Preparing for School and the Colder Months Ahead

Our project for August will be pants and shirts for kid’s ages 0-5. We received a special request from Lisa at Head Start asking if we could provide some extra clothing for the classroom so they could change kids who had “accidents” or got their clothes dirty from play or school activities.  If they see a child who is really in need, the clothing will be sent home with them.

Seasons will soon be changing from this hot and sticky summer to fall and, like it or not, winter will quickly follow so clothing needs to be of the warmer variety, especially for enduring the harsh Rez winters and the living conditions of many there. For those of you who’ll be sewing use warmer fabrics such as corduroy, denim, heavier cotton knit, or fleece.  If you have extra time consider adding pockets (kids love them starting at age 3), a fly for boys pants, cuffs, buttonhole elastic for an adjustable waist, lining for more warmth.  To satisfy your creative urges use kid prints on pockets and cuffs, add appliqués or machine embroidery, sew decorative patches on knees, just let your imagination go and have fun.  Please sew a size label to the back of your garments using a piece of ribbon or bias tape and a laundry marker.  Don’t sew, no problem, purchase new or gently used clothing from resale shops and garage sales or send things your kids or grandchildren have outgrown.  Please check our donation guidelines before sending used items.

Making (or buying) clothing in primary or unisex colors allows them to be used with both boys and girls. Use this size chart as a general guide for clothing sizes but, kids on the Rez tend to be a bit heavier due to their diet so you may have to add a size to the respective ages.  Sizes for sewing patterns, as well as different brands of ready made clothing, aren’t standard so there should be something that fits everyone. Here’s help for  adding elastic to the waist, or using buttonhole elastic for an adjustable waistband.

There are a total of 40 children in the Head Start class, 20 ages 3-4 and 20 ages 4-5.  For our purposes we’re going to assume the numbers of boys and girls are about even as we don’t have that info.  This isn’t a huge number of children to help so we’re hoping with all of you to reach this goal.  Start your sewing machines, search your closets and check the sales racks at your favorite stores and help us send:

Shirts, long sleeves

–Sz. 3—-5 boys and 5 girls

–Sz. 4—-5 boys and 5 girls

–Sz. 5—-5 boys and 5 girls

–Sz. 6—-5 boys and 5 girls


–Sz. 3—-5 boys and 5 girls

–Sz. 4—-5 boys and 5 girls

–Sz. 5—-5 boys and 5 girls

–Sz. 6—-5 boys and 5 girls

My sewing machine’s already been humming, today I made 4 pairs of girls pants size 3T from my  Kwik Sew book that’s been used many times over the years for charity projects and for my own kids.  I used a piece of corduroy purchased from a thrift store for $4 and notions that ran about $1 so each pair of pants came in at $1.25 and only took me about 45 minutes to sew. I’ll be sharing some free patterns and tutorials in upcoming blogs.

We really need your help to reach this goal!  Please let us know the number and size of garment(s) you can donate.  If we go over our goal, extras will be used at the health clinic, the Baby Face program and The Closet.   Warm clothing will also be a huge need for babies in the upcoming months so if you have clothing for them send it along too.  Please let us know  here or on the blog what you’ve sent so we can track donations.  Mail your donations to the Shining Start Program.  Many thanks for all your help!

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