Tag Archives: flannel

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

 

2017 Recycling solution from sewing room

7 Feb

2014, I purchased flannel fabric in one to three yard lengths.  Each Days for Girls International kit includes 8 reversible, tri-fold, flannel pads.  My strategy included sewing pads from 8 different colors and patterns for each kit.  By year-end, I had over 30 types of remnants.   Variation due to cutting, shrinking from washing and fabric width created a significant amount of remnants in strips and block shapes.  I recycled these scraps into two light weight blankets.

In the three years since the original post, I tightened my strategy on purchasing flannel to reduce the waste (given my experience with shrinkage and end of bolt pieces).  The most significant change was to buy 4.5 yard lengths.  My 2017 striped flannel piece represents is a reduction of over 75% scrap.

Stripes

2014 pieced flannel strips, 18 fabrics in 18 different widths

2017 flannel recycling

2017 flannel recycling

 

 

 

I spy butterflies!

7 Mar

Guidelines for proper selection of fabric for Days for Girls International Kits:

Some prints are offensive or illegal in some communities.

Prints with people, animals, faces and figures cannot be sent to Muslim communities.

NO camouflage fabrics as these are illegal in many countries.

Fabrics with food, bugs, reptiles, guns, knives, culture-specific themes as well as girly-glam should be avoided.

Bugs, reptiles and animals are predators in some areas; fabrics including these are uncomfortable for the girls to wear and use.

Butterflies are OK. 
Rev May 23, 2015

Nine beautiful butterfly designs on flannel!  Enough fabric to supply liners for 40 kits in next shipment.  🙂

 

daysforgirls.org

This time of year Flannel Sheets say…

9 Feb

Come to us,

Welcome, we are here for you.

Relax your head, your neck, your shoulders, your legs, arms, fingers and toes.

Warmth will soon surround and envelope you.

Nestle between us.

Quiet your thoughts.

Drift off to sleep, to dream.

Sooth your soul in the nest we create for you.

Peace be with you.

EF 6-Mar-99

Many colors

12 Jan

Many kits of many colors….I remember a song…about Many Colors….a “Coat of Many Colors” recorded in 1971 by Dolly Parton.

And oh I couldn’t understand it, for I felt I was rich
And I told them of the love my momma sewed in every stitch
And I told ’em all the story momma told me while she sewed
And how my coat of many colors was worth more than all their clothes

Reversible, tri-fold flannel pads. Enough for 8 pads to go into 24 kits.

Reversible, tri-fold flannel pads. Enough for 8 pads to go into 24 kits.

The song concludes with Dolly Parton singing the moral of her story:

But they didn’t understand it, and I tried to make them see
One is only poor, only if they choose to be
Now I know we had no money, but I was rich as I could be
In my coat of many colors my momma made for me

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coat_of_Many_Colors_(song)

Volunteers for Days for Girls International are like mothers to girls all around the world needing dignity every day of the month by making menstrual hygiene kits with bold, bright colors.

These kits are made with love by thousands of volunteers around the world or by local women filling the need for their own community. Quality matters because women and girls depend on this product, and kits have to endure frequent washing in harsh conditions.

Q: Does it really matter how they look?
A: Yes, because she not only will count on it, she will often have it with her. No, it doesn’t have to be beautiful to be functional, but she notices and appreciates when the kit is beautiful and that helps break shame and stigma.

From: Days for Girls International  http://www.daysforgirls.org/#!whats-in-a-kit/c623

As I pack my finished liners (made with PUL, pockets, wings and snaps) with 8 reversible, tri-fold, topstitched flannel pads…my goal is to have 12 different color and/or patterned fabrics bundled for each kit…three different fabrics used making each liner, eight different fabrics for the pads plus the twelfth fabric for the bag the kit is packed in.

Dolly Parton said and sang it best…that is RICH!

Better than a Scavenger Hunt

24 Nov
Office assistant Eve: "Don't you have something better to do?" We are sewing items for Days for Girls International

Office assistant Eve: “Don’t you have something better to do?”

We support Days for Girls International with donations of items for kits.

Days for Girls International

Lessons learned from preparing 4 shipments of feminine hygiene reversible, tri-fold flannel pads and liners with wings, pockets, PUL and snaps.

In order to make hundreds of pads and dozens of liners from dozens of yards of flannel and cotton print at home on a single sewing machine:  STAGING is essential for sanity in my attic sewing room.

Notion 1:  DfGI suggested purchasing flannel in 2.5 yard increments.

Problems:  Shrinkage after washing. Fabric twist.  Variations in width of 4″ (bolt to bolt).

Consequence:  Enough remnant strips and blocks to make two twin size coverlets.

Lesson 1:  Buy flannel in 4.12-4.25 yard increments.

Beautiful flannel (left) plus batik cotton (right)

Beautiful flannel (left) plus batik cotton (right)

Lesson 2:  After wash & dry, cut one yard at a time, then cut (4) 9″ strips, then cut strips into usually 8″ blocks.

Lesson 3:  Stack flannel 8″X9″ blocks right sides together.  Bag 8 pairs of blocks in gallon size ziplock bags for easy counts, grab to sew and go…  (Plus the ziplock bags are available for the finished kit.)

WIP Flannel blocks staged to cut corners

WIP Flannel blocks staged to cut corners

Notion 2:  Pack shipping boxes when sewing complete.

Lesson 4:  Use shipping boxes for Work In Progress!  Saves a LOT of space, especially since the boxes fit in closet.

Shipping box first used for Work In Process (WIP)

Shipping box first used for Work In Process (WIP)

Just like all elves this time of year, Elfcroft is completing the items needed for kits delivered all around the world (over 70 countries).

Recycling solutions from the sewing room

17 Dec

I purchased flannel fabric in one to three yard lengths.  Each Days for Girls International kit includes 8 reversible, tri-fold, flannel pads.  My strategy included sewing pads from 8 different colors and patterns for each kit.  Over the course of 2014, I had over 30 types of remnants.   Variation due to cutting, shrinking from washing and fabric width created a significant amount of remnants in strips and block shapes.  My year-end effort recycles these scraps into light weight blankets.

Stripes

Stripes:  18 fabrics in 18 different widths

I chose to have color transitions across the length for the stripe project.  Due to multiple blocks of bold colors for the patchwork layout, I used a random number table for planning.

Blocks

Blocks:  12 fabrics in various widths

Both pieced blankets will be finished with a border and backing.  Nearly four yards of flannel has been recycled!  Now that these projects nearly completed, it will be time to sew kits again in the New Year.

Bonus finding!  Flannel remnants are great for patching/reinforcing sweat pants.  🙂

From an earlier post:

The reversible, tri-fold, flannel pads for Days for Girls International have four corners removed for ease of insertion in the liner.  The math is (45) kits X (8) pads X (2) sides X (4) corners = 2880 remnants that filled a couple of shopping bags.

Remnant trimmed

Remnant trimmed

My idea for recycling was to make a small rug or seat cushion.

2880 times I trimmed the hypotenuse of the flannel triangles of 16 different colors and patterns of remnants.

The stash

The stash

The finished product…

Much better

Much better

 

Four examples of what happens when your conscience keeps you from hastily throwing scraps away.  My grandmothers and great grandmothers would be proud.

Cut two pieces: a recycling solution

6 Aug

The opportunity to use remnant fabric from my Helping Hands, Touching Hearts projects to make kits for Days for Girls International set things in motion.  Alas, one thing leads to another.  Indeed, I reclaimed significant fabric for my latest project.  However, the pads for the DfGI kits are made from flannel and the four corners are removed for ease of use.  The math is (45) kits X (8) pads X (2) sides X (4) corners = 2880 remnants that filled a couple of shopping bags.

Remnant trimmed

Remnant trimmed

Please feel free to make other suggestions.  I reclaimed about a third of the small triangular pieces by cutting 1/4 inch strip from the hypotenuse for us in a latch hook project.  This was new territory for me.  I had never latch hooked.

Kitchen stool, short on comfort

Kitchen stool, short on comfort

I assure you this stool is not comfortable for sewing machine work.  My idea was to make a small rug or seat cushion.  Appearance does not matter when you are sitting on it 😉

2880 times I trimmed the hypotenuse of the flannel triangles of 16 different colors and patterns of remnants.

The stash

The stash

Testing….

Testing

Testing

The finished product…

Much better

Much better

Zoom…

Zoom

Zoom

Backside…

Random

Random

One example of what happens when your conscience keeps you from hastily throwing scraps away.  My grandmothers and great grandmothers would be proud.