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Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Sewing for a cause - an AMAZING FANTASTIC Close to my heart one at that.


Sewing to help others – The Sew Powerful Purse Project

So lately, I have been busy, sew sew busy but for all the right reasons. I am super excited to let you know what I have been up to behind the scenes in between  designing new patterns for you to sew up. You can see my new patterns via my website.

I don’t know about you, but for me sewing makes me feel good. It is a stress relief, an education, a social outlet and my business. I feel lucky to have the skills and resources to sew. I learnt from my grandmother and mother and have access to beautiful machines which make sewing nice and easy.
Recently I went on a search to find a charity sewing project to use my passion of sewing to help others……I stumbled across ‘The Sew Powerful Purse Project’ and was immediately drawn to this fabulous charity. This blog post is about how you too can use your passion for sewing to make a difference, this time for young ladies in Africa and join me on this fun but very meaningful journey.

What is the Sew Powerful Purse Project?


In developing countries, women often have limited access to training and education, literacy and numeracy skills are often an issue. Paid employment opportunities are rare. The Sew Powerful Purse Project aims to assist with this by providing meaningful employment to women in this situation.

Entrepreneurial sewing and tailoring is a perfect solution. The work can be done at home, when time permits, and the extra income can revolutionize a household budget. The simple provision of a sewing machine, and the training to use it, combined with sales and marketing training, truly can revolutionise a woman’s life. But it’s not just her life that is changed – it’s also the lives of her children and the entire community.

Hand in hand with World Vision, this is one significant part of this amazing charities work, the other is providing purses to young ladies in local schools and clinics in Lusaka Zambia as part of Menstruation Hygiene Management (MHM) programs. This simple gift – combined with re-usable sanitary pads, soap, underwear and health information can make a tremendous difference in the lives of adolescent girls.
This is where you come in…… Last year the sew powerful purse project saw just over 500 purses delivered to these young ladies in Lusaka Zambia, feedback was positive, this really made a difference. This year we are hoping to double this figure to 1000 purses.

 
 
 

 Now the closing date for 2015 has occurred, so you want to know how this went right?
Well I have been busting to tell you for so long. I became the Aussie Ambassador for this project, I put my hand up to collect all of the Aussie bag donations (people posted them to me directly) and then I packaged them all up and posted them to the U.S.
I can't tell you how excited I was every time a bag arrived, the work that Team Aussie put in was exceptional, so many beautiful fabrics, top quality sewing and fine little details that would make any young ladies heart sing. (Awwwwwww)
 
 
Me holding some of the Team Aussie Sew Powerful Purses. Aren't they the sweetest!
 
Well this is how it went down - Team Aussie sewed up a total of 36 bags. This is a whopping effort considering I only posted the group with about two months sewing time to get organised. I want to THANK each and every person (Aussie or Not) who sewed for this project for 2015, whether it was 1 bag or 25 bags (yes believe me its true!), you are all amazing, giving, fabulous and kind hearted people. For that I am so grateful.
 
I stood on a very very tall ladder to get this shot, so please show me some love by sharing this everywhere :)
 
The online friendships we have made through the group we have set up are amazing, everyone has so much fun sharing the bags they make and you have all been so supportive. We have ambassadors for India and the U.K. collecting the bags also, or people sent them direct to the U.S. themselves.
So did we hit the 1000 total I hear you ask? Well that is yet to be known, there is going to be a Live Streaming of The Fall Purse Unboxing Party on  November 11th at 6pm Pacific. We are going to live-stream it - so if you want - you can watch it live! And if you happen to be in the greater Seattle area - the unboxing party will be at our office: 218 E. Main Street, Auburn Wa. You're cordially invited!" (Gosh I wish I could be there for this! How fabulous would it be).



 
I need to thank a couple of amazing businesses who have helped Team Aussie along the way with this project as I appreciate them so much. One Thimble for posting an article in their beautiful online e-zine about this wonderful project. And Handbag Hardware Australia who so very generously donated finds towards postage costs (which are quite a lot from Australia to the U.S.). So thank you ladies, I am so grateful for your support. x

Just because the date has closed for 2015 does not mean this project ends, no no, this project is an ongoing one and we now have a collection date for 2016!

The next Sew Powerful collection deadline has been set for February 1, 2016! So you have lots of time to get organised and help us sew more beautiful bags for these young ladies in Zambia.
 
Here is what you can do to help:

1.      Head to www.sewpowerful.org, download the free purse pattern. (You need to use this specific Liberty Jane Purse pattern for this project). There are options within this pattern for beginners to more advanced sewers, so all sewing levels are catered for.

2.      You may like to join the Facebook group I have set up https://www.facebook.com/groups/sewpowerfulpurseproject/ for sewing help, ideas, support and contacts who are posting out bulk lots of bags from some countries.

3.      Start sewing purses, make as many or as few as you would like. Take your time, make them good quality, the young ladies love bright and fun colours, get creative and have some fun!

4.      Once you have finished sewing your gorgeous purses, download the message card and include a kind greeting in your purse. Write something special to the girl who will receive your work. Maybe a poem, scripture verse, prayer, or word of encouragement.

5.      Be sure to finish your purses and mail them to sew powerful by – February 1, 2016. Of course we are happy to receive the purses all year long if you miss the priority deadline. If you are in Aus you are welcome to post them to me and I will be sending another big batch off (you can email me for details or they will be posted in the FB group).
 
6.     If you are a business who would like to get involved with this project (no one is paid to undertake this charity sewing event so all help is much appreciated), please feel free to email me. I would love any Aussie businesses who might like to donate money towards postage or if you would like me to write an article for your business so you can share far and wide I would love to do that also. (Feel free to share this blog post too). My email is lilmoodesigns@hotmail.com

In the words of Plato “happiness springs from doing good and helping others.”

Let’s get sewing, together we can make a difference.
 
Happy Sewing, Kylie x

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