Last week was pretty productive, I put together 5 pair of PJ’s, 3 girls and 2 boys size 3T in between the other projects I’m working on. Went to my stash and found flannel for the pants and cotton knit and some ribbing for the tops. It took about an hour max for each pair of pants and each top, that includes prep time and cutting which takes the most time for me. You could speed things up by pre-cutting all your garments at once and then sew “assembly line” style. Janet, my fellow blogger, made 4 pairs of boys PJ’s this week from “King Kong” flannel and used Simplicity pattern #7407 B.
We have a SFK follower who’s hosting a sewing “jammie party” with her group, they’ll be using fabric she just bought at a special sale for a $1 a pound. Thanks so much to Jan and her group for their generous support! Would love to see pics of all the jammies and women hard at work (hint-hint Jan). Let us know here at SFK or Facebook if you’ve made or purchased any PJ’s for the project. If you plan on making some but haven’t gotten around to it yet don’t worry, you have the rest of the month and the entire winter season to send warm pajamas and anything else that might keep a child warm.
Wearing PJ’s to bed instead of our street clothes helps keep contaminants and dirt from the day out of our bedrooms and they’re certainly more comfortable than a pair of jeans. Bedrooms, especially for kids with allergies should be as free of dust and other allergens as possible. Asthma is a big issue on the Rez and in many of our larger cities. Having an allergen free room for Rez kids would never be a reality, it’s not uncommon for upwards of 20 people to be living in a 3 bedroom home. Black mold is all too common due to the overcrowding, bedbugs are common too along with peeling paint, crumbling walls, floors and ceilings, poorly fitting windows and doors, etc. Kids are also exposed to smoke from wood burning stoves or from other items the family finds to burn as fuel to heat the home, that smoke penetrates the clothing and goes with them to bed unless they have PJ’s. Winters are cold on the Rez and with the poorly insulated homes heat flies out the doors and windows at a rapid rate.
I’ve decided to include a book (new or gently used) with each pair of PJ’s I make. Kids should read or be read to at least 20 minutes a day, and since we’re trying to promote family time what better way to start than by having your mom or dad sit at your bedside and read a book with you before they tuck you in. Many Rez parents don’t read to their children because there aren’t any books in the home to read. Lakota people have a long tradition as great storytellers but kids also have to see the written word to learn to read. So please join me, if you have a few extra books, and send them along in your next box .Get your kids to take the Reader’s Oath.
Another project I worked on this week was knitted slippers. I checked out the Pink Slipper project site for patterns, if you find a pattern to use from their site why not make an extra pair to help their project too. I’ve decided for bedtime slippers to make warm tube socks like those found here. I’m still looking for a good fleece slipper pattern to sew, if anyone has a favorite please share the link or pattern number with us.
Keeping with this month’s “Nightie Night” theme, we’d like to begin working on warm blankets, afghans, or quilts for the kids. Check this size chart for appropriate dimensions. This is a wonderful project to get a church group, ladies group, scout troop, etc. working together on a project. Some groups get together and make the no sew tied fleece blankets, others bring their knitted and crocheted squares to a “joiner” to be made into afghans or hold a quilt-a-thon.
This is a great time to use up all those scraps of fabric or little balls of yarn to make a fun and colorful quilt or afghan. FYI Native Americans love bright colors, the Lakota colors are red, black, yellow and white. Color helps make life a little more cheery when things aren’t going well. Kids love fun quilts with cartoon characters, dinosaurs, monsters, I spy etc. Some people have told us owls and coyotes are not desirable in Lakota culture, others have said they are, we want to respect their culture so for now please don’t send anything with their images depicted on fabric or as stuffed animals/toys for children.
We’ll be sharing some pics of our creations with you, please share yours with us here or on our Facebook page. This group was formed not only to help kids but also to learn new ideas and skills from each other, so if you have an idea, pattern, etc, we want to learn from you.
We have inventory lists for babies and toddlers for those of you that send a large amount of kids clothing to the Rez. We found ourselves dragging our feet mailing out boxes just because we didn’t want to write out that long list of stuff with sizes, gender—–so we asked (begged!) Janet’s niece Angie to help us out and voila the inventory sheet was born. Thanks Angie!! We’re hoping this will help you and help us help us keep an inventory of items sent to both reservations.
If your donations are for Rosebud Baby Program (they only need baby sizes thru 12 months) send here; if donating to Wanblee’s Shining Start program send here. For those of you donating kids sizes larger than 6/7 or for adults send to the Closet here. If the bulk of your shipment is smaller sizes and you have a couple of things in the larger ones throw it in, they’ll direct it to the other program.
It’s going to be a dreary day today, think I feel a quilt coming on! Thanks to all of you for helping keep kids warm this winter!!