Its been a crazy week around here but I did manage to get some sewing done. Although we’re supposed to be working on warm clothing for school and the approaching winter, after my call to Nurse Debbie in Wanblee, I felt the need to make some things for the babies as she’s low on many items for her diaper bags as well as the diaper bags.
This week I put the final touches on 2 warm knitted blankets I was working on and have almost completed a third. Beulah L, Marilyn B, Tamie and Pat T sent off crocheted afghans, blankets and quilts so that should take care of blankets for the new arrivals for the next couple of months. However this is an ongoing need and there are never enough blankets on the Rez for anyone. Beulah also sent 10 denim diaper bags she made which will help for this month, again another need that is never quite filled. Liesel W made some knitted baby hats and sweaters as did Tamie. Sherry is working on some baby sweaters as are the Halfknits and I. Carol M. sent washable nursing pads she made which will help out those breastfeeding mothers, Nancy B whipped up some burp pads and washcloths, Jan E sent off a box of boys clothing, and Janet S is sending a box of baby clothing that contain items such as PJs, onsies, clothes and sleepsacks with an emphasis on warm, that she’s been collecting on her latest garage sale outings. Great job ladies!!. That covers most of the basic stuff in the diaper bag and should help Debbie get some needed items to the moms over the next few months before we do our next formal drive. I knew we could rely on our supporters to come thru and help an immediate need.
Sleepsacks are especially needed as the risk of SIDS is significantly higher on the Rez. A sleepsack is basically a wearable blanket that zips/snaps up and allows clothing to be worn underneath for added warmth. This works pretty well in the summer but in the poorly heated homes on the Rez blankets are still needed in the winter. WIC is providing Pack and Play’s now for women that come in for assistance along with instructions on how to properly put a baby to bed with a blanket and other tips on preventing SIDS. Unfortunately many babies are still sleeping in their parent’s bed which is risky as adults may roll over on an infant and still others are left sleeping in car seats which allows their head to drop forward which might impair their ability to breath. Since the crib only comes with one mattress cover will be making some in the future as soon as we get the size of the mattress . Will share the measurement and patterns to use once I have it.
I have been trying to make some of the items that Debbie does not get often. I made 4 changing pads using a pattern from Lotta Jansdotter’s book. It’s nice to have a clean place to change babies and also protect beds and sofas where most babies are diapered. And they are easily washed and thrown in a diaper bag. If you’d like to try your hand at making one check out our free pattern page here or search the web where there are literally hundreds of patterns.
Receiving blankets are always needed and I decided to try a new pattern found here and then finished another one using scraps from my stash. Since cold weather is nearly here, I made them with two layers for extra warmth. Although we are only adding 2 to a diaper bag, many baby sites recommend a layette have 6 as some days in those first 6 months , babies go thru many.
I made some small bibs from scraps I had of flannel and cotton fabric to help keep the front of the outfits clean. I basically traced a store bought bib of my daughter’s and made a pattern. Bibs can be knitted and crocheted as well. There are lots of patterns on the web for bibs.
Also finished were some swaddlers made from 2 layers of flannel for the outside part and used a piece of fleece for the inside pouch. Babies love to be swaddled during the first few months, this contains their flailing arms which keeps them from waking resulting in more sleep for everyone! The pattern I used is here. I like the ready made swaddlers but they cost a lot more and there’s a concern they put the baby in a position that can lead to hip issues from being too tightly bound. This pattern was simple, quick and also allowed more leg room and can be used without the arms tucked in as the baby ages for warmth.
Towels and washcloths are always in demand and since I have lots of toweling in my stash I decided to experiment with a couple of patterns. Both were easy enough to make but I also wanted a project that used bias tape so I could practice and perfect my skills. I think bias tape really adds character to a project and looks so professional. The Purl Bee (love their site) pattern made a double layered towel with hood using stretch terry and a woven cotton fabric for the reverse side. I machine stitched some random rows to help keep the layers together and made two washcloths to match. I also made a hooded towel from a single layer of stretch terry cloth and bound it with bias tape and have decided to use this method for future projects. Make bias tape from scrap fabric for a colorful border. If I find good used (still looking for a good thrift store in CA) or new ready made bath and hand towels will use the fast and easy pattern from the Prudent Baby site. Free patterns are on our site and there are plenty more across the web for baby towels. A simple square (32 to 40 inches) made from terry without a hood with serged edges or a 1/4 inch double hem are acceptable as well. Or you can just buy a towel and send as is.
I’ve been cutting out projects like mad and have several diaper bags, quilts and nursing pillows that need assembling which I hope to get to this coming week. Sleepers and onesies would be great for the babies if you happen to be making the rounds at garage sales or thrifting this week or if you’re really adventurous, sewing some! Let us know what you’re crafting for the babies.
Also when you are sending items to the High Horses for Debbie, the nurse, please address the box to Nurse Debbie (c/o) the High Horses. Please include your email or a SASE. This way the box can go directly to Debbie. If you have items for both add a note and bag the items for Debbie inside that box. Thank you.
In other news, Hearts of the Sacred Spirit (the 501 SFK operates under) was chosen as one of the best charities of the year 2013 by the Great Non Profits organization. Congratulations, way to go Hearts!!
They’ve begun their winter heating and warm weather clothing program. Donations of any amount can be made to this very important program here. Many of us helping together will give Hearts the needed funds to keep families warm this winter. The Hearts heating program gives assistance once a year for each household needing help and hopefully the tribe will come through with funding from the LIHEAP program for future needs. Cuts have already been made in the LIHEAP program across the US so we can expect the same holds true for the Rez.
Hearts of the Sacred Spirit will soon start a scholarship program that will enable students who want to go to community college to do so. You can read about it on their site.
Sew For Kids will be working on warm items thru the months of November and December as our monthly projects. Amy G, one of our supporters in Canada, is hosting a winter drive for families on the Rez. Be on the lookout for warm clothing and outerwear on your travels or as you go through your own or your kids closets. All knitters and crocheters, those little hands, heads and feet really need your help keeping warm this winter. If you’re like me you probably have several projects going on at once so you can be working on multiple drives at the same time.
Stay tuned for the October project. Until then keep up the good work and thanks for all you do for the Rez.