Celebrate national sewing month

Posted Sept. 01, 2008, at 7:25 p.m.

September is National Sewing Month. There won’t be parades and fireworks to mark those weeks, but there are many things one can do to celebrate — besides buying more fabric, thread and gorgeous buttons.

For example:

  • Clean and oil your sewing machine, or take it to a sewing machine repairer for a tuneup.
  • If you have an old sewing machine you haven’t used in years, get it out and get reacquainted with sewing.
  • If you’re done with sewing for good, donate your old machine, if it’s in good working order, to a school or organization. Or put an ad in Uncle Henry’s offering the machine free to whoever shows up first to take it away.
  • Attend one of the sewing classes conducted, usually each month, by members of the Bangor chapter of the American Sewing Guild.
  • Go through your fabric stash and cull what you know you won’t use and donate it to The Linus Project, which makes and donates blankets to children in crisis.
  • If you have lots of fabric scraps to give away, check with the Maine Discovery Museum in Bangor, or schools, Scout troops and other organizations in your area that use scraps for art projects to see if they want them.
  • Go through patterns, notions and other sewing-related stuff to see what you don’t want or need, and put it in a yard sale.
  • Teach a friend or family member how to sew on a button, shorten a skirt or pants, or mend a tear.
  • Volunteer to teach someone to sew.
  • Learn a new skill, such as quilting or machine embroidery.
  • Sew a garment, quilt or toy entirely by hand.
  • Stitch up a few dolls or toy animals to give at Christmas time to the little ones in your family.
  • Go through your closet and find things that can be updated with simple sewing fixes, like a new set of perky buttons, or the shortening or lengthening of a hem.
  • Stitch up several pairs of pretty pillow slips embellished with eyelet lace and give them as a gift to a prospective bride.
  • Sew with a fabric you’ve never worked with such as velvet, wool jersey or taffeta.
  • Sew for the babies in your life. Amy Butler’s new book, “Little Stitches for Little Ones” is a great place to start. It offers 20 sewing projects. Stitch blankets, clothing, bibs, quilts, toys, booties and other things. Instructions for the projects are written step-by-step. The pages of the book are ring-bound so the book lies flat, making it easy to prop up nearby while sewing is in progress. The book includes the bonus of full-size patterns in size 0 to 12 months. Visit chroniclebooks.com for more information or ask about the book at your local bookstore or library.
  • Sew something you’ve never attempted before, such as a shirt for your best beloved, a coat for your dog or a blanket for your horse.
  • Mend something, like a three-cornered tear or a torn seam.

Snippets:

  • A local organization needs a foot pedal and the power source connector cord for a Viking 190 sewing machine. If you have one of those items in good condition to donate, give me a call or e-mail me for details.
  • Carol Doak, a best selling author of books for quilters, teacher and award-winning quilt maker, will sign copies of her books 6-8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 6, at The Cotton Cupboard Quilt Shop, 1213 Broadway in Bangor. Doak helped make paper piecing a popular quilting technique.
  • Lauren Handley, education programs coordinator at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, is seeking 8-inch-by-8-inch squares knit or crocheted in any pattern, The museum is launching a Web site and the squares will be posted as images at the site. After being photographed the squares will be sewn into a blanket. The museum sponsors the Knit Your Bit Campaign, which asks knitters and crocheters to craft scarves that are donated to veterans. For more information, visit www.nationalww2museum.org where you will find more information, a blog and patterns for scarves. Send completed squares to Lauren Handley, Education Programs Coordinator, The National World War II Museum, 945 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA 70130.

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