giving back

Your time is your most valuable currency. Gifting a few hours of your time and sewing talent to help an organization in need is priceless.

A former coworker now leads the Davis Direction Foundation, a non-profit that helps teens and young adults fight opioid addiction and assist with their recovery. The annual fundraiser gala is this weekend. Missy called me on Tuesday, desperate for some costuming help. Sequined vests were too small for 3 of the male performers and she couldn’t find replacement ones anywhere. Mind you, I’m a quilter, not a garment sewist, but my friend was in a bind.

I met her at a rehearsal on Tuesday, fitted the guys, took some measurements and headed home to think about my plan of attack. It had been YEARS since I’d made vests. There was no easy way to open the vest from the inside, add the extra fabric and close it back up. Instead of being stymied by overthink, I got started. I’d figure it out as I went along. I cut vests apart, added “binding strips” made from costume satin, hand basted the binding strips, matched everything up and then sewed it together by machine. Very tedious process. (By the third vest, I’d unearthed my water soluble basting tape. It only took 20 minutes to attach and sew the strips). The finished result actually looks like a design element. I delivered the vests to her this afternoon and she was pleased. Hope the alterations work for the performers.

$4.00 in supplies and 4 hours of my time helped a friend in need. Well worth it!

Notes from project:
1) Costume satin from Wal-Mart (matte side was almost an exact match to vest).
2) Stay stitch cut edges of vest 1/4″ away from edge.
3) Stay stitch 1/4″ from edges of insert pieces – use as a guide to press up raw edge, then top stitch along folded edge for clean look.
4) 1/4″ water soluble basting tape is a godsend. So much easier than hand-basting. Did not gum up needle.
5) Costumes do not need to be finished to the same degree as ready-to-wear.

Although my FW would have been fine with this project, I sewed with a small Baby Lock computerized machine. Very impressed! Am considering a Baby Lock Aria (or Brother equivalent) as the replacement for my big, fancy machine. 11″ throat space, fits my Horn cabinet, BRIGHT lighting, digital dual feed, auto adjust features for FMQ without stitch regulator, excellent stitch quality, multiple local dealers for support and within budget. As much as I liked sewing on the Bernina 770QE at the Kansas City Quilt Festival, I’m not 100% sure this is the machine for me. Cost, local dealer and mixed reviews (mostly negative) from friends who have them made me step back from this sewing machine.


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