Tag Archives: Days for Girls International

Oh! Brother

27 Sep

Thanks to the expertise of Clifford Blodget, I successfully chose Brother 1034D Serger Sewing Machine to support Days for Girls International with the “serged” alternative to “Turn and Topstitch” reversible, tri-fold flannel pads.

The Serged flannel pad is a significant design change with the same size/proportions as “Turn and Topstitch” as well as six flannel layers for absorption.

 

Clifford is excellent simplifying and illustrating the serger sewing machine with 4 needles (2 upper and 2 lower).  I also appreciated the statement “Sergers DO NOT have REVERSE” and the discussion about the knife edge that trims the fabric as it moves toward the needles.  It is not intuitive that trimming is required for success.  The trimming function makes the edge very neat and flat.

This machine has 95% of the threading instructions exactly where you need them… on the machine!  Tweezers are required for the 4th spool feeding the 4th and lower needle.

The compact size fits well on sturdy folding table.

DfGI serged tri-fold flannel pads

Here I “sew” again…supporting Days for Girls International.

https://www.daysforgirls.org

PS  My Brother ADS-1500W portable scanner has served me well— saving 1000s of pages of former paper files.  🙂  I’m a fan!

 

*500*

26 May

Indianapolis has hosted the 500 mile Indy Car Race on Memorial Day weekend for over 100 years!

https://www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com/events/indy500

Just as predictable as Race Day…are peonies in bloom on Race Day

I’m thinking of 500 for another reason….as I near completion of 5,000 items for Days for Girls International.

Each Days for Girls kit has 11 sewn items made by volunteers around the world.  Days for Girls delivers feminine hygiene kits globally.

I have volunteered since 2014.  After some months, I chose to concentrate on making the reversible trifold flannel pads and the top stitched shields with pockets, wings and PUL (polyurethane laminate).  (The drawstring bags, seen in most DfGI photos, make the 11th sewn item for each kit.)  Volunteer’s choice!

In my case, focusing on pads and shields…

4,000 pads (8/kit) and 1,000 shields (2/kit) means that I have supported 500 kits with 91% of the sewn content.

(Purchased items include panties, wash cloth, soap, ziplock freezer bags.)

Sewing includes purchasing your materials (some donated).

4,000 pads:  I get 10/yard.  Drum roll…400 yards of flannel

1,000 shields:  6.5/yard (front, back and 2 pockets)…150 yards of cotton print

1,000 shields also require lining (60″w)…40 yards of PUL

I have 54 empty spools that had 500 yds ea …27,000 yards of thread

It is a pleasure to support DfGI’s mission to support every girl PERIOD.

https://www.daysforgirls.org

 

Out for Local Delivery, Prepared for Next Batch

4 May

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Days_for_Girls

40 shields plus 160 flannel pads delivered to local chapter of Days for Girls International to be kitted in a fabric drawstring bag with panties, washcloth, soap, ziplock freezer bags and instructions.

Flannel cut in one yard lengths make 10 pads each.  Bolt of PUL (Polyurethane Laminate) used in shields for leak protection.  Cotton fabric is used for the outer layer of shield as well as pockets.

“Mura”

21 Mar

Over the past 5 years I posted about sewing for Days for Girls International 28 times.  What’s new?  Last year I had the opportunity to change my shipments/deliveries to a new local team led by a long time friend.  My work flow shifted as best described in Wikipedia  as:

Lean manufacturing or lean production, often simply “lean“, is a systematic method for waste minimization (“Muda“) within a manufacturing system without sacrificing productivity, which can cause problems. Lean also takes into account waste created through overburden (“Muri“) and waste created through unevenness in work loads (Mura).

There is a second approach to lean manufacturing, which is promoted by Toyota, called The Toyota Way, in which the focus is upon improving the “flow” or smoothness of work, thereby steadily eliminating mura (“unevenness”) through the system and not upon ‘waste reduction’ per se. Techniques to improve flow include production leveling, “pull” production (by means of kanban) and the Heijunka box.

My emphasis has been on “improving workflow” in my attic sewing room.

My usual shipments to Iowa supported 40 kits with 10 items for each kit (Total=400).

With local delivery, I shifted to supporting 10 kits at a time (10 items for each kit/Total=100).

Although I still buy flannel 32 yards at time, 8 different colors/patterns 4 yards each…(this facilitates washing/drying impacting shrinkage)…which I cut into one yard lengths, which makes 10 flannel pads, which is very manageable and are placed in freezer gallon ziplock bags, which makes for easy counting and the ziplock bags are then provided in the finished DfGI kits.

I sew 80 flannel pads with 8 different colors/patterns combined into 10 ziplock bags.  Then I make 20 liners with PUL, pockets and wings in 2 different color/pattern combinations (10 each in ziplock bags), which are delivered LOCALLY to be completed as 10 Days for Girls International Kits.

https://www.daysforgirls.org

Local chapters pack sewn pads and liners with panties, wash cloth, soap, instructions in a sewn drawstring bag with the DfGI logo for delivery around the world.  It is not just about sewing!  Local chapters are encouraged to make deliveries.  Our chapter delivered 50 DfGI kits to Haiti December 2018!

 

Out for Local Delivery

19 Nov

Latest DfGI liners with pockets, wings and PUL lining

Latest DfGI flannel pads

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is year 5 sewing for Days for Girls International.  Until this summer I shipped my homemade contribution to teams working in other states…Washington and Iowa (from Indiana).

July I received emails from Kay in Iowa saying she noticed a New Team start up in my home town.  Better than that…when she gave me the name…I said, “I know HER!  I already have her cell number.”  I did not know Tammy sewed.  It is delightful to have her drop by or to run over to drop off with a friendly chat.

The team she leads completes the kit which includes 2 pairs of panties, wash cloth, etc in a drawstring bag.  For more information:

https://www.daysforgirls.org

Kits are designed to last three years.  They have been delivered to girls in over 100 countries.

 

Kaizen and DfGI

3 Apr

In my post “Seven Global Concepts”, a fellow blogger explained Kaizen as a Japanese concept for continuous improvement.  DfGI or Days for Girls International grew their global influence by embracing Kaizen.  Their website explains their 25+ design revisions developing their reusable feminine hygiene kits.

https://www.daysforgirls.org

On a local level, Elfcroft applied Kaizen to the sewing room.  My cabinet with two drop leaves spans almost seven feet (great for curtain projects, etc. not so great for hundreds of DfGI items per year).  I noticed that working on DfGI kits would be easier if the machine was several inches lower.  No height adjustment is available in the machine or table.  I had the opportunity to move the machine to a sturdy, small folding table….and did just that!  The sewing cabinet is working as the cutting table (with one leaf down).  So far, so GOOD 🙂

Before

After (1)

After (2) The former coffee table (lower left) is great for staging fabric.

Priority: Days for Girls International

30 Jan

Eve helps me prepare Elfcroft’s eleventh shipment of

feminine hygiene pads and shields for Days for Girls International kits.

https://www.daysforgirls.org

January begins year five of our support.

We ship to chapters based in DesMoines Iowa for assembly and distribution globally.

Eight different colors and patterns for reversible trifold pads that fill each kit.

80 shields with pockets, wings and PUL lining will support 40 kits.

 

Another day for DfGI

5 Dec

https://www.daysforgirls.org

Here is a quick look at 160 shields in process (supporting 80 kits)…

Shields have five pieces:  Four from cotton prints and one PUL or polyurethane laminate.

Two pieces of the cotton print make the front at back of the shield (for maximum interest I choose different prints).

The other two pieces of cotton print are for “pockets”.  They are folded and topstitched before assembly.

DfGI shield before assembly

If it is not obvious, this is a LOT of cutting and ironing.

Pairs, right side facing, Grouped in 10s

End view of dozens of “pockets” folded and top stitched. Ready for assembly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here I sew again, preparing to ship in 2018.

Here I sew again!

17 Oct

Work begins on DfGI 2018 shipments supporting DfGI Iowa Chapters

It takes 320 tri-fold, reversible, topstitched flannel pads to support 40 Days for Girls International feminine hygiene kits.  One yard of 40″ wide flannel makes 10 pads.  The cadence I use is to buy 32 yards in 4.25 yard lengths (9″ or 6% shrinkage) of 8 different colors/patterns to maximize variety in each kit.  I wash and dry two pieces of flannel at a time (dryer filter gets heavily loaded).  Then, I cut each net 4 yard length into (4) one yard pieces stacking and  alternating colors/patterns in groups of eight.  Shown above.  The two stacks on the left make 160 pads.  The short stack is my work in progress.

I cut (20) 8″X9″ pieces from each yard, put right sides together, miter the corners (for octagonal shape) before sewing, turning and topstitching.  The double layer, tri-fold design means there are six layers which fit in the mating shield with double pockets, wings and PUL (polyurethane laminate).

https://www.daysforgirls.org

 

Go and Sew

27 Jul

Upstairs set up…great in the winter

Brother CS6000

Downstairs set up…great in the summer

Downstairs

Amazon “Deal of the Day” for my new Brother CS6000i gave me the opportunity to set up a sewing station at my home away from home to sew more reversible, tri-fold, top-stitched flannel pads for Days for Girls International…and whatever Mom may come up with 😉

For more information on the extraordinary work of Days for Girls International:

https://www.daysforgirls.org