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.

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.

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. 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? 

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