I like to get everything tidied away before Christmas. There was a little pile of sewing that I had pushed to the back of my mind until 2014. But I found myself with some free time and decided to finish it off. Here are 5 mama bags. They are basically drawstring bags made to the same size as a pillow case. These will go off to Greenfields Africa which is an organisation that distributes clothing, blankets and other items to new mothers and babies in Kenya and Uganda. This is what their website says about the mama bags:
"a mama bag contains a cotton vest, a knitted cardigan, a beanie and bootees, a babygrow, and a blanket, plus locally bought soap, vaseline etc. To qualify for a mama bag, the mum is required to attend 3 ante-natal clinics during the pregnancy"
So they are an incentive for the mothers to attend ante-natal classes and they give them much needed supplies for the first few weeks of the babies' lives.
They cost me very little to make. I bought the yellow gingham material for 49p per piece in a charity shop. The drawstrings are very long shoe laces and some thin braid that I have been saving for years. The wine and grey material has sentimental value as it comes from a duvet which I placed my baby daughter on when she came home for the first time. Eighteen years later this same "baby" managed to burn the duvet cover with her hair straighteners. I rescued what was left of the material to make these bags. Its great to know that it will be useful thousands of miles away.
What did I learn making these bags?:
- how to make a drawstring bag! I put only one drawstring into each bag and they close nicely. The method of putting in 2 drawstrings works well in some bags, but caused a lot of bulk in these bigger bags.
- how to sew French seams. These bags will take a lot of punishment. I always intended to sew a double seam and then found an article about French seams and how neat they are. They hide the raw edges and I will definitely use this technique again.
- gingham is not as simple to cut and sew as it should be. I thought the straight lines would make cutting out and sewing straight bags very easy. I was wrong. That was probably why someone else had donated the material to the charity shop!
I've said it before, but that is definitely the last sewing project of 2013. (Famous last words?)