Uganda by supporting this ministry, I would really appreciate your support. Donations can be sent either directly to me or to International Messengers. If you mail your donation to International Messengers, please enclose a note stating that it is to support me (Nancy Winningham) so that the money will go to our mission trip. The address is:
International Messengers
PO Box 618
Clear Lake, IA 50428

If you prefer to send a check to me, please email me for my street address. My email is nwinning at gmail dot com.

I would also appreciate prayers for our ministry, that lots of women would come and that we would be able to work with them and share the love of Christ, that I would stay healthy in preparation and while on the trip, and for our safety while there.

There is still a lot of unrest in Uganda, and everywhere you go, you encounter corruption. The poverty is so extreme that I feel so insignificant while I'm there, but amazingly, the people are so grateful that we are even there.

I am so looking forward to doing this again and working with the women of Uganda. I thank you so much for all the prayers and support you can offer. For those of you who supported me last year, I can't begin to tell you what an impact you made, not only on these women, but on me as well. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

AS of late...

I have been a bad blogger. Things have been crazy-busy since we returned from Hawaii and school is sucking up all of my time. I'm hoping to get some sewing done this weekend. I did complete the first item for my swap: a black and white striped Tshirt with FOE at the neck and arms. Unfortunately, gremlins have absconded with my camera, so I have no pix.

I didn't make any New Years Resolutions this year, but I do have some goals. I am making great effort to change my diet to one of mostly Vegan fair. I've been doing pretty well with only one slip up of pizza and the other downfall has been staff meetings. They over-stress us with test score data and then throw chocolate candy at us.

I'm starting to make plans for another trip to Uganda, and will be giving more information in another post. I'm so excited to make this next trip as I have another friend who will be going with me to share in the sewing ministry.

On another note, my health has been really good this last year and my RA has been in remission most of the year. A couple of months ago it started biting back. Also, I may have ruptured another disk in my neck and am going in today for an MRI. I'm just praying that I don't have to have neck surgery again.

Kitties, Dobbo, and family are all well and we've been enjoying beautiful weather (that translates into little fog) Andy day that you can see the sky, cloudy or not, is a good day :-)

Well, that's my little update for now, although I hope to give a better post and show some sewing later this week. I'll have to borrow a camera though, I don't think I'm going to find mine :-(

Wednesday, January 06, 2010


I'm so glad I finally got some sewing done! Actually, I had to take today off work so that I could go to the doctor, so I used some time this afternoon to finish up these aprons. They really are belated Christmas presents for my brother and his girlfriend. First I made the black apron for my brother. He is a big Beatles fan, so when I found this fabric several months ago, I bought some thinking I would make a pillow or something. Then I got the idea for an apron for Christmas.

I had a hard time finding something that I thought Margie would like, but when I was at the fabric store I found this fabric and remembered that she is a "horse person" so thought it would be perfect.

I made both of the aprons this afternoon, so I have not given them to them yet. I hope they will like them.

The pattern is an old OOP Simplicity pattern, but I really like it because it has a variety of apron styles in it. Now I want to make one for myself. But first, I really want to get started sewing for my SWAP.

Monday, January 04, 2010

2009 in review

Sewing Resolutions

Well, it is time to look back at my goals from last year and see how I did. These were my goals - lets see how I did:

* 1. Make things that I love - I think I did make more things that I love. Some of my favorites are the gold blouse from BWOF:

The Loes Hinse Oxford pants. I’m wearing these all the time now, so I need to make a few more pair!

The NewLook 6802 dress. This dress is very flattering and I love wearing it.

* 2. Pants!
I made 7 pairs of pants this year, but only 3 of them are favorites. The LH Oxford pants are real favorites, and I also really like the Simplicity Amazing fit pants.
* 3. The great white shirt
The gold blouse that I made from BWOF will make the perfect long sleeved white shirt. I did, however, make 4 white shirts - all of which I do like and wear.
* 4. More out than in (fabric)
Well, I have no idea. Somehow I lost the book I was keeping track in, but I probably did not hit this goal.
* 5. BWOF - 7+
Wow! I barely made this goal. I made exactly 7 BWOFs this year.

* 6. make & use TNTs
Not only have I found some new TNTs this year, but 10 of the things I made this year were from patterns I had used at least once before.

* 7. Make a vintage pattern - I did not meet this goal, although I did make an apron from a “retro” pattern. I hope I can get to some of those vintage patterns this year!

All in all, I think I did pretty well on my goals last year. In total, I made 37 things this year: 9 pants/shorts; 15 tops, 4 skirts, 3 dresses, 2 jacket/toppers, 1 vest, 3 accessories/lingerie.

Friday, January 01, 2010


One of the things I want to incorporate into my SWAP is a little Sashiko. Sashiko is kind of like embroidery done with only running stitches. You can see a tutorial here. I first got interested in Sashiko when I read the book Sashiko Inspirations. I decided to get a kit while I was in Hawaii to help me get a better idea of stitch size and the feeling of the thread and needle.

My original idea was to incorporate this panel into one of the sections of the skirt I am making for the swap, but I think I may go back to one of the more traditional sashiko designs. I have not found sashiko thread in my area, but you can also use embroidery floss or pearl cotton. Sashiko thread has a duller sheen than the other two. I lost my needle at our resort, but found one in a pack of needles I had at home that was almost exactly the same. Any needle with a large enough eye and a sharp point will due. I did preshrink the thread because it is 100% cotton and I'm sure it would shrink. The preprinted design is great because it is water soluble ink and it flakes off with your fingernail, so you can "erase" it as you go. I'm almost done with this design now and am already thinking about what design I will now use on the skirt. I will probably use something similar to one of the designs shown below.

image from

Home Again

It may have been a rough start, but we had a wonderful, relaxing time in Maui. I'm such a sun lover that it was hard to come back to the valley fog. We have had some nice days lately, though and I love it when it is clear and bright.

I'm attempting to do the SWAP at stitcher's guild this year but am having a hard time getting started. I've been having some serious pain in my neck and shoulder all week and have spent most of my time trying to find ways to relieve it. I'm hoping to get motivated to start again tomorrow.
Here's DD & DS on Christmas eve: