Tag Archives: sewing

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.

Book Review (plus) The Sewing Machine by Natalie Fergie

13 Mar

 

Love this!  “One sewing machine, two families, three secrets, four generations and millions of stitches”.

This book was funded by readers through a new website:  Unbound.com…a modern version of Samuel Johnson’s idea funding publishing of his dictionary in 1755 in today’s jargon…crowd sourcing. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Dictionary_of_the_English_Language

  1. Elfcroft loves sewing and posts about charity projects about a dozen times a year.
  2. The owners of this very special sewing machine kept notebooks/journals/log of every task.  This created a marvelous record (including thread and fabric samples) of the needs and wants of life during the 20th century Scotland.
  3. I loved the inside story of Singer’s major manufacturing operation circa 1911.  Sewing machines empowered their owners to unleash talent and progress.
  4. Natalie brings the family legacy to the present with two paths…one using the machine as is, the second-recycling machine parts into art projects.
  5. The personal stories are as poignant as sewing is important.

Recommended!

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

 

72 done!

3 Oct

Shower caddies for the lady residents of Wheeler Mission.  This is Elfcroft’s third year to partner with friends and colleagues to give shower caddies filled with gifts at Christmas.

Five pieces cut from Outdoor, water-resistant, mildew resistant fabric from Fabricguru.com  ( (1) 11×21″, (1) 8×28″, (1) 8″ round with button holes for drainage, (2) 3″x16″ for handles; about 1/3 yard of 54″width)

 

 

 

 

 

Ready for delivery to our staging area and stuffing in early November.

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

2017 Return of Shower Caddies

2 May

This is year three for our adhoc group of friends to provide homemade shower caddies to the women of Wheeler Mission Shelter for Women and Children @ Christmas.  Photos below are the first 25 of 72 caddies.  We gather in November to fill the shower caddies with personal care items.

The caddies are made of outdoor fabric which is water and mildew resistant.  I take the opportunity to maximize the colors and patterns of with each fabric order.  Having placed 10 orders in 3 years, I am VERY satisfied with ordering online, delivery, quality and value from fabricguru.com.

This design features four outer pockets, plus three buttonhole slits in the bottom for drainage.

Book Review: Sewing can be Dangerous by SR Mallery

25 Apr

Sewing can be Dangerous and other small threads…the title grabbed my attention.  As much time as I have spent sewing over the years, I never thought of it as dangerous.  Sooo…how is sewing dangerous?  S.R. Mallery’s collection of eleven short stories have fascinating characters from eleven times and places.

Danger exists in conditions in the garment district, delivering a warning message, communicating directions, disguising passports…to name a few.  My favorite short story is “Precious Gifts” set in the Washington Territory in the 1870s.    Mama bought a new Singer Perpendicular Action Sewing Machine.  You have to read the story to find out why she set up her new machine in the corn field.  The story tells of her passion for sewing, aiding a young Chinook Indian on his Spirit Quest, exchanging gifts and adverting a conflict due to her quilt making magic.  Love it!

Supporting volunteers in Iowa who support Days for Girls International!

21 Feb

Elfcroft’s last shipment was divided between church, university and women’s groups to be delivered to Ghana, Guatemala and Uganda as complete kits.  Pads and liners are the most labor intensive items.

https://www.daysforgirls.org

39 more "sets" of 8 tri-fold flannel pads ready to ship!

One plus 39 more “sets” of 8 tri-fold flannel pads ready to ship!

Total of 80 shields with PUL lining to support 40 kits.

Total of 80 shields with PUL lining to support 40 kits.