RASK Link Love

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knee patch, knee repair, kantha stitchHello Friends of First Fridays!  It’s TJ Goerlitz here to deliver your monthly dose of sewing humor.  As you may remember from last month, we’ve announced that this year’s goal is to conduct Random Acts of Sewing Kindness (or RASK for peeps in the know).

I had hoped to be able to update you on the progress I’ve made with our new friend Christa from last month but we haven’t been able to find time to get together for her next sewing lesson. Rest assured she’ll eventually make another appearance since we’re in this for a whole year!

This month I made a small act of kindness towards myself.  I finally broke down and patched my favorite pair of jeans!  These babies had fallen into such disrepair that instead of having a hole in my knee that was an edgy fashion statement it confused people who wondered if I had been injured or in an accident.  It was one of those tears that kept getting caught on things and then ripped even wider until it blew out in both directions.  Every time I would wash them I’d promise myself to patch them.  And then I’d break that promise, assuring myself that it was the “last time” I wore them until they were fixed.  Eventually, with a true rookie’s gumption, I cut a heavy chunk of denim to use as a patch and ironed it with Fusible Pellon inside the leg of the jeans.  Then for four evenings in front of the television I cursed myself while making tiny stitches inspired by the cool Kantha projects I’ve spied in Pinterest.  Why on earth I used a super heavy denim patch to sew onto more denim (by hand) I cannot tell you.  Even with my leather thimble I could not feel the tips of my pointer and middle fingers for a week.  I was so pleased with the results and the overall coolness of the repair that I photographed them and bragged about it in Facebook.  Imagine my disappointment when I went to wear them and realized that my little patch now gives my leg a strange fat roll where the stitching ends and the normal part of the jeans resume.  It’s almost like the inner heavy patch is acting as a corset and shoving all my skin up my leg.  Seriously.  Just like the curse of back fat from an ill filling bra, I now have a leg lump.  I’m hopeful if I wash and wear them enough it will all loosen up and stretch a bit in the right places.  I’ll keep you updated.

Sewing Machine Window DressingSince I don’t have any other acts of kindness to dazzle you with, I thought I’d take a moment and mention some cool places and ways that we can all try to chip in and make a difference.  And please pipe up in the comments if you know of people or organizations that the community should be aware of.  For a few days I’ve been searching everywhere for a tip somebody gave me on a place that accepts donations of used patterns.  I have racked my brain and text message history looking for the info to no avail. Does anybody here know?

Here are a few things I was able to find:

Do you know the folks over at Simple Simon have done a ton to donate skirts to foster care centers?  Check out their site for addresses to send any skirts you’d like to make and donate.  Just because their campaign may not be running doesn’t mean that you can’t be inspired to do this for a center near you.

Do you know anybody who’s organizing a fundraiser or has been suffering an illness?  You can always whip up one of Heather’s free patterns for charity or get-well gifts.

And don’t forget about the pattern for patient pouches to inspire you to reach out to your own local hospital or to have on hand for when someone you know or love ends up with a little one in the hospital.

Sewing kindness doesn’t have to be about making things and getting them out into the world.  Kindness can also come from the places we support.

I love the look of the supplies, clothing and accessories over at Darn Good Yarn.  Darn Good Yarn uses material waste which would otherwise go to landfills and employs 300 women in Nepal and India for their skills to transform the refuse into “phenomenal quality fibers!”

Or how about a pair of Punjammies which according to the Sudara website, “are inspired by the beauty, colors and textures seen throughout the local culture and are crafted by brave women in the community who wish to remain free from the trade they escaped.”

TJ Goerlitz, advice column, Studio MailboxLastly I’d like to offer another idea for a random act of kindness.  Today marks the launch of an advice column on my Facebook page.  I’m calling it Flawsome Friday and hoping that by attempting to answer a random sample of submitted questions I’m contributing to the larger community around me.  If you enjoy reading Q&As, I could use your support.  Sometimes kindness comes in the form of supporting one another’s endeavors.  I don’t know if I ever told you guys but I had a really cool opportunity slip out of my fingertips.  Not because it wasn’t a solid project, but because I don’t have a huge platform to put it out in front of.  All these years of writing I haven’t done my part to make a place for people to come and hang out with me.  I’ve been a jerk and I’m sorry. Apparently it’s as easy as visiting my facebook page and clicking the follow button.  I would appreciate it!

TJ Goerlitz is a mixed media artist who pretends to be a seamstress whenever possible.  Come connect with her on her site, Studio Mailbox,  in Facebook or in Pinterest.  Join her on the first Friday of every month where she shares her latest sewing tales with the readers of The Sewing Loft.

TJ @ StudioMailbox
Tari “TJ” Goerlitz is an artist who has spent the majority of the last decade living and working in Europe. Since her relocation to the United States you can usually find her at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts where she explores Letterpress printing as the latest component to her mixed media work which is a fusion of photography, printing, sewing and journaling. Connect with TJ while she shares her creative journey online at Studio Mailbox. www.studiomailbox.com
TJ @ StudioMailbox

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  1. I know I received your random act of kindness when you gave me your aunt’s stash of little girl dress patterns: that was wonderful and I shall post photos when I get something sewn!

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