Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sew-vivor: Top 6 Projects Revealed

Welcome! A quick word from your host (Rachel)....
This is the round I have been most excited for. It popped into my head when I was in the planning stages of Sew-vivor. I knew I wanted to choose a week that had meaning, beyond just sewing something for the heck of it. Sewing can be a very technical and useful skill/talent. It is fun. It is challenging. It can (but not always) save money. It fosters creativity and originality. Sewing is fulfilling to me, because it involves creating something that can't be undone.
There is so much of life that can be learned from sewing. We can probably all think back to where we learned how to sew. We each have a special place in our hearts for the person who taught us- many of us were taught by mothers, grandmothers, a loving neighbor, a classroom teacher, even a devoted blogger. It's a skill that has been passed down or given to us, through practice, hard work, and love. Sewing is taken to the next level when we sew something for someone else. It shows love, caring, and thoughtfulness. I believe lives can be touched and people inspired when they are given something handmade with love.

This week its time to give back. The theme was "Sew Something for Charity." It could mean sewing something for a friend, a neighbor, a family member, an organization, basically anything to help or benefit someone else. That part was up to the contestant. I am touched by each project seen here.

Each contestant appears in the order their submission was received.

Please take a moment to scroll to the bottom to cast your vote. You may choose your favorite based on sewing skill, creativity, or how you were touched from the contestant's story. 
Please, only one vote from each computer. Thank you!

  CONTESTANT #1: Miranda from One Little Minute
My baby boy is only nine months old, so the memory of my pregnancy is still very present. I think that's why I immediately thought of my little sister Emmy when I saw the challenge for this week, "Sew for Charity." She is expecting her first child this summer, and going through the same challenges that every pregnant woman faces of gaining 30+ pounds, and dressing an ever-expanding body in somewhat stylish and comfortable clothing. It's nearly impossible to find really cute and affordable maternity wear, especially for someone like Emmy who is a natural fashionista. I knew that being able to put on a stylish, custom outfit would help ease some of the growing pains of her pregnancy.
Emmy and I collaborated to come up with what she would like me to sew for her. I looked through her style pinboard, and browsed current maternity lines. We decided on some bright coral polka dot leggings (inspired in part by these), and a mint green china silk top (inspired by this). I drafted the patterns for both based on her measurements, and am so happy that they fit perfectly! (She lives across the country, so it could have been a disaster.) Some of the details include a 6" wide waistband so the leggings sit comfortably below her belly without digging in, easy-fitting dolman sleeves with a neatly pressed cuffs, and a flattering rounded hemline. The two pieces look awesome together, but each stand on their own, too. They will be great additions to mix and match into her maternity wear. They also will both work as perfect transitions into post-partum.
It was really fun to have a chance to participate in Emmy's pregnancy in a small way. When she was in high school I did her hair for every school dance, when she got married I letterpress printed her wedding invitations, and now that she's getting ready to welcome a little boy I loved the chance to sew her some fun maternity duds. Congratulations Emmy, I love you. And good luck to us both!

CONTESTANT #2: Shannon from Googiemomma
i thought this was going to be a difficult challenge. but it wasn’t--not hardly. because right after the challenge themes were announced, my project was born.
little miss peyton came into this world as a feisty girl—the only girl in a house full of three big brothers. but she also came into this world with some pretty severe health issues. peyton spent a month in the NICU after her dramatic birth, and when she came home she brought some challenges. mommy and daddy were ready to deal with these challenges—but what about the big brothers?
enter peyton dolly. she was made using this tutorial for a waldorf doll. but she has some bonus features you won’t find on any store-bought doll—namely, a stoma (colostomy) and bag. peyton dolly served as a visual aid and explanation for the big brothers. a way to touch and understand what their new baby sister has, while keeping the real baby peyton safe from little fingers. and when the real miss peyton gets big, and these health problems are hopefully just a distant memory, this doll will be a tangible reminder of how far she’s come.
i enjoyed the process of creating this doll so much. there are so many possibilities! please visit my blog for more info and photos!

CONTESTANT #3: Renee from Hill Yeah
With the challenge to sew for charity, I chose to create some fun little monsters to share with the kids at our local children's hospital. I wanted to make something that was fun, light hearted, and lovable. Each monster is different, with it's own personality. From the super hero, to the soft 'n spiky dude, and the girly girl with the lashes. There's crazy yarn hair, fun geometric prints, and calm and relaxing solids. Each monster has a varying number of eyes and teeth, a zipper mouth which opens to a small pocket (these monsters love to eat!), and a bright red or pink colored tongue. I also sewed in tags that read "I belong to" with space below to write in a child's name. With my daughter, it is important to her that she can claim things as her own. Hospitals lack familiarity and homeyness. I hope by giving the children a place to write in their own name that it may give them something they can cling to as being theirs. Click over to my blog to see how you can make your own monsters.

CONTESTANT #4: Jen from I Can't Stop Crafting
 Meet Deklyn.  He is almost 4 months old, he has vibrant blue eyes, cheeks that go on for days, and he's got Hypophosphatasia.  Hypophosphatasia is a rare metabolic bone disease.  You can read more about his story at  I heard about Deklyn through one of my friends, who is a sister to Deklyn's mom, Cassondra.  I've been following Deklyn's progress on Cassondra's blog, and I've been amazed by her and her husbands story and their courage facing a really tough situation with their firstborn child.  As soon as I heard that we would be having a sewing for charity challenge as a part of the Sew-vivor competition, I knew I wanted to make something for him.  Because of Deklyn's ventilation tube, and all the other wires to monitor his needs and health, it's really hard for Cassondra to dress him.  Most of the time, he's just in a diaper and wrapped in blankets.  I remember my first days as a new mom, and how much fun it was for me to pick out different outfits for my baby, and I knew just what I'd make for Deklyn.  I sewed up these Trendy Baby Hospital Gowns, full of color and personality to give to this beautiful family.  To make it easy to get Deklyn dressed, I made it possible for the shoulders and backs of the gowns to open in order to fit around tubes and wires.  Hopefully Deklyn will be the most stylish baby in the PICU, and Cassondra will get a chance to enjoy dressing her little man.

CONTESTANT #5: Jessica from Swenson Love
i have been so excited about this round! this week our challenge was to sew something that could be given to a charity, a friend, neighbor, or family member. 
i have always always had a very special place in my heart for children, even when i was a child myself (see, when i was a child i thought i was an adult, now that i am an adult i feel more like a child than i ever have...what's up with that? haha). i decided to make this weeks project for the children and babies who are at the hospital.  
the plush elephants with their big floppy ears are so soft and squishy are perfect for snuggling with! the little stufflings that stand about 5 inches tall, with big shiny eyes, and fun patterned bodies are perfect for little hands to grasp. both are sure to bring smiles to those sweet little children and babies who are sick or injured at the hospital.
sadly i was not able to deliver these sweet little guys today as planned because i had to take my own little man to the emergency room for cutting his head open! oh the adventures of being a mommy! i rescheduled for tomorrow, please check out my blog for more pictures!
i used patterns from {gingermelon} and {retromama}.

CONTESTANT #6: Kirstin from Kojo Designs
While it would be a little tricky to send something sewn to Cambodia in support of Asian Hope (an organization that has orphanages, schools, and a Village Development Program in Phnom Penh), I still wanted to use this week's challenge to support this amazing organization and their efforts! And thus, this week's 'sewing project' multiplied into sixteen projects that are in the kojo etsy shop as a fund raiser for Asian Hope. There is an entire rainbow of bowties and various sizes of "Sweet and Sassy" reversible dresses (with something basic like dots, linen, or seersucker on one side and a spunky print on the other). Additionally, each of the dresses is embellished with something extra (bows, contrasting pleats, a placet and buttons, color blocking, a ruffle, etc.- look for a post next week about embellishing basic dresses). There are more pictures (and more info about Asian Hope and the work they're doing in Cambodia) on the kojodesigns blog today.

One vote per computer/device!

Sew-vivor is sponsored by:
150150150150150Photobucket150150150150150150150The Ribbon Retreat + Fabric150


  1. This is AGONIZING! All of these projects are so amazing, and the stories are so heartwarming, that I feel terrible about casting a vote for one person and NOT being able to vote for the others as well.

  2. I love all the projects but I have to say kudos to Kirstin for researching an international charity!

  3. Wow! These are amazing projects! I'm impressed by everyone!!! I bet you're glad to have the poll! How could anyone choose!?!?

    Oh and your, yeah, I'm totally going to have to try it! Thanks for the recipe!

    XO, Aimee

  4. What excellent workanmanship in each project! Talented participants and worthy causes. Love them all. Jen #4 is my choice. Her project is practical, innovative for medical situations with a direct and immediate daily impact.

  5. And after Jen, shannon would get my vote. What a fantastic educational tool!
    They're all great. What difficult choices!

  6. RENAE ALL THE WAY! its very creative and fun and kids would love it, bring a smile to the children who are sick and/or injured, those monsters look like they took awhile to make especially compared to the other projects, she did a great job and they are very cute.
    Totally has my vote!

  7. RENAE ALL THE WAY! its very creative and fun and kids would love it, bring a smile to the children who are sick and/or injured, those monsters look like they took awhile to make especially compared to the other projects, she did a great job and they are very cute.
    Totally has my vote!

  8. What amazing talent in each round and in each competitor!!! Loved all the projects, the range of charities chosen and the kindness that went into each and every one!!!!!! So sorry that only a few can win..... But so impressive!

  9. #2 Shannon! I saw 'Peyton's Twin' in person, and she is adorable. What's more, her brothers explained Peyton's colostomy bag and stoma to me using Shannon's wonderful creation, and did so with such care...what a gift. A truly 'anatomically correct' doll of a different kind and a labor of love from one Mom to another.

  10. So much talent, I love them all.

  11. Hello from Casey's blog! Super cute site!!

  12. # 3! I love the little monsters and having "i belong to" tags is so thoughtful!


Thanks for your comment. Have a great day!
♥Rach H