Sunday, 31 July 2016

Elephants for Education - sewing towards a better word!

Today I have a guest post from Sally, from Human and Hope Association, a grassroots charity in Siem Reap, Cambodia. They are currently running a crowdfunding campaign, Elephants for Education, where they are asking people to adopt an elephant toy, made by their graduated sewing students. The funds then go towards education of children in Cambodia.

I'm sure sewing has enhanced many of our lives and it's great to see how sewing can help out entire communities in other countries, by empowering women and giving them a career that can help better their own community. I love elephants and I love sewing so I'm looking forward to adopting my own Human and Hope elephant soon!
When Saney was in her early 20s, she dreamed of being a seamstress. However, for someone living in poverty and only having enough food to eat twice a day, this dream was out of reach for her. When she was 28 years old, Saney's neighbour told her about a new sewing program at an NGO she had just graduated from. Eager to study, Saney asked her husband for permission. He said no. She asked again. He said no. She continued to persist until her husband eventually agreed for her to study in the sewing program at Human and Hope Association.

After studying for just six weeks in the program, Saney asked to borrow a machine so she could start her own business. Given her excellent quality and productivity, we hired Saney to be a seamstress and to help launch our sewing business. We enrolled her daughter in English classes at HHA, and given she also struggled with learning her native language at public school, we started teaching her Khmer language, too.

Saney graduated from our sewing program in October 2014. She now has a successful business at her home, and her income has increased significantly. Her daughter is top of her class at public school and at Human and Hope Association, and is much more confident in her ability to speak with other students.

Human and Hope Association doesn’t just provide sewing training; we provide education and community development opportunities, too. We are currently fundraising for our 2017 education programs, with an aim to provide 150 marginalised Cambodian children with education opportunities, including English and Khmer language, preschool, art class and library.

Saney and other graduated sewing students have received an income by making adorable elephants available for our supporters to adopt as part of the campaign. Not only is each elephant super cute, but each one has their own name. For example, Bopha can provide a whole month’s English education to a child!

It costs just $25 to provide a forever home to an elephant AND educate a child, with shipping included in Australia. We are urging our supporters to pledge and share, so we can reach our goal of raising $15,000 by August 25th. Check out the campaign at and keep your eyes peeled for exclusive giveaways on our Instagram account!

Sunday, 10 July 2016

More Linden Sweaterdress success!

As soon as I finished my last, and successful, Linden Sweaterdress I raced into Tessuti to buy some more fabric for another. The fabric is the same as before, but in a different colourway. It really is beautiful.

Source: Tessuti

I really like how cosy the wool-blend is without being too hot or scratchy and this particular fabric works really well with this pattern. It has a good amount of drape and the perfect amount of stretch to result in a really comfortable, and nice-looking dress.

There is not much to say about this dress as it is exactly the same as the last one - I didn't change anything and it's worked really well. I made it last Saturday (took the majority of the day including cutting out) and then wore it on Sunday to an all-day weaving workshop I attended. I was pretty comfortable, felt suitably warm in the cold community hall and even got a few compliments.

I think now that I have two of these dresses that is enough for this winter. Although they fit really well and are an easy sew I don't want to get into the trap of sewing just for the sake it -- hence my foray into other crafts like tapestry weaving and polymer jewellery. I like to have something crafty to do at home so I'm not just blobbing out in front of the TV but I feel like I do have enough clothes so sewing any more at this point would be unnecessary and create clutter in my wardrobe (which in turn creates anxiety). I'm not saying I'm giving up sewing -- just that I think I have enough "stuff" for now.

That said (ha!) I have enough of this material left over for a Mabel Skirt -- which would be nice winter garment I think.

Pattern: "Linden Sweatshirt" by Grainline Studios
Size: 16
Modifications: lengthened hem by 9"; sleeves shortened by 1", added 1cm to the width of the neckband plus 3" in length
Fabric:  Diamonds On Navy from Tessuti - a Grey/Black Italian Stretch Embossed Jacquard Knit Poly/Wool/Elastane
Changes for next time: nothing - it's PERFECT!