One of my favourite blogs, certainly for depth of the thinking and the quality of the writing, is Did You Make That? Karen lives in East London and sews nice things, and is an inspiration to bloggers with her accessible style and interesting approach to various topics.
Last summer Karen ran the very popular Sporty Summer Sewathon, which inspired me to make a running kit from self printed fabrics. This year she has launched a charity appeal with a difference. You donate £10 or more, and promise to make something specific by 10 September. Something that you have been meaning to make for ages.
Karen’s charity of choice is the National Literacy Trust. She works in the book trade and has an absolute joy of reading, writing and editing, and she promotes the idea that books change lives. I am very pleased to be supporting her efforts.
My day job is working for a Housing Association. Many of our tenants have low levels of literacy and struggle to deal with official letters and bills. Sometimes this is because English is not their first language, and sometimes it is because the family struggles with reading. It is estimated that 15 per cent of the UK population is functionally illiterate. Certainly in social housing I would say that probably twice as many – one in three – cannot be reached through the written word. As a result many of our services are delivered face to face to the tenant, in their own home. But without reading confidence many of these families struggle to get a job, or the help that they need. So it’s a jolly good cause.
The pledge aspect is to encourage everyone to do make something that has been stalling, or to finish a project that needs completing.
So what am I going to do this year?
Regular readers will know that I have been meaning to make something nice for my daughter Esme. Since her second baby arrived last year Esme has been on maternity leave but now she has a new job. I want to make her something nice she can wear for work.
So I have two choices. A yellow coat to replace the Zara one OR a neoprene circular skirt. My problem, as ever when sewing for others, is that they want something specific and my skills, pattern and fabric choices are more restricted. Sewing for others can be a can of worms. However the clock is now ticking. Stay tuned to see what happens….
If you want to participate go to Karen’s Just Giving page now and donate any amount – £10 or more – and pledge to make something by 10 September.