Recently I Have Been…

It probably seems as though I haven’t been doing very much sewing or craft recently as I haven’t posted. Actually, I have been doing lots of sewing and knitting although I don’t seem to have achieved very much!

As some of you know, I am a keen supporter of Dress a Girl Around The World and am often to be heard asking if anyone has any spare pillowcases or elastic that I can use for dresses. Before my mother’s illness late last year I had made a pile of dresses but was waiting to send them until I could send a whole boxful (to save on postage costs). Unfortunately I was then out of sewing action for some time but a couple of weeks ago I burst back into action and made some more dresses. However, I still don’t have enough to post – oh well, I’ll just have to scrounge even more pillowcases!

From pillowcase dresses I moved on to making another type of item that I am extremely keen on – washable reusable sanitary towels. Probably your first reaction was ‘yeugh’ but, please, try to move on from that thought. I make these wondrous items for women in Africa who suffer from fistula and all the horrors that accompany the condition. When I first made the towels they were being sent to Algerian Action through Loving Hands. I think that they are now passed to Freedom From Fistula

For many of the women, the cause of their fistula was sexual violence. In addition to suffering the sexual violence and its repercussions, the women are ostracised by their families and others because they are seen as ‘unclean’. Also, they have poor access to hygienic sanitary items, often having to resort to using plastics bags as their only  sanitary protection! When I first about this I didn’t know whether to be angry or to cry. Then I heard about a scheme that offers surgical treatment to women, after which they are given a sanitary pack comprising a fabric bag, six washable reusable towels and two fabric     pockets to hold the towels. I knew that I had to do something to support this terrifically worthwhile scheme and so I began to make the items. I also spoke to friends about the desperate situation that these women are in. It obviously touched a nerve as donations of towelling, flannelette and sheeting flooded in to me. I still have quite a stock of these materials but am working my way through them, albeit slowly!

Whilst making the sanitary items my sewing machine tried to play dead so I have had to take it to sewing machine hospital, where it is still languishing. This has meant moving on to other projects so I have been trying to complete the felted bag I have been making for Alison at Cobwebs. The felted fabric is thick and is taking quite some effort to sew up but, at last, I am on the home stretch. When I have finally completed the bag and handed it over, I will reveal it here.

In addition to all of the above, I have been continuing to knit up my lovely sugar cane yarn, Araucania Ruca Multy (it has been slow going recently because of the time spent doing other things), and hand sewing a couple of items at my Friday craft group. I have not finished either of the small items – again because of other things taking precedence – but I am hoping to complete them this week. So…

Watch this space for news and pictures of actual finished items soon!

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