Sewing for Orphans

One of the projects that I’ve really wanted to do for a long time is to have things made for the orphans in Tam Ky. I’ve made a few things and we’ve been lucky enough to have people donate clothes, toys, books and money that we brought along on our last two trips to the orphanages.

But I always wanted to make it bigger than me just sewing a few things for a handful of kids. That’s where you come in.

Affectionately known as The Tinies, we worked with them at the Home of Affection.

As part of our Pho for Three fundraiser, I’m heading up a charity sewing drive to get quality, handmade items to these kids I love so much. There are five things, in particular, that I’m asking for: shorts, dresses, messenger bags, pencil pouches and simple diapers. Depending on your time, sewing abilities, spare fabric, etc. you can pick whichever one you want to make. With more than 100 kids ranging from newborn to 17 years old, there’s plenty of leeway.

Here’s the nitty-gritty for you:

  • Sewing starts now! I will need to receive items by September 30, 2012so they can go back with a friend who is stateside in September. She is currently living in Tam Ky and will be doing some transporting. Otherwise, items will be shipped via DHL (cash donations to cover that cost are welcome) and brought with us if we are able to return in Spring 2013.

    Teresa, Lan and baby at the Tam Ky Baby Orphanage

  • You can send them to me directly, please email for the address.
  • Items should be sewn with the intention to hold up under heavy use. The kids don’t get new things very often, so they need to wear well.
  • If you are interested in donating something else (shoes, jackets, blankets, quilts, cash), please contact me to make arrangements.

To get you started, here are some great online tutorials and some links to patterns that would be perfect for this project!

Messenger Bags:

Basic Messenger Bag from mmmcrafts
Not-so-big Messenger Bag on Sara’s Sew Sweetness blog
The Megan Everyday Bag from Modkid Patterns

Pencil Pouches:

Zippered pencil case from Sew4Home
Pencil-shaped pencil pouch from Gwenny Penny
Zakka-inspired pencil pouch from Noodlehead

Shorts and Pants:

Basic elastic-waist pants  from Dana Made it (pattern here)
Banyan shorts from Figgy’s Patterns

Dresses:

Popover Sundress from Oliver & S (free pattern here)
Dress a Girl Around the World dress pattern from Totes by Sandy

Diapers:

Simple triangles of cotton: Easily made by taking a 25-inch square, cutting it into two triangles and finishing the edges (serger or turned seams).

The Children of Vietnam (NGO) works to provide formula for these babies. This little guy was one of my favorites–always happy! He has since had his cleft lip and palate repaired thanks to donations.

For each of the next four weeks, I’ll be posting my own tutorials on making each of these items as well as sewing up as many as I can.

Thank you so much! I really can’t do this without each of you. I honestly believe that one person can make a difference, but it’s so much better when it’s a bunch of us working together. If you have any questions at all, please ask in the comments below or email me.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

3 Responses to Sewing for Orphans

  1. I’m thinking of making some boys shorts. Do you have any fabric recommendations? I’m thinking it needs to be something sturdier than quilting cotton. Maybe Essex linen would be nice?

    • Rebecca,
      You could definitely use something a bit heavier like twill, linen, denim, lawn, any of that. But plain ol’ quilting cotton will work, too. Believe me, it will be heavier duty than what they can get there and that’s my whole point. :) Please don’t go out of your way to get any fabric, just use what you have in your stash! And THANK YOU!

  2. Deanna Buckley

    Rebecca, I have about 10 little dress’s I made for fun if you would like them, Please send me the address where to send them. Thanks Deanna