Friday, 6 December 2013

A new project: Seamstress sans frontières

Friends, I think it's time to tell you about a new little thing I've got going on. And I do mean little - this is strictly a cottage-industry-style venture, which in no way should impinge on my important business of selfish and child-related garment sewing :-)

But, it was time to move beyond the end of my own nose. And I therefore present (drum roll please!) the founding of...

The seamstress sans frontières!  Who is to be found on Facebook here, with a linked JustGiving page here.

So, what's it all about?

Well, you may remember that I recently made a number of baby/child gifts, and I mentioned in that post that it'd got me thinking about how much I like to make these little things for other people. It was the germination of a whole thought process which included things like:
  • Why aren't there more babies to sew for?
  • And on the other hand, isn't it a bit pointless to sew things for the same friends and friends' children over and over again?
  • And actually, can I even know if these things are really wanted and welcomed?? (Because my friends are all truly lovely and polite, and would never actually tell me they didn't really use that 500th bib I gave them).
  • And while I'm at it, if I want to do more unselfish sewing, isn't there a way to be even more unselfish about it than that?


And thus was born the idea of custom sewing orders for charity. I'll 'sell' in exchange for a donation, matching the cost of materials, to the Charlotte Wilson Memorial Fund via JustGiving.  Hey presto - I get sewing variety, making things that I know are wanted, all along with a great feeling of virtuousness, while customers get their goods made to order at a reasonable price.Win win!

I wanted to fundraise for a charity supporting small projects in Africa - for a variety of personal reasons, but most importantly because I think it's the small organisations who most often need the help. Also, I have to admit, I really don't intend this to be a big thing - maybe family and friends, and perhaps colleagues or other locals - think global, act local, right? And I still need to fit in the rest of my life. I just kind of wanted to support something that matched the scale of what I'm able to do, too. I hope that makes sense :-)

Of course, when I decided to start small, I hadn't reckoned with my friend Toby's big plans. Plans not only to be the biggest fundraiser for Movember Belgium, but also to win Best Mo in a Costume at the Gala even last week.

Sadly, he came second for the fourth year in a row on the fundraising. But the costume - no competition!

Toby does a fantastic job raising money every Movember, as well as heroically encouraging others. Not only that, but he managed to push me well beyond my sewing boundaries with that costume! I'm already finding that taking on other people's ideas instead of my own is opening up whole new worlds of sewing fun...

And tremendous fun it is. I honestly never thought I'd see myself either costume making or quilting, but here I am and enjoying both enormously.  Sewists of the world, break out of your boxes - you have nothing to lose but your ingrained habits! (To send Karl Marx spinning in his grave).

:: :: ::

Well anyway, in my little time away from this blog (only two weeks, but I missed it!) I've read plenty of other northern-hemisphere bloggers complain about the dark days that allow for so few photos - and pretty much all of us, everywhere are heading into the pre-holiday rush. Yep, me too (but I'm not going to add my apologies :-). But I also realised that I so like dropping in here, and so enjoy that exchange of ideas and makes and, y'know, goodwill and stuff, and, well, I dunno. I suppose I'm trying to say: I'm gonna blog more! and better!

But without actually making any rash promises :-)

Till soon my lovelies...


  1. lovely idea jo. i hope you get lots of takers!

  2. What a great great idea. I recently sent off a little sock monkey for Softies for Mirabel and it was great to participate. Fab costume. You have talent. How can we help?


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