Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Sewing is part of our Journey.

As you may know, I have led a Journey Group at my church where women, both young and old, have united in the common goal of sewing for charity. All of our garments were made for the children residing in the House of Hope at Starfish Kenya, who are orphaned by the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Kenya. I wrote about the Summer experience here and beginning of the fall session here.

As with the last session, I went into this Journey Group session with a prayerful heart. I asked that the Group be joined by people who were excited about what we were doing, even if they didn't know what they were doing :). God answered with enthusiastic members who consistently showed up, worked beyond our time limits, and willingly took garments home to complete! I asked that I would get some help with administrative tasks and have a backup leader if I could not attend a meeting. God answered with a member who happily volunteered to read our devotional each week and has agreed to co-lead next session's group. I asked that we have fun each week and build good relationships with each other. God answered with great socializing each week and a fun social time at a local paint party.  Also, I asked that the group become self-financing beyond my fabric stash. God answered with financial and fabric donations that allowed us to purchase fabric and supplies to fund this session and part of the next. 

I have been so blessed with this group. This second session was different than the first, but it was no less rewarding. As with the first group, our registration reached capacity on our first day of sign-ups. This time we had many happy returners and added children accompanied by parents or guardians.  

Every week, I had the pleasure to observe the delight on someone's face as they worked on or completed a garment. I got to share in the joy of a parent or guardian guiding their charge on the iron, cutting fabric, or on the machine.

The skill levels of the members were varied, ranging from veterans to newbies. In this round of sewing, we shifted from pillowcase dresses to making shorts for outerwear; in addition, the shorts can function to enhance modesty under dresses. 


We spent many weeks working hard, and, midway through the session, we took a break. Karen and her staff at Arbor House Galley and Studio, hosted our group for a wonderful private paint and pour party. Here we were all guided in the painting of an antique Singer sewing machine, on which we could add our own twist. Karen worked with me to choose a suitable image that reflected our interests. 

While painting,  Kim Korenek of Tastefully Simple provided a delicious sampling of food for us to enjoy. A group member won party food as a prize at a home show and chose to share it with us.  It was and incredible time together!

After 10 weeks of sewing and 1 week of play, our Fall semester came to a close. In the 1.5 hours we met each week, we completed over 80 garments!

 Here is a small sampling of what we did.

I am proud of everyone who worked so hard to make this group a success. Moving forward, we are looking for a new and local group for whom we can to sew and donate items. The projects need to be relatively easy to sew to allow novice potential group members to participate. I am open to international possibilities, if there is a way to get the projects to these sites without added costs.

The Spring semester will begin sign-ups on January 19th, and the semester begins the week of February 9th.  If you are local and want to be a part of this group, please sign up; we would love to see you!

We are also accepting donations to help this ministry continue. We could use new or used sewing machines, cotton, and other apparel fabrics. In addition, we can us fabric, elastic, trims and other sewing notions. Please email me here, to make arrangements for local pick up of items you wish to donate. 

Monetary donations are gratefully accepted at Gateway Community Church, simply designate Sewing for... as the recipient and notify me here. 100% of the donations fund this ministry.  

If you wish, you can also donate to this cause directly below. I will email you a receipt for your records. Note, if you need a receipt for tax declaration of donations to a religious organization, please donate through the church.

Thanks for reading and happy sewing,