Did you take part in last year's Craftsy community service sewing project? We had an incredible response, with blog readers sewing more than 250 NICU smocks to be donated to Vanderbilt Children's Hospital!
This year, Craftsy (in partnership with the Music City Modern Quilt Guild and Craft Buds) is once again inviting readers to sew along with us and bring some cheer to families of babies admitted into NICU care at Vanderbilt!
Because of the wires and tubes babies wear in the NICU, normal newborn clothing is not an option. That is why Craftsy member Kymy created the free NICU Smock sewing pattern. It’s encouraging for parents going through a difficult situation to be able to dress their baby in a handmade outfit for photos and for warmth.
Last year, readers sewed a variety of NICU smocks in holiday and everyday, child-friendly prints. Every little outfit adds up, and I was blown away by the number of readers who sent in not one or two, but 10, 20 or even 40 tiny little smocks! Each year, Vanderbilt's Level 3 NICU admits over 1,300 critically ill newborns to its 104-bed facility. All this to say that we'd love to donate just as many smocks as last year, and any number of smocks you can donate will go to good use!
Want to sew along with us?
This charity sew-along runs from August 1, 2015 to November 1, 2015. This gives you three months to sew up one or more NICU smocks (each takes an hour or less to sew) and donate them to a great cause. No matter where you live, we’d like to invite you to join us in sewing for charity.
The NICU smocks pattern is a FREE download from Craftsy member Everything Your Mama Made.
According to the pattern, you can either finish with a serger or sew them together as pictured (pressed and top-stitched). With a serger, these would go together in no time at all. Please finish the smocks with Velcro closures, because the hospital has stricter regulations on snap closures and the smocks cannot be used.
Involve your community
- Is your child in a 4-H club? Suggest sewing NICU smocks as a charity project! Isn’t it wonderful that kids how they can get interested in community service from a young age?
- Use your weekend! Spend Friday night cutting out fabric, Saturday sewing smocks, Sunday pressing and adding velcro. You can even ask family and friends to help.
- Contact your local hospital's NICU and ask if they can use handmade smocks. (Some can't, simply due to regulations.) If you prefer and the hospital allows, we'd love for you to donate them locally!
We'd like to receive smocks in holiday prints, but also cute baby girl, boy, or gender neutral fabric like these animal prints from Ann Kelle that can be used any time of year. Last year, we received about half and half (holiday and non-holiday prints) for a great mix.
Alternately, you are welcome to sew along and donate outfits to your local NICU. Get together some friends and sew a whole bunch of smocks if you’d like. Tip: Make sure to call ahead and see if they are willing to accept this kind of donation.
Want to sew along with us? Here’s how it works:
- Download the FREE NICU smock pattern on Craftsy.
- Print off the last six pages, and follow the directions for the 3- to 5-pound size.
- Sew one or more NICU smocks in cheerful holiday fabrics or child-friendly prints. Please use quality quilting cottons for the outside and any coordinating flannel for the lining. You may pre-wash your fabrics or not — it’s up to you! Please secure with velcro, not snaps.
- Fill out this Google Form if you plan to sew along. We'll give you the mailing address to donate your sewn smocks to benefit Nashville’s Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital.
- Mail your smocks to the address provided. All smocks must be postmarked by November 1, 2015.
- Join our Facebook group to share your creations.