Monday, November 11, 2013

November Stashbusting: Being Thankful

Whew, now that my pants-making classes are over (but textiles is still going on!), I've got a bit more breathing room. I totally fell off the the map when it came to the Stashbusting Sewalong, but thankfully EmSewCrazy has been way more on top of things than I have! If you've seen her blog page about the sewalong, you may know that this month is about sewing for charity. Being a purely hobbyist seamstress is a privilege, as my mom reminded me, and I'm fortunate that I don't need to support or clothe my family through my sewing. I'm grateful for being able to run out and buy the supplies I want for whatever strikes my fancy, and even though I make most of my garments for under $10 each, it's more of a contest with myself than a real necessity. So I'm glad for the chance to use my sewing to give back, to hopefully bless those who could use some handmade cheer.

There are many ways that you can use your sewing for the benefit of others, but if you need some concrete suggestions for charities that are specifically looking for handmade items, here are just a few that I've rounded up.

  • Project Linus collects handmade blankets (and you can knit or crochet them, too!) for children in need and distributes them through hospitals, shelters, or other agencies. They have donation sites and chapters throughout the US, so find one near you!
  • If a whole blanket is too intimidatingly large for you (or if shipping is prohibitous), try making a fun, colorful pillowcase for a child with cancer. I think I might go this route, since I've got plenty of novelty print sheet remnants that are perfect for kids!
  • If you're all, I hate sewing endless straight seams, you can make a softie for Cuddlies for Foster Kids. They're based in Washington state, but you can mail them your items. 
  • If you are in possession of very small scraps, you can still make them into something comforting with the Comfort Doll Project. This is the one program I could find that didn't involve children, so if for some reason you hate kids but still love adults, this one's for you!

The good thing about these programs is that they run year-round, unlike Operation Christmas Child or other seasonally-based drives, so if you don't get your act together this month (or even this year!), you can still contribute at a later date when you're more able. And of course, feel free to look up charities in your own area or for causes close to your heart -- I'm thinking socks for military service members (it's Veterans' Day, after all!), pet beds for shelters, or some other need that you see -- the goal is just to sew something. And since this is a challenge, we'll have a link party at the end of the month where you can show off your work and we'll pick a winner to get some goodies!

Do any of you know of other charities that will accept our handmade goods? Let us know in the comments!


  1. Thanks for sharing these organizations! They're all so cool!

  2. Many hospitals need clothing for preemies in the NICU or tiny bereavement gown for stillborn babies. There are many free patterns available online for these type of clothes and I think the best way to donate is to just contact your local hospital. Here are a few free patterns: and

    1. I've been sewing these the last couple of months, it uses only a little bit of material and they sew up really fast. I use this pattern;

      and a really fantastic tutorial is;

      If you live in Australia you can send the finished gowns to miracle babies ( and they'll distribute them to hospitals that are in need of the gowns.

  3. I like the idea of making pillowcases! You can really have fun with it too! Using coordinating or contrasting fabrics to make something really different and fun. Hmm. I like it!

  4. Great charity sewing ideas! If you need a quick pillowcase pattern, I've already done the math and have a free pillowcase pattern on my blog.

    ~ Brooke

  5. The Snuggles Project ( accepts handmade blankets for shelter animals.

  6. The Red Scarf Project is a great one for knitters and crocheters. They give red scarves to former foster kids in their freshman year of college, just after the system has stopped supporting them. Not exactly sewing, but still a really great cause if someone wants to work on it!


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