Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Volunteer Sewing (School Uniforms)

Skirts & jumpers for the Julia Greeley Academy.
A few weeks ago I was contacted by a lovely lady who found me through my sewing instruction business, Sew You Studio. She called requesting my assistance in finding experienced sewers who could volunteer their time to sew uniforms for a new school in town, the Julia Greeley Academy. This is JGA's first year and the community is coming together to do its best to have a successful start for a successful future.

I wished I could tell her that I had a whole troop of women at her service, but since I don't, I did the next best thing. . . I told her that I would request the use of the sewing classroom at Fancy Tiger Crafts as a part of their Feel Good Friday Community Program. Feel Good Fridays are days set aside for use of the sewing classroom at no cost specifically for non-profit organizations in need of a sewing space, sewing machines, and sewing tools. Fancy Tiger was very kind in accepting my request and scheduled us to sew uniforms on Friday, August 31st.

We spread the word as best as we could and in the end only had three volunteers plus two women representing the school. We all worked hard but learning something new takes time and so we only worked on 3 skirts (without zippers) and a jumper. It's a start but there is plenty more to make!

It was an evening of learning and helping and here is a little of what went on at Fancy Tiger Crafts Feel Good Friday for Julia Greeley Academy:

Ms. L and Ms. D.
One of the ladies from the school, Ms. L, was the very talented pattern designer for the skirts and jumper. I am very impressed with her skills. She learned to sew from her mother and is an amazing designer; she made her own daughter's designer wedding dress! Ms. L drafted and graded the uniform patterns on her own. She is so gentle and wise and I wish I could sit with her for a day to learn her approach and techniques for garment sewing!

Ms. D cutting patterns.
The other lady from the school who joined us, Ms. D, has zero experience sewing but was very helpful in cutting out patterns. She has an engineering background so she was an ideal person to put behind the shears (or rotary cutter)! She was careful in preserving fabric and attentive to details. Ms. D is also the one who contacted me about finding volunteers and as I've gotten to know her I'm so impressed with her resourcefulness, thoughtfulness, and organization.

A volunteer who stopped by to help is a friend of mine, Mercedes. She's been sewing since her childhood and I'm so glad she made it especially since she has a baby. Her time away from him is limited and so it was very kind of her to leave him for a few hours to help. She worked on a jumper.

Pink learning how to construct the skirt.
A second volunteer joined us for the last 20 minutes of our evening and would you believe that she completed a skirt in 20 minutes! Seriously, she did! Her sewing skills are focused on making handbags that she sells on Etsy.

Claudia learning from Ms. L.
The last volunteer was me. I worked on the waistband of one skirt and put together a second skirt. I enjoyed learning from Ms. L and am truly inspired to give garment sewing another try--if only time will allow it!!!

The Julia Greeley Academy can still use a lot of help. If you live in the Denver Metro Area, have intermediate sewing skills, and are interested in helping to sew uniforms, please contact me by leaving a comment on this blog post with your contact information or by email, 303claudia@gmail.com. The sharing of your time and talent is a priceless gift and so greatly appreciated!

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