Thursday, 27 September 2012

Guest post

This post first appeared as a guest post on Blissful Bucket List.

Hi. I'm Caroline, from Sewing for Utange, and it is great to have been invited to do a guest post here - my first ever guest post!
I'd like to share a project with you, but first I will explain a little bit about what I am doing and why. I make bags from old jeans and other recycled materials - primarily curtains, but also sheets, duvet covers - anything I can get hold of.  I first made a bag from old jeans about eight years ago; I have loved sewing for as long as I can remember, and saw a pattern in a magazine which I thought my daughters would love.  I found some old jeans in charity shops and made the two bags for them - and they loved them.  In fact, they are still using them today!
I thought other people might like them and made a few to sell at the craft stalls I was occasionally attending (I work full time as a teacher). However, the craft stalls were not a massive success and life kept getting busier, so I stopped doing them, and was left with a box of about 20 bags in the attic.
Fast forward a few years and a new friend told me about a charity a friend of hers, Debbie, had set up.  This friend had raised the money to build an orphanage in Kenya for 24 children who had been orphaned.   My friend had been out to visit the orphanage and told me all about it.
For Christmas, I gave this friend a denim bag, thinking it would be something she would like.  She did - she loved it  I told her that I had about 20 of them and asked if Debbie would like them to sell to raise funds for Casuarina House.

That was over two years ago and those twenty bags have multiplied.  I have lost count of how many I have made now!  I am in my third year of fundraising and now trying to have one stall each month.  To date I have raised £6000 for Utange. Please hop over to my blog to find out more.  I continue to use recycled fabrics because they cost me nothing - every penny I raise goes to the charity. One of the smallest items I make is "purse pockets":

Every time someone buys one of these (they cost just £1) I tell them that the money will feed a child on the newly-established Utange feeding programme for two weeks.

On to this project.
I have recently been lent a wonderful embroidery machine. You can read the story of it on my blog.  As well as helping me to solve a problem, it has sparked off new projects. This is one of them.
These bags are made using an embroidered panel.  All the panels have different sayings on them, and I am trying to decide which is my favourite!  I think probably this one makes me smile most:
Slogans so far completed are:
Chocolate is the answer - who cares what the question is?
Cinderella - proof that one pair of shoes really can change your life.
I can onlly please one person each day.  Today is not your day.  Tomorrow is not looking good either.
Believe, dream, wish.
The simplest things in life are the most precious.
Yesterday has gone.  Tomorrow may never come.  All we have is today.  Live one peaceful moment at a time.

I have a growing pile of slogans, and plans for a variety of bag styles using them.  I took the first four of these bags to my most recent stall, and sold two of them, so I think they will be a popular line.  With the proceeds from each one, thirty of the 600 starving children in Utange can be fed for a week.

Please drop by my blog to read more, and to see the range of bags I have created.  I have tutorials for many of them - and will be adding a tutorial for this bag in the near future.

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on the guest post spot - I hope lots of people find your blog and get the word out!