Category Archives: sewing projects

Any sewing I am working on right at the time.

Doing my homework and getting my stuff organized

It has been quite a long time since I have written here on WordPress.  I got very busy this new year organizing all my fabrics, trims, patterns and sewing supplies as well as making many new sample garments.  I am going to try my hand at selling at a local Arts and Crafts fair early this summer.  I am also trying do a better job of selling my dresses on Etsy.  So folks, I have done my homework; checking out books from the library and reading through some instructional books on various social media and electronics, alias .”…for Dummies.”  I have also done my share of reading some inspirational books as you see below.

IMG_2734Yes, there is also an excellent book in the group entitled Chronic Pain.  Chronic pain is still my daily companion/ “thorn in the flesh”.  Even though I have changed to a gluten-free, dairy-free diet hoping to reduce inflammation, the pain is still a challenge.  But sewing little girls dresses in a well set-up sewing room is a great way to getting my mind off my pain.

A young gal from church has offered to help me with my social networking.  Learning to use an iMac and and iPhone have been enough of a challenge without including using WordPress, Etsy, Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter.  So hopefully I will be sharing my stories and blessings more frequently with the prompting and assistance from the younger generation friend.  I remind myself I am doing all of this for the purpose of supporting orphans and young girls in need of a pretty dress.  That makes it all worthwhile!  Thanks for reading.

Speed Sewing and my brother, Paul Singer.

Speed Sewing and my brother, Paul Singer.

I was so excited today when I sewed the third dress like this for the store Little Pampered People. I wasn’t pleased at all how long it took me to sew the first dress off this pattern. Another seamstress turned the project down because she said she didn’t “do” zippers. I guess that is equivalent to a house cleaner who doesn’t clean windows. Well, I needed a sewing project because my sewing drawing account was almost empty. The first day of sewing seemed to take all day. I did some studying on speed sewing and got some ideas. I tried the sewing tips on the second dress and cut my time in half (now 4 hours). Today I mastered them and finished the machine sewing in 2 hours! Yes!! Now I might be able to earn minimum wage. I just reminded myself that it is all for the cause of sewing so I can buy supplies to sew and send dresses to orphan girls around the world. It is timely that I am reminded of my mission because four years ago today my brother, Paul, was ushered into the Lord’s presence. Paul’s love of orphans and their care inspired me to use my love of sewing to create this ministry of The Samaritan Sewer and sew for orphans.

Minature Singer sewing machine & pink buttons

A couple of weeks ago, I was feeling a little unsure if this sewing venture is something I am capable of completing. That afternoon I stopped at Miracle Mart (MM) to see if they had any fabric donations that I might want to add to my stash. I also needed some small white buttons to use on a garment I was sewing but I didn’t want to go all the way to the fabric store to get. Much to my surprise I found at MM a huge ziploc bag full of small white and PINK buttons! I felt the Lord was saying, see I will provide what you need and more. Since sewing for little girls and dolls will definitely involve pink and white notions.

I think I found some fabric that afternoon but more importantly I found this hand painted miniature sewing machine, complete with a Singer label. It was right there on an eye level shelf and only $1.00. Once again I felt the Lord was saying in a humorous way, “keep on sewing on that old Singer machine you have!” (I use my Bernina too though.)

I was convinced earlier that this sewing ministry was what I was to supposed to be doing but some days it is nice to get a visual confirmations!

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Special order dress/a study in contrasts

Last night I finished sewing a special order dress for a little girl, the daughter of a young mother who started showing interest in my sewing ministry and picked out one of the dresses I had already sewn as one her daughter would love to have. The only problem was the size. So I agreed that since I had extra fabric in her daughter’s favorite color of purple, I would custom make a dress to fit her. It was fun to sew that dress and to picture in my mind the little girl and to even pray for her. I thought about all the other girls that will receive the pillowcase dresses from missionaries or in orphanages where I will be sending the dresses Mom and I are sewing. What a contrast! You see the little girl receiving the purple special ordered dress is the grand daughter of a mission board director, the niece of veteran missionaries to China, and also niece to missionaries headed to Cambodia. Her parents could probably afford to buy her a brand new dress from most any department store but they chose to support my cause. She is surrounded by loving family and extended family who could all provide for her needs yet she will smile and twirl, showing off her new dress just as happily as the orphans will when they receive their dress. So as I stitch, I smile and pray for the girl who will one day soon be the wearer. I wonder too, what treasures each girl will hide in her pocket and more importantly, in her heart.

Little people clothing shop

IMG_0104 IMG_0105So 2 weeks ago I step into an independent children’s clothing store that I have driven by hundreds of times in the last 7 years but never stopped in. But one day a month ago my daughter-in-law mentions to me that I might want to check their clearance rack in the back of the store where she has found some $1 items. Since I can use nearly new tops to transform into dresses for DAG (Dress a Girl around the World), I stopped when I drove by that day. I noticed the owner not only sold consignment garments but she had some beautiful new, well-made garments too that didn’t have labels in them. So when I was checking out I asked the owner who made those dresses and she said “we do.” “Do you need someone to help you sew?” I asked. “Yes, I need someone to sew dresses. Do you know someone?” She explained that she would buy the material, pre-wash it, and give me a call to come get it. A week and a half later I am delivering these 9 dresses to her shop! She will add a matching pink bow to the pink ribbon band. Now granted, I will not make much money per dress and I need to continue to increase my speed, but it is income! How could I turn down that opportunity? If this is God’s work and I walk into a store and the lady is in need of someone to sew little girls dresses, I felt like is was no accident.

Etsy start up blog

Lots of “firsts” for me these days. Yesterday I opened my first Etsy account which is for the purpose of funding my new ministry to sew for orphans around the world. I wanted to use this picture in my start up yesterday on my banner but I couldn’t seem to figure out how to make that work. There were LOTS of things I tried to do in the start up of this business in the last few days that didn’t work! It was almost all operator error, however. You see, I only know enough about computers, facebook, Etsy, blogging etc., to see things I WANT to do but not knowledge to know how to completely follow through with them. My statements more recently have been that I want to just sew and give and not have to deal with all this computer stuff. But that is not possible. For one, because I don’t have the financial funds to do all this fabric shopping and garment shipping from our pocketbook but also, because I want to include others in this endeavor. I hope to find other folks who share my compassion for providing for others who are way less fortunate. You see, I grew up with parents who cared about me and provided for me. I remember my Mom sewing dresses for me because, at that time, it was impossible to find clothes to fit me in the store. I think there may have been a few nights she sewed in the wee hours of the morning to finish a dress for me to wear for a special event. I know lots of friends in Greenville who can sew and might even have fabric they can donate to the cause, so blogging can help get the word out.

I truly want to do more than just sew and sell. I want to record in writing all about this journey. This picture is one of my favorites so far because these two girls were adopted by a friend in my church several years ago. When I asked their Mother if I could sew a dress for them with the agreement that we could take some pictures of them, I never dreamed that this terrific shot would be one of the end results. This is Shawna and Tessa showing the innocence and natural joy of being a girl and wearing a new dress. (My daughter-in-law, Jenny Hulehan, took the pictures for me and captured this terrific shot.) In the future, I hope to show other pictures of girls in orphanages or on the mission field, wearing the dresses I have sewn.

My desire is to write about this journey. My daughter-in-law, Jenn B, inspired this portion of the project. Yes, both of my daughter-in-laws are named Jennifer! Jenn B. has been an inspiration in her blogging and creative writing. I love reading her entries on Word Press; they have helped me to learn about her teaching and everyday living in ways I never could have imagined. Her writings have allowed me to “peak” into her heart and soul and learn what motivates her as a teacher, writer, wife, friend, and advocate for foster kids and abandoned animals. I want to follow her lead.

I was reading yesterday in Psalm 90:17 “And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish thou the work of our hands upon us, yea, the work of our hands, establish thou it.” This sewing ministry is His. Just as He created all the beautiful colors in life and the many fabrics and designs that I get to work with, I desire to please Him by using my sewing skills to create dresses that would bring great joy and dignity to girls, like Tessa and Shawna. They have expressed that joy of being carefree, happy little girls so well in this picture.

I will try my best to record this journey but please bear in mind, my friends and family, that sewing is my gift, not writing and doing computer work. I need to give recognition too to Roy and Patrick for helping me this week in getting my Etsy business launched and for putting up with a messy house in the process. We all may have gone out in public with thread strings attached to our clothing! Hopefully, Roy never rolls over in bed or steps on a pin. These are some of the hazards of being married to a seamstress!

Thanks for reading and caring. Bye, for now.

Tricia

My First Blog Entry
My First Blog Entry