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.
Making things for others can be fraught with danger! My daughter’s “style” seems to change monthly, and my grandchildren prefer to wear as few clothes as possible. 🙂
It’s a noble initiative from Karen. This might give me the kick up the backside to make my mother’s dress: part of the problem is that she seems not particularly enthusiastic about my idea.
A nice reminder that literacy is a privilege that so many of us take for granted. I believe I have many projects that would qualify for this initiative!
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I think Esme would get more wear out of the coat than the skirt. Did you ever find fabric that would suit?
I have made the skirt with a nice bright cotton, and have some possible yellow wool. But, not ideal. How are your summer sewing plans going dear Lyn?
Hi Kate, my sewing machine is all packed away while we had the building work going on. The table I used for sewing had the contents of some of my kitchen cupboards on it! It’s all finished and we have painted today. Pics coming up soon – it was dark by the time we finished, so better pics in the daylight tomorrow. My next project is blinds for the kitchen and conservatory – boring but necessary!! Then back to dresses for A/W for work, far more exciting 🙂