Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Skirting the Issue: Duffle Bags

The other day I was looking around the internet and reading more information about foster care when I ran across this:
"If you have ever seen a child who has been taken into foster care carrying all their
belongings from place to place, you probably noticed that their suitcase is usually a

GARBAGE BAG. Their world has been turned upside down and they drag around what
they have left in a GARBAGE BAG, probably a visual expression of exactly how they feel
about themselves. The State of Utah averages 2700 foster children (children in custody)
at any given time, with 1200 more coming in each year.

Our goal is to eliminate GARBAGE BAGS as an acceptable form of luggage for these
children whose lives have been disrupted. If we all pull together we can reach this goal.
A simple Duffle Bag to carry their possessions could have a significant impact on these
children. It is an easy and quick sewing project whether you are a beginner or
experienced sewer."
Why hadn't I thought about this before???
I don't know.  It seems so obvious.
The link to this article and the tutorial for how to make suitable duffle bags can be found here:
(Its on one of the pages in the Division of Child and Family Services site.)
Duffle bags...what a great idea...I know what we will spend a week on next year...but if you'd like to make and donate some for this year, please do!  It really is such a fantastic idea.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Bereavement Gowns

Today over at Simple Simon and Company we are sharing some wonderful links to patterns for various Bereavement Gowns.

They are so tiny...but oh, so much love goes into them.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Skirting the Issue: Week 5

Even though you have until August 18th to upload your items to the Skirting the Issue Flickr Group this is our last week to have posts dedicated only to Skirting the Issue.
We appreciate all the BEAUTIFUL items that have already been made and shared in the Flickr group.  Here are a few of the items that were uploaded last week:
This adorable dress and shirts were made by Fenna who donated them to a pregnancy care center.

Melanie made these darling skirts that are on their way to a children's home in Honduras.

And Krista made this adorable blanket that she will be donating to a local hospital.
I love the variety of projects and places that they are being donated to.
Honestly, I'm constantly being overwhelmed by the goodness that is out there in our sewing community.  Thank you so much to everyone who is sewing along with us.
PS---This week we are will be talking about bereavement gowns over at Simple Simon and Company so you can head over there to find out why and tomorrow we will be sharing patterns to make them and information about where to donate them.
PS---I CAN NOT sign into Flickr anymore (to comment under my name)----which is why there is a terrible lack of comments from me in the group....does anyone know why that might be happening????
Friday, July 26, 2013

Skirting the Issue with The Ribbon Retreat

We do have a couple more sponsors to thank for helping us out with Skirting the Issue.  It still makes me nervous to ask companies to donate prizes (I am kind of shy) but when I do.....The Ribbon Retreat is always one of the first in line to say yes.  They are that generous and that amazing.

Not only does The Ribbon Retreat have incredible ribbons....

but they also carry a well-stocked fabric section with some of your favorite brands....

and even better...they are having great sales this weekend.  There are deals left and right with some of them 20-25% off.  All their new fabrics are 20% off.....amazing, right?

So head over to The Ribbon Retreat....and shop around.  You will thank me later!  And thank you for donating so generously....we so appreciate it.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Skirting the Issue with Pick Your Plum

Skirting the Issue wouldn't be possible without our great sponsors and we want to thank them for helping us out with prizes for donations.

And today's sponsor is the amazing Pick Your Plum, the daily deal site that brings you quality crafting supplies at amazing prices.

Today's chevron fabric deal (hopefully it's not sold out yet) is  AMAZING!!!!!  Go HERE to check it out.

And a huge thanks to Pick Your Plum for donating prizes for some lucky winners in our Skirting the Issue Flickr group.  Thanks Pick Your Plum!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Skirting the Issue: Handmade Crayon roll Tutorial

Today Kimbo from  A Girl and a Glue Gun is sharing her simple crayon roll and coloring book cover to Skirting the Issue....
Head HERE to see her tutorial.  Thanks Kimbo!!!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Skirting the Issue: A New Doll Pattern

Today it's all about making handmade dolls for Skirting the Issue. 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Skirting the Issue: Doll Pattern (and other handmade toys...)

This week for Skirting the Issue we are focusing on dolls and other small handmade toys to give to children in need....

Head over to Simple Simon and Company for more details!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Skirting the Issue: Blanket Tutorial from See Kate Sew

This week we are highlighting blankets to donate.  And so we want to send you over to our friend Kate's blog today to check out her darling Triangle Baby Quilt!

It's a great tutorial, with clear instructions and steps.
And besides that it is just a really cool blanket that ANYONE (child, teen, or adult) would love to receive.
Here's the link:  Triangle Quilt Tutorial
(And for ideas on locations where you can donate blankets check out this post: Skirting the Issue:  Places to Donate.) 
Monday, July 15, 2013

Skirting the Issue: It's Half Way Week

Skirting the Issue always runs through the month of July and because this year July has 5 weeks it means that this week, week 3, is our half way point!

 This week we will be talking about making blankets to donate and sharing some tutorials but first we just wanted to do two things:

#1.  Say thank you to all of you who have been sewing along and posting your items in the Skirting the Issue Flickr group.  And also a thank you to all of you that have sent emails, left comments, and shared stories.  We appreciate hearing from each one of you.

#2.  Remind you of the gifts that we have to give away to ladies who sew along.  Over the weekend I was talking to someone who had just found the prize page.  She didn't realize how many things we had to giveaway....and we do...thank you to some very generous sponsors.  (Gifts like gift cards, fabric, and even a brand new Singer Sewing machine!)   So get sewing...not only will you be doing something kind for someone else but you will get a chance to win some great gifts. that is that!
Watch tomorrow for blanket tutorials and just in case you missed them here are links to the tutorials from the first 2 weeks.

Week 1:  Skirts

A Round-up of 18 girls skirt tutorials

A Round-up of 3 women's maxi-skirt tutorials

A girls tiered skirt tutorial

Week 2:  Pillowcases

Easy pillowcase using a serger

Pillowcase with French Seams

Pillowcase for Beginners
Friday, July 12, 2013

Skirting the Issue: Quote of the Week: Audrey Hepburn

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Skirting the Issue: Pillowcase Tutorial by The Crafty Cupboard

This week with Skirting the Issue we are talking about pillowcases.  (To find out why you can read this post:  A Pillowcase Tutorial and A Story I've Never Told.)

And, today we'd like to send you over to one of our favorite bloggers to have you check out her well written, super easy pillowcase tutorial. 

Cute right?

Go check out the full tutorial HERE on Melanie's darling blog, The Crafty Cupboard!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Skirting the Issue: Places to Donate List

Today we are talking about where to donate your items for Skirting the Issue
Since we added more projects this year we've had emails asking where these items can be donated.  So below is a list of our projects and ideas for charities that are in need of the items.
This year we really wanted everyone to be able to sew something that was meaningful to them and be able to donate it to a charity that they had a tender place in their heart for.
(My tender place, as you all know, is for making skirts for girls in foster me it's the best project ever...but I am also planning on making at least 1 of each of the items on our list this year.)
The other idea that we wanted to share this year is that to help others in need we don't need to look far...there are opportunities right here in our own communities.  We don't need to go somewhere far away or do something extravagant! 
We can help heal one another starting at home at our sewing machines...making just one simple item for someone else with love.
(It sounds so cheesy and lame but its true so I'm owning what I just said up there---you and I can make a difference.   I believe it.  I really do.)
So here's the list...and it's a "working list".
By which I mean I'm planning on adding to it.  So let us know where you plan on donating your items (or even if you are just aware of an organization in need of any of them) and we will add those organizations to the list!

*Local foster care closets

*Local hospitals---especially the pediatric centers within the hospitals

*Local Children's hospitals (at many children's hospitals patients are given their own pillowcase to use and take with them when they leave)

*The people at American Patchwork & Quilting have started a challenge---a challenge to have one million pillowcases made and donated to charity---and they are half way there!!!!  They don't care where your pillowcases are donated to as long as they go to a charity.  And on their site they have complied an AMAZING AMAZING AMAZING list of places that accept pillowcase donations.  So please click on over there and check it out.  Here is the link:  All People Sew


Project Linus

Project Night Night

Quilts of Valor

Dolls/Match Box Car Mats/Crayon Totes

Family Support and Treatment Center

Bereavement Gowns
*Local hospitals
And...if you'd rather not track down any of those options you can always mail your items to us and we will get them to the charities that need them most!  (You can find our mailing address on the Skirting the Issue Fact Sheet.)
Like I said the list is a work in progress but hopefully we will add a lot to it.
Now really quickly before I sign off for the day here is the answer to 2 commonly asked questions:
#1.  When do I have to have my items done and the photos into the Flickr group?
Not until 11:59 PM (MST) on August 18th
#2.  Do my items have to be made with your tutorials?
NO!!!!  Make them with whatever pattern or tutorial you'd like...and at any time you don't even need to make them during the week that we spotlight the particular item!  Just choose what interests you and make it the way you see fit. 

Other Ideas for Donation Locations
There are many places through out the United States that will accept some or even all of the items listed above.  However, as needs vary from state to state (and even within states) you should check with your local chapter of these agencies before dropping off your items to make sure they are accepted and needed.
*United Way
*Community Action
*Food and Care Coalition
*Women's Shelters
*Family Support and Treatment Centers
*Head Start
*Kids on the Move
*Boys and Girls Clubs of America
*Transitional Housing
*Ronald McDonald Houses
*St. Jude's
*Holy Cross Ministries
*The Road Home House
And as always, if you would like to mail us your items we will add them to ours and drop them off at the appropriate locations!  (You can find our mailing address here:  Skirting the Issue Fact Sheet.)

Friday, July 5, 2013

Skirting the Issue: What we have for YOU!

I love Skirting the Issue.  Not only does it allow me to share something that is important to me with all of you but it reminds me of how much good there is in the world.
Reading your emails, watching your projects come in, and knowing the good that is happening fills me up.  I love thinking about each you out there sewing along with us in your craft rooms, craft corners, or kitchen tables :) lovingly making something for a perfect stranger.  We don't know each other.  Most of us will never meet but for a small time we can be united in doing something kind, something that can make another's burden's a little lighter, something small but still wonderful.
It's these thoughts that fill me up and give me hope.
And this year I am even more hopeful than we were planning Skirting the Issue this year we again wanted to be able to give away some gifts to ladies who have sewn along with us and donated items to charities.  We talked over a few sponsors and sent out some emails...then to our delight, EVERY sponsor that we contacted, replied quickly and positively...they were on board and would happily donate gifts to women who sew along with us! 
How excited we were!  There is so much good! 
(Thank you so much to each of these companies who so willingly and wonderfully donated gifts to a few lucky ladies.)
How glad I am to be part of a sewing community that is filled with so many wonderful people.
This year, everyone who uploads a photo to the Skirting the Issue Flickr group by August 18th at 11:59 PM (MST) will automatically be entered to win one of the following prizes:
Besides, being a brand new sewing machine...and a's awesome!
Key Features include:

- 231 Built In Stitches, including Alpha Numeric
- SwiftSmart™ Threading System with Automatic Needle Threader
-Drop & Sew™ Bobbin System
- Pattern Elongation on Select Decorative Stitches
- Stitch Memory with Editing
- Presser Foot Sensor with Error Message and Buzzer
- Programmable Needle Up/Down
- Start/Stop Button and Speed Control
- Extra-Large Sewing Space
(To read more about it and there other amazing machines just click here:  Singer 
And a special thank you to Singer for sponsoring Skirting the Issue for the second year in a row.  We appreciate their interest in our project and their generosity.)

Next is a $75 gift basket from Pick Your Plum
(If you haven't been to their site yet, you are really missing out!  They have new deals every day and they are AMAZING!!!  Really, they are.)

Our next prize is a $50 gift card to The Ribbon Retreat.  We cannot say enough good about this company.  Not only do they sell quality product but it is run by quality women.  We LOVE them.
Girl Charlee fabrics is giving 4 lucky participants a $25 gift card to their online fabric shop!  Recently we've seen their name popping up all over blogland and we know why----besides their awesome selection of knits they are FABULOUS to work with.

Simply Sweet Fabric is our next generous sponsor who is giving a $25 gift card to her adorable etsy shop to one lucky person!   (Not only is her shop full of darling items but she is fast at filling orders and easy to work with...we know this from first hand experience!)
And finally we have one of our favorite shops, the one and only Fat Quarter Shop, that is also donating a $25 gift certificate.  (This is another company that we can recommend from personal experience...every time our paths have crossed it has been nothing but pleasant.  We think they are fabulous.)

So there you have it!  The gifts that are up for grabs for those who sew along with us.  It's a great list from some of our very favorite places.
Thank you again to our sponsors.
And thank you to all of you out there who will be sewing along with us.  We appreciate it.
We can't wait to see what everyone makes!
PS--To find out all the information about how to get involved with Skirting the Issue check out this post:  Skirting the Issue Fact Sheet.  And to find a list of charities that you can donate your handmade items to check out this post Skirting the Issue Place to Donate List.
Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Skirting the Issue: Skirt Tutorials from iCandy

Today we have some tutorials from our friends Jen and Autie over at iCandy.  We've loved them forever.  They are just plain cool and we take advantage of every opportunity we can find to hang out with them...even if it is only in cyber space.
These ladies work magic with knit and have loads of awesome knit skirt tutorials that are great for girls, teens, and women.
Like this one:
 and this one:
and this one:
The Downeast Skirt Dress Knock Off

And there are plenty of others on their skirt and tutorials page so head on over to iCandy and check them out!

This week Skirting the Issue is focusing on making skirts to donate to various charities....I am donating mine to a fantastic local foster care closet.  There they said that they are usually in pretty good shape for the younger girls but for the tween and teen aged girls there is a real need.  So with back to school coming up those are the size skirts I am focusing on making.

Are you going to sew along with us?  (I hope so.)  And if you are where are you planning on donating your skirts to?  Foster care like me or another place that you know is in need?  Let us know, we'd love to hear all about it.

PS---If you need a good girl/teen sizing chart you can use this one here that we put together last year.
Skirt Sizing Charts & Measurements
***Please note that the sizes are all actual measurements.
 (So that means if you are making a girls skirt with an elastic waistband and the chart says an average size 4 is a 21 inch waist then that would be her actual waist measurement and you would need to cut the elastic at 20 inches...or accordingly depending on the style skirt you are making.)

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Skirting the Issue 2013 Fact Sheet

Skirting the Issue 2013 Fact Sheet
To make things as easy as possible we tried to compile all the information for Skirting the Issue into one location.  However, if we missed any details or you still have questions please leave us a comment or send us an email and we will get back to you quickly!
What is Skirting the Issue?
A month long event where you are invited to sew along with us and make items to donate to charity.  (For more details read this post:  Skirting the Issue 2013 Begins Today!)
Who Can Participate?
Anyone who would like to sew along.  The more the merrier!
How Do I Participate?
Choose an item that you would like to sew (we will be sharing tutorials for 5 different for each week in the month of July) then sew it up and donate it to the charity of your choice.
How Do I Find A Charity?
We will provide a list of charities that are in need of the items that we are making each week.  You can choose from the list or if you know of an organization that you would like to donate your items to that we haven't listed (especially if it is in your own community) please donate to where you know there is a need!  To read through the list just click here:  Skirting the Issue, Places to Donate 
What If I Would Rather Just Mail You My Items?
That is great to.  At the end of Skirting the Issue we will be taking all our items plus those mailed to us to various charities.  And we promise that anything you mail to us will be delivered to those who need and will appreciate them.   (Last year quite a few of you mailed us your skirts and that was wonderful to be able to take those boxes of skirts into the foster care office!)
What Is The Address If I Choose To Mail In My Item/Items?
We have set up a post office box for this event.  And the address is:
PO BOX 753
Lehi, Utah
How Do I Show That I Have Made An Item To Donate?
Just upload a picture to the Flickr group and under your photo tell us where you are planning on donating that item to!  (Here is a link that will take you directly to the Flickr group:  Skirting the Issue Flickr Group.)  However, if the Flickr group sounds too complicated (and it really isn't, I promise) then just email us...we like that to :)
When Do I Have To Have My Items Finished By?
The Skirting the Issue Flickr group will "officially close" at 11:59 P.M. (MST) on August 18th.
Can I Make More Than One Item?
Of course!  We would welcome 1 or 100 items!
Do I Have To Make The Items From The Weekly Tutorials?
Heavens no!  We are just providing tutorials for ideas.  Please use what ever patterns you'd like and sew what ever items that you know are in need. 
Is There Anything In This For Me?
We wish we could send you all a personal thank you gift...but there are only two of us.  However, we did round up some fantastic gifts from some generous sponsors to give away to a few of you wonderful people who sew along with us.  At the end of Skirting the Issue we will randomly select "winners" for the sew along prizes...which are really great...fabric, gift cards, and A BRAND NEW SINGER SEWING MACHINE!!!   (To see a complete list of all the prizes you can read this post:  Skirting the Issue, What We Have For You.)
Is There A Button Or Way To Show On My Blog That I Am Participating In Skirting The Issue?
Yes!  There is a button.  And here it is along with the code!
Simple Simon and Co

Hopefully this answers any questions you may have about Skirting the Issue.
Last year we set a goal of having 100 items finished and donated by the deadline and we far more than exceeded that number.  This year we are again hoping for 100 items.  Please help us reach our goal. 
-liZ and Elizabeth

We've had a few more here they are with the answers:
Is there a place I can go to find a sizing chart or measurements to make skirts?
Yes!  We made a sizing and measurements chart for girls and teens last year and you can find it here:  Sizing & Measurements Chart
Is there a size skirt that is needed more than others?
We have been told that the foster care closets are usually ok for preschool and smaller sizes but the need comes in older girl sizes, especially tween and teen sizes.
Is the Flickr link the same as last year?
Yes.  (So you can go back and see what was linked up that way last year!)  Here's the link:  Skirting the Issue Flickr Group
When can I start posting items in the Flickr group?
Now!  Whenever!  Get posting.  (And remember you have until 11:59 P.M. (MST) on August 18th before the Flickr group officially "closes".

Do I have to upload a separate photo for every item I make?
NO!  If you want to take a photo of a group of items that is great.  OR if you want to take a separate photo of each item we welcome that as well!

What if I only make one item?
Then that is awesome and there will be someone out there in the world who feels a little happier because of you.


Monday, July 1, 2013

Skirting the Issue 2013 Begins Today!!!

We have been waiting for this morning for months now and we are so excited that it is finally here:  Day 1 of Skirting the Issue!
As we mentioned last week, things will run a little differently this year.  Last year Skirting the Issue focused on making and donating skirts to foster care girls to have just in time for back to school.   (And with all of your help we were able to donate almost 600 skirts!)  This year we will kick off Skirting the Issue again with skirts for foster care (or another location of your choice.)  After that each week will focus on a different item that can be handmade and we will provide a list of locations that needs those items.
Here's the schedule:
Week One (July 1):  Skirts
Week Two (July 8):  Pillowcases
Week Three (July 15):  Blankets
Week Four  (July 22):  Dolls
Week Five (July 29):  Bereavement Gowns
(Each week we will also provide tutorials on all 3 of our blogs (Simple Simon and Company, Project Run and Play, and Project Sewn) for the weekly project.)
So why the change? 
Well, we better start back at the beginning...and where Skirting the Issue came from...
Elizabeth and I always knew that we wanted to "do something good" with our blog.  Then two years ago we started planning a month long event where we could organize a giant sew along that could bring all of us together, sewing in our own homes, on our own time, but for the same cause.
After that we needed to choose a cause. On this point Elizabeth and I went round and round and back and forth.  There were so many great charities and places to sew for.  But finally on one late night phone call we decided on Foster Care...and it just felt right.  And it was.  (Especially since both of us have  a tender places in our hearts for foster kids.)
Finally with the plan complete we launched Skirting the Issue on July 2nd of last year.  And your response was wonderful.  There was more than one time we called one another in tears after reading an email, a post or receiving a package in the mail.  You women were amazing.  And we appreciated all of your love and support.
This year as we talked it over and began to plan we felt strongly that we wanted each of you to be able to sew along with us...all together...but be able to sew for a cause that you love as much as we love foster care.  So hopefully with the projects we've selected this year you can find something that you can make and donate to a charity that is close to your heart.  (And maybe even one that is in your own community!)
Later tonight we will post a "Skirting the Issue Facts Sheet" that will give you any details that you might need for the month.  Also watch for an upcoming post about our sponsors for Skirting the Issue....we have some great sponsors on board this year with some great gifts to give out to those who sew along with us. 
Until then...think about the project you'd like make and where you'd like to donate it to...
We are really looking forward to this!
PS:  Here's a quick answer to a commonly asked question: 
Q:  How do you know what I made or where I donated it to?
A:  You can take a picture of it and post it in the Flickr group!
(Here's the link:  Skirting the Issue Flickr Group)
And if you have any more questions, hopefully the facts sheet (coming tonight) will answer any of those, and if not...leave a comment or send an email and we will answer you quickly!