Nose to the Needleplate

Today has been time to get back to get my nose back to the needleplate of my sewing machine. I have been putting off lengthening a pair of trousers for my mother. I’m really not very good and certainly not confident when it comes to any form of dressmaking or alterations and have been a bit worried about making a hash of it. Things began well [from a ‘making a hash’ point of view!] as my first measurement was wrong – which I discovered after I’d cut it! Oops! That was followed soon after by another slight mistake – oops, again – so then I decided to take a break.

Once I have finished the trousers I shall return to making bags for the women’s refuge in Bolton. I contacted the refuge recently and asked if they would accept handmade fabric bags containing toiletries and other items which could be given to women staying at the refuge.

The idea for the bags came to me after hearing about a couple of things relating to refuges. The first was a project in a knitting magazine [sorry, I can’t remember which one] which was to knit blankets to be given to refuges. The second talked about how many women arrive at the refuge with nothing but what they are wearing . I cannot begin to imagine how it must feel to be a victim of violence and have absolutely nothing to call your own.

I am lucky enough to go on holiday a couple of times a year. Whereever I go I always collect and bring home the toiletries and other complimentary items provided in hotel rooms. Previously I have made them into packs which I have given to various organisations to sell to help raise funds. However, after hearing about the refuges I decided that I would like to do something to help those women. My first idea was to make a pouch  with slots in it from a new face flannel and put the toiletries in them but that idea has now grown. I began asking people I knew if they had any items that they could spare for the bags and someone said she would donate brand new pants so I realised I would need to make actual bags rather than pouches.

I have received very generous donations of face flannels, shower gel, body lotion, toothbrushes, individually-wrapped sanitary towels, tissue packs and more from friends and family and also from a lady called Anne [from Loving Hands], whom I have never met. Thank you to all of those people who are helping me to provide the bags for the refuge at Fort Alice.

If you are interested in donating items for this project please email me at dfne@peterjh.wanadoo.co.uk putting ‘Fort Alice’ in the subject line and I will happily provide you with details of what is needed and where it can be sent.

It would be lovely to receive comments on my blog – even if you don’t like what I write. Even though I’m bossy, I don’t bite – honest!

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