Sunday, November 20, 2016

Fall creations and more

I haven’t been sewing as much as I’d like to, but I’m getting back in my groove.  I’ve been working on Christmas presents for my family and just finished this afghan for my son.  It was supposed to be his present last year, but oh well!  I do love Tunisian Crochet.  This pattern is from the book, Get Hooked on Tunisian Crochet by Sheryl Thies.  I really love this book.

I have done a little sewing, and made this outfit for the grand daughter.  She has been asking for a gold skirt forever.  Well, she finally got it!  This was her birthday outfit. 


She also got THIS little thing for her birthday (from me of course!)  I LOVE It.  She really can use it and made a little simple felt purse on it (but I forgot to take a picture of it.)  Next I want to teach her to make a skirt.  She is only five, but doing a great job!  I've read lots of good reviews about the durability of this machine, so I couldn't resist.  Plus, since it sits in my sewing room, it's like having a new toy myself!

I have been busy preparing for another trip to Uganda.  This year my friend Sylvia is going with me and we will be going for 3 weeks in January.  The ladies have requested to learn how to make panties and menstrual pads. After combing the internet and pinterest, and making a few different samples, we finally found our “winners.”

The panties will be made from this pattern.  The only thing I don’t like about it is that the crotch lining is too small.  I will add about 1” to the length of the lining.  These panties are easy to make and fit will.  They are the winner in my book.

We sort of came up with our own design for the menstrual pads.  They will come in 2 parts.  The outer piece is the one that will snap around the crotch of the panties.  The “pad” part is actually 2 layers of flannel fabric (7 inch square) sewn together.  This is folded in thirds, giving six layers of absorbency.  

The advantages of this design are
  1. They can use more than one liner if needed for heavier days or night time
  2. The cotton outer fabric is comfortable and pretty
  3. The snap design is clever, but a safety pin can be used if they don’t have access to snaps
  4. The inner layer will dry quickly when washed and unfolded to dry.
We are also blessed that a couple of the teens at our church are willing to do a test run on these for us.  We want to make sure they work well and there are no problems that we didn't foresee.  I'm way beyond the point of being able to test them out myself!

In Uganda, will be working with about 20 ladies at a time who do not speak English.  We will only have a few sewing machines, so much will be done by hand.  This will be a challenge.  Also, the panties will have to be sewn by hand because the treadle machines only have straight stitch and the panties will be in a knit fabric.  Sewing on the elastic really needs to be done with a stretch stitch.

Going to Uganda to work with these ladies is an experience like you can never imagine.  I am so thankful to be able to share it with someone new this year.  It takes us months of preparation to go - shots, fundraising, coming up with workable sewing projects, making prototypes, tracing off patterns, gathering supplies, and preparing bible studies.  There is much communication that must go on with the sending organization as well as making arrangements with the people we will be staying with in Uganda.  This is why we start preparing in October for our trip in January!


Anonymous said...

Have you looked at the Days For Girls website? There are some cultural issues that are addressed that may help you on the path of cloth feminine napkins. Good work!

birdmommy said...

What a wonderful idea!

I also wanted to add the Ohh Lulu (OhhLuluSews on Etsy) has a pattern for panties from woven fabric. If you only have access to straight stitch machines, maybe that would be a good alternative?

Anonymous said...

A recent NY Times magazine had a very interesting article about a project to manufacture and sell menstrual pads in India - they seem to be using cellulose fiber rather than cloth, but they are not re-useable. Very interesting topic!


Kay said...

Thank you for doing this for the empowerment of women in Uganda! If we all think about the empowerment of women who need help and work towards it, how wonderful the world will be.

Janet said...

Congrats on the afghan, the granddaughter's beginning sewing lessons and your projects for Uganda!!

M-C said...

Let me recommend Jalie instead for panty patterns. They come in size child to 5X, the fit is much better than anything a big 4 company has ever had, the instructions are stellar. I've been making panties with my t-shirt leftovers for years, in fact recycled tees are a good source of fabric..