6 Ways to Share Your Sewing Skills with Those in Need

We all love sewing for ourselves and our families and friends. Making something "with love" is a great way to show people you care. If you have never sewn for charity, you'll quickly find it's a wonderful way to share your love of sewing, and help someone in need at the same time. And who doesn't have a bit of extra fabric in their stash? There are plenty of project options available, so you should easily be able to find a need that fits within your available time and skill set.

Here are a few of the best ways to contribute to charities with your sewing!

Chemotherapy turbans - Group Photo
Photo courtesy of Vanessa Vancour and friends, who sewed chemotherapy turbans and had a fun evening!

Charitable organizations that need sewing help:

1. Dress a Girl Around the World
Dress a Girl Group in Africa
Girls helping girls around the world by making pillowcase dresses. Photo courtesy of Dress A Girl Around the World.

Sponsored by Hope 4 Women International, this program provides dresses to girls in countries near and far. By making a simple dress from a pillowcase or minimal fabric, you can provide dignity for little girls who frequently have nothing at all to wear. Download the instructions and pattern for these simple, cute dresses from the pattern section of their Web site.

2. 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge
1 Million Pillowcases Project - Kids

 

Photo courtesy of American Patchwork & Quilting used with permission.

Anyone can make a pillowcase, right? The great news is there's no need to pack and ship your pillowcases, as it is very likely you have a hospital or other organization in your neighborhood that would love the gift of a bright,  cheerful pillowcase made with love. Also AllPeopleQuilt.com is challenging sewers to donate 1 million pillowcases to any number of charities. Be sure to get your donation counted by updating their online pillowcase counter or sending an email to millionpillowcases@meredith.com with your name and pillowcase tally.

3. CareWear Volunteers, Inc.
Care Wear is a nationwide group of volunteers who knit, crochet, and/or sew, providing handmade baby items directly  to hospitals. All Care Wear items are distributed by hospital staff  absolutely FREE to infants, children and their parents. Example projects and patterns include bunnies, bears, preemie kimonos, simple blankets or quilts, and plenty more wonderful sewing items.

4. Chemo Hats and Turbans
Chemotherapy turbans - child and adult
Photo courtesy of Vanessa Vancour

If you are looking for a super quick and easy project, try whipping up a few chemotherapy turbans. With just 5/8 of a yard of a stretchy knit fabric (or a tad more) you can grab a group of friends and set to making these simple hats assembly-line style. Radiation treatment centers and oncologists in your city can be contacted to accept your donations.

5. Hospital Bed Saddlebags

This project was born when Beverly Marek's mother, Marion Windstrup, was under hospice care in 1995. Every time that Beverly visited her mother, there was no place to put her personal items within easy reach because of her mother's limited range of motion. Beverly got busy and designed and made the first "hospital bed saddlebag." You can check with local hospitals in your area to see if this is an item they could use for hospice or other bed-ridden patients. Saddlebags are also a great help to anyone who must spend time in a wheelchair.

6. Walker Caddies
Walker Caddies for the Elderly
Photo courtesy of Craftsy member In My Studio
Walker caddies provide a handy spot for those who use a walker to store a few personal items, and have easy access to them right at their fingertips. This is a quick project to make, and since it takes a small amount of fabric it can often be made from existing project scraps. Be sure to also check out Craftsy member Buckets Gone Wild's FREE pattern for another version of a walker caddy.

By no means is this an exhaustive list of organizations that could use your sewing skills, it is just a start to get you thinking. Be sure to check out Craftsy Cares from time to time to see what initiatives we're working on that you can contribute to as well. Beyond that, you can contact shelters, hospitals, service organizations, pet shelters and veterans organizations in your neighborhood to find a program that speaks to your heart, and will bless another's life at the same time.

What is your favorite organization to sew for? 

 

25 Comments

Paula Lucero

I really love this charity sewing app. I plan on doing some good things for our brothers and sisters out there who are less fortunate. One person makes a world of difference.

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Jane

Wow these projects are wonderful. I am part of a sewing ministry sewing totes, pillowcase dresses, and other apparel as well as stuffed toys for local and abroad needs. We are now at a place where we desperately need working sewing machines.. The hearts and hands of the ladies are tremendous – Any suggestions as to places for sewing machines? Blessings to you!!!

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Lu Ann McWilliams

Have you checked with local fabric stores that sell sewing machines? They may allow you to post a sign about your program and give the purchasers an idea of what to do with their old model after they have updated.

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Alda

Hi Jane,
I run a sewing club in East London, and we have sewing machines that people can use there.
You are very welcome to join us and make your own creations.

Let me know if you are interested 🙂
Alda

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janet kai sodjah

I want it ,I want to come there and sew ,I love sewing I will be very glad to come there

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Zodwa Ndlovu

I love sewing too bt how can l be part of this project. I enjoy sewing and l would like to join you. Thank u.

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JONATHAN GOLDMAN

could use sewers on contract to sew small, simple cloth thimbles

delray beach, fl 561-251-9336

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JONATHAN GOLDMAN

could use sewers on contract to sew small, simple cloth thimbles

delray beach, fl 561-251-9336 p.s. will ship to you

Reply
caridad jackson

Hello,
I want to place an order from you,to our store in spain.I would like to know if you can ship here and accept credit card as a form of payment.
Reply back asap
Thanks
caridad jackson

Reply
Jennifer

Sewing “Inspirational Hearts” for preemie mother’s. 2 flannel hearts sewn together, the mother wears it and places the heart into the crib so the preemie has a scent from home away from home. Please share Preemies of the Carolina’s http://www.facebook.com/preemiesofthecarolinas. We could use hearts, crochet or knitted hats!

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shahida khan

i want to sew some dresses for charities how to get involved in these charities where to mail them i live in london ohio 43140 i want some local place to drop them as churches extra where they colect and mail to different countries thanks who to contact

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Beryl Anders

Would love to be involved in this great volunteer program. I live in Australia, wonder if you have a group here ?

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JD

I’ve been sewing for Days for Girls and Quilts for Kids. Two very different projects and types of sewing.

Quilts for Kids http://www.quiltsforkids.org/find-chapter/ has over 90 chapters around the world. We meet about once a month and sew quilts for children in local hospitals. For me they started by giving me a pattern and material, and once I showed the leader that I could sew, I could then sew what ever design I wanted. The quilts can be as detailed as you like or can be modern and crisp. All work has to be done by machine with no stitches that could be caught on an IV. Sometimes I just follow a pattern and sometimes I sort of create an idea and go for it. So with this group I can be very creative. When I need help there is someone to help and there is always someone to discuss an idea with.

Days for Girls http://www.daysforgirls.org/#!days-for-girls-chapters/c12zw has over 550 chapters in many different countries. Following patterns and directions, we sew “sustainable feminine hygiene” kits and provide instruction to girls so they do not need to miss school days when they are on their cycle. It’s an amazing group to be involved with. The kits are delivered generally by public school nurses – the impact is amazing. Here is a link to some example stories: http://www.daysforgirls.org/#!their-stories/c13r4 This kind of sewing is very different, it’s piece work. They have videos and patterns with instructions. When we put together kits we look for different quality points and sometimes pieces have to be pulled out to be remade or they are just rejected. As a liberated quilter this is a very different kind of sewing to do, but very wonderful.

So I feel lucky to have two different kinds of sewing to do for different kinds of charities. Thought you might be interested in these.

Thanks.

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Barbara - GET SEWING!

JD, thanks for the links. especially the quilts for kids one. I’m GetSewing.com

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Fawzia

I would like to join your sewing group for charity. I live in Singapore. How do I contact you guys.?

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Dena

You ladies are doing amazing things. I would love to help. I am, at present, a single mom. I recently lost my job. I know God is answering my prayers and sending me employment speedily. In the meantime if anyone has sewing contracts please message me back. Thank you and God Bless. Pray for my daughter and myself and I am praying you guys are blessed beyond measure

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marietta gallero

how do i go about if i want to help in sewing. i have a lot of questions but there is no .one i can talk to.

Reply

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