Required disclosure: I am a paid Brother Ambassador. Not required: I absolutely love Brother Machines.
Several readers have written asking if they may participate in the Garments for Ghana project. Others asked how our project operated so they might do a similar event in their own community. When I mentioned in response to a comment on this topic that I might write this post, at least one promised that she (sweet Sandee) would not find these details boring. I hope she is not the only one because I am going ahead with this.
Before I began, I was given some direction from the mission team leaders. The request was for bright colors, since the landscape there is pretty bleak. We did that. Check.
Second, there must be no buttons or closures that might break or need replacement. Such replacement is not an option for mothers in these areas. Check. Elastic at the neckline was the only closure notion. I know elastic gives out after a couple of years, but I expect these garments will be worn out long before the elastic is.
Third, in many African nations and apparently in Ghana, bare shoulders for girls and perhaps adult females, is taboo. So we needed some sort of sleeve. Check. I did notice early on that many photos of pillowcase dresses for Little Dresses for Africa showed the girls wearing a tee shirt under their dresses. Now I see that the site offers a free pattern that has a sleeve, much like the pattern I used.
Fourth, each garment must be marked with its size. I had a bag of labels for sizes 1-5 and for the others I embroidered sizes on grosgrain ribbon in the hoop. Ladies who worked from home used a sharpie to write on ribbon, which like the others, was tucked into the elastic casing at the back. Continue reading
Posted in accessories, bags, boys, girls, Kids Sew, machine embroidery
Tagged 5berries Cecilia Peasant Dress pattern, boy cargo pants, Brother Dream Machine, Brother sewing machines, charity sewing, Fuddie Duddie Casey pattern, organize charity sewing, quick girl dresses
This is the first of 7 clotheslines that hung from the walls in fellowship hall.
Required disclaimer: I am a paid Brother Ambassador. Not required: I genuinely LOVE Brother machines.
UPDATE: The first picture is in from Ghana! Though this little girl is not needy, I think she is the daughter of Ghanese pastor who hosts the mission team. Gayle had said this child would be given first choice. She certainly looks pleased. Her father reported that she didn’t want to take off the dress and slept in it!
What an exciting, satisfying project this has been! Since the end of Feb. a group of ladies and 4 children of River City Church, EPC, have gathered every Thursday to sew for the needy children of Ghana. Our goal was to make 100 garments. We finished the last week in May with 76 dresses and 44 pairs of shorts!
Getting started with basic instructions.
Starting a pair of cargo shorts.
Our efforts were in support of this summer’s second medical mission trip to Ghana, led by a church member Dr. Lyle Wadsworth and his nurse wife Gayle.
NOTE: Please excuse the wrinkled dresses. The garments were pressed before being hung on the clothesline. But after being packed for shipment to Ghana, many were unpacked to be photographed. It was just too time consuming to iron all of them.
Overturned yo-yo’s created puffy balloons. The teepee bag covers a runaway balloon.
My goodness but life has a way of keeping me busy and away from writing blog posts! But I have been sewing. Here us a sampling of some of my projects.
I found this heart headband slider as a freebie (for a short time only) for Valentine’s Day at Tattered Stitch. It makes up quickly and was a big hit with my granddaughter 6 yo Vivian Rose. She wore it to the family’s special Valentine breakfast and then to school.
Vivian Rose at the family’s special Valentine breakfast.
It was so quick and easy to make that I made 18 for the little girls at church. They were delighted. This is just the first batch I made.
Then Aunt Rheeta made her annual pilgrimage to Florida to escape Indiana’s bitter cold winter weather. She sewed and sewed, making 10 mug rugs. Unfortunately, I did not get pictures of all of 12, but she made a set of 4 hunting themed mug rugs for each of two of her sons, one more feminine design for her daughter and one for her house/dog sitter.
Then she made these two for Joanne and Kyle, parents of precious baby Bea. She said she has been praying for them since March so they almost feel like family. She went to our Bible study group at their home and was so pleased to meet this lovely couple and spend time with darling Beatrice. Kyle loves to hunt so one is for him and the fall print seemed to go well with Joanne’s home decor.
First, let me wish you a happy Valentine’s Day! My latest post at Brother’s blog Stitching Sewcial is all about embroidered cards, specifically Valentines. I wish you all joy and happiness on this special day of love.
The tutorial gives all the ins and outs of embroidering cards, from choice of cardstock size and attaching embroidery. Check it out and please leave a comment at Stitching Sewcial if you find it helpful or inspiring. Here are a few of the other samples. Details of each are included at Stitching Sewcial:
The front embroidery is covered and inside text is Minnie’s quote. It reads:
This one is for our 6 yo granddaughter. The inside text reads, “Vivian Rose, you are our favorite princess.”
More are posted. I had a hard time stopping, since these are so much fun to make.
But much more has been going on since I last posted here at Janice Ferguson Sews. Of course, Christmas was pure joy, with both of our children joining us with all four of our precious grandchildren. It doesn’t get any better than that.
Many gifts were stitched. Mug rugs caught my attention and I made several for my daughter-in-law, but didn’t manage to get a photo. These are so much fun and make great gifts. She is our nature girl and really liked the apron I embroidered for her with this fabulous bear from Urban Threads. Continue reading
“If you wish success in life, make Perseverance your bosom friend, Experience your wise counselor, Caution your elder brother and Hope your Guardian Angel.” Joseph Addison
Very appropriate for the Advent season, this heavenly angel pillow could also serve as a guardian angel baby gift or angel of appreciation. I stitched this on 7 linen hemstitched guest towels which hung as banners as a Christmas gift for each of my beloved PlayGroup Mamas.
Scraps of lace are stitched on a grid and secured with a feather stitch. Grids in two sizes are free downloads at Brother’s blog, Stitching Sewcial. It may make you re-evaluate the size of scraps too small to save.
A detailed tutorial with step by step photos is posted at Stitching Sewcial.
It was fun to use this same technique on a whimsical version on a dishtowel.
Seeing this photo now, an embroidered gingerbread man would have been more appropriate. Oh well, hindsight and all that.
I hope you are all finished with your Christmas sewing, but I doubt it. We Sisters of the Needle seem to keep on keeping on until the last hour, with more ideas for more gifts for more dear family and friends.
I’d love to hear about your projects and see some photos. So carry on, Sewing Elves! We still have 13 days!
Christmas is just around the calendar corner and it’s rush, rush, rush for me and many of you. I’ve just finished this Swiss batiste dress for Baby Beatrice.
I’ve written in earlier posts about Baby Bea, our new granddaughter via our church. Neither of her parents’ mothers is living, so months before she was born they asked me to be her official Nana. That was a happy day! And, of course, she is a doll, just now 4 months old, which for me has been at least 120 more happy days.
Her daddy is an avid hunter, especially for deer. Bea’s little daydress is a reminder NOT to shoot Bambi or his antlered father.
But back to the dress……the pattern is Old Fashioned Baby‘s Baby Daydress.
Like all of Jeannie B’s patterns, this one is a delight to sew and offers several design options. I love the Scriptures and embroidery designs she places in the blank space around the pattern pieces.
The shadow work fawn is from Joy Welsh’s Applique for Kids. It stitches just beautifully with her instructions. The greenery beneath the fawn was extracted from another design which I cannot recall right now.
The holly at the neckline is another design whose origin I cannot recall. I need to keep better records of what I embroider.
Posted in heirloom sewing, Holiday Projects, infant clothing, machine embroidery, shadow work by machine
Tagged antique lace, Applique for Kids, baby dress, Brother Dream Machine, christmas dress, fawn, Feather stitching, heirloom sewing, hemstitching, machine embroidery, shadow embroidery by machine, shadow work by machine
This is a fun and relatively quick project that will be a special reminder of the season of Thanksgiving. A complete step by step tutorial is posted at http://blog.brothersews.com/holiday/give-thanks-tutorial/
Children could be involved in this project and will be delighted to help with pulling burlap threads and stuffing the jars with the fairy lights.
It will be easy for you but I had to struggle with various steps while making this. Double sided tape has always been a staple of my sewing supplies, but now it is my new favorite.
Did you know it is described as permanent? That’s good news for Give Thanks as it beautifies your mantle, piano, bookcase or anywhere.
We always celebrate fall in a big way, but Thanksgiving is the crowning glory of the harvest season. So hop over to Stitching Sewcial and see just how this comes together. If you like it, I would really appreciate it if you would leave a comment there.
FYI, there are so many fabulous ideas and tutorials posted at Stitching Sewcial. You needn’t have a Brother machine to enjoy and reproduce many of the projects. Take a look!
Required disclosure: I am a paid and proud ambassador for Brother sewing machines. I LOVE them.
I’ve always thought mug rugs were a great idea and always meant to stitch some. Finally, a need arose and a set of these unusual “rugs” seemed like the perfect hostess gift for a perfectly gracious host and hostess.
The second set was made for the guest of honor and speaker, extraordinary Pastor James of Ghana. So two gift sets of 4 mug rugs were made. I don’t enjoy stitching identical designs again and again, so I changed the thread color of the background stitching and some of the lettering.
At a lovely dinner at the home of members of our church, Pastor James spoke passionately to a large group of guests about the challenging conditions in Ghana. Our host and hostess, a physician and nurse, had gone there on a medical mission trip this past summer. Continue reading
NOTE: This is reposted from several years ago, but still has some good ideas for quick and easy Halloween projects. I hope you find something you like.
Halloween has never been a favorite holiday of mine but our grandchildren get absolutely giddy with the fun it brings. This year, I’ve joined in the celebration with sewing projects.
This candy jar was so quick and easy. Our grandchildren are all big Disney fans so the iBroidery.com design with Mickey and the pumpkin seemed perfect. It was embroidered on orange felt then glued to a fringed circle of black burlap. The embroidery was glued to a strip of fringed black burlap then adhered to the jar with double sided tape (one of my all-time favorite sewing notions).
Now here is a quick, easy and fun fall project for you. Since orange gourd designs are appropriate through Thanksgiving, you can stitch up a whole pumpkin patch of these to share. Even without an embroidery machine, you could trace a pumpkin and stitch the entire project on your sewing machine.
A detailed photo tutorial and the free design in 4×4 a d 5×7 are available at Brother’s blog, Stitching Sewcial. You can be very creative with this little pumpkin, using various colors of felt, burlap or even a sturdy fabric.
I especially liked using my Brother P-touch Embellish ribbon and tape printer to print BOO! for the black pumpkin tie.
black love the imprinted ribbon
There are so many great projects posted at Stitching Sewcial, like Angela Wolf’s lovely burlap jar covers embellished with Scan ‘n Cut letters FALL.
Having recently purchased a Scan ‘n Cut I was especially interested in this project. Check out Angela’s post and her tutorial here. I just love the long fringe at the top and bottom of the jars.
And here is another fall project from Joanne Banko, Fall Wreath–a great post, great project, great tutorial with a great free sunflower swag design.
Happy Fall to you all! Enjoy stitching for this colorful season.