Sewing for Charity, Anyone?

sewing for charityOne of the nicest things about sewing is that it gives us a great chance to show people who are in need that we care about them. All of us may have already sewn something for our family and friends, but not many of us have sewn something for charity.

Indeed, sewing for people who are in need is one of the most wonderful ways for us to share our love of sewing and to show those who are not as lucky as we are that we care about them. Finding a bit of extra fabric should not be that difficult so the next step is to choose the item that you will be stitching and which charitable organization you are planning to help.

We did an article a while ago talking about MJ from MJ’s Lost Cause which was ultimately a great success with 720 handmade totes donated and delivered to very needy chemo patients.  We wanted to share with the group some other very worthy causes or ideas where you can practice the sewing that you love while helping someone really in need.

Sewing for Charity – MJ’s Tote bags for Cancer

Sew a pillow case

For instance, here’s an idea.  Pretty much anybody can make a pillowcase, so this is a sewing project that you can easily do.  I’m also sure that there is a hospital, orphanage or aged-care facility near your neighborhood that will be more than happy to receive your cheerful home sewn pillowcases. In fact, the website is challenging sewers all over the world to donate a million pillowcases to any charitable organization. You can have your donation counted by simply sending them an email with your name and the number of pillowcases you have donated to a charitable organization of your own choice. Think about the people who will be sleeping better because of your gift to them.

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to make a pillow case.  Please check out the step-by-step instructions in this video:

Sew a simple dress with a free dress pattern

Another interesting project is sponsored by Hope 4 Women International and it is called Dress a Girl Around the World program. Simply make dresses for girls by using minimal fabric and you can give pride and dignity to unfortunate girls from many parts of the world that may have nothing to wear. You will be surprised to learn that there are still many areas in the world where basic clothing is considered a luxury.  To help you out here’s a long list of completely free dress patterns at our partner site


Sew a chemo hat

Sewing chemo hats and turbans is another simple and quick charity project that you can easily do.  These items can be donated to radiation treatment centers in your area to be distributed to their patients for free.  For a tutorial on how to make a chemo hat, see the tutorial linked below.

Head covering tutorial

You can also try sewing hospital bed saddlebags for people living in a hospice. These saddlebags are very helpful to those who are bedridden or are tied to a wheelchair because it will provide them a place to put their personal stuff so that they are within their easy reach.  Make a check with the local hospice and hospital in and check if this is an item they could use and then you can get your project going. These simple items can give them comfort and the nice idea that there is someone who cares for them.

These are just a few of the possibilities where you can use your sewing for charity and I am sure there are many ideas and organizations out there that could use your sewing skills for their causes. Once you get in touch with them and other relevant institutions in your area, you will certainly find the project that is closest to your heart. Sewing for charity is something that anyone of us can do and this is a sewing project where satisfaction is guaranteed from both sides of the fence. And now is a good time as any to start!

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17 Responses to Sewing for Charity, Anyone?

  1. kellie says:

    I sew for Angel Babies. I find comfort in doing this as I have more than 1 Angel Baby.

  2. Dona says:

    I sew for foster children. Foster children come into the system with NOTHING. I make pillows, blankets and softies so that they have something to cuddle with. They are scared, confused, and no one is familiar to them Please consider foster children in your area. It makes such a difference when they have something to hold close to them!

  3. Shirley Lynn says:

    I am currently making lap robes for veterans. I also make baby quilts for needy babies and Christmas stockings for Keystone Soldiers to fill and send to soldiers

  4. Becky says: Days for Girls is an awesome charity. I participated in it last year, but it’s going on all year long.

  5. Dell Culver says:

    Great column. How do I get a pattern for hospital bed saddlebags?

  6. Kendra says:

    There is a charity that is called So Sew Powerful that makes handbags for girls in Africa to carry their menstrual items in so that they will feel comfortable going to school. They also travel to Africa once a year to provide sewing instructions and sewing machines for the women to sew the menstrual pads and clothing.

  7. annmarieot says:

    I also volunteer for Days for Girls. We make kits with flannel menstrual pads, waterproof shields to put them in, panties, etc., all in a pretty drawsring bag. Those who sew and cut, iron,shop, etc. get as much from this as the girls who receive the kits.

  8. Cas Wucher says:

    I sew sustainable feminine hygiene products for girls in third world countries. Checkout for information how to get involved. It’s a wonderful organization.

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      We should chat about what you do.

      • Cas Wucher says:

        I retired in Sept and was looking for an organization that I could support from home on a regular basis. Days for Girls impact girls and women in 87 countries on 6 continents. Having sustainable/washable feminine hygiene products allow girls to go to school during their periods. Many girls stay home each month because they don’t have sanitary supplies.
        I’ve been fortunate in that my sister and a family friend were quilters and no longer quilt. They’ve donated 100% cotton fabric as well as thread. I’ve worked my way through their donations and have been searching for other ways to obtain fabric.
        In addition to the cotton fabric, the shields use PUL as a liner which provides a waterproof barrier. Days for Girls makes the PUL available at a very reasonable price.
        The liners are made of flannel, they are 9 inches square with a 6 inch piece of flannel added down the center. I’ve purchased the flannel and have made over 600 of the liners.
        If you have any ideas for fabric donations that would be awesome!

        • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

          Not at the moment Cas, let’s keep in touch I feel we can work together in the future.

    • Cathy Ferrin says:

      I’ve participated in the Days for Girls sewing project also (with a group of friends)—it is well established and helps young women all around the world.
      A great organization!

  9. faden(r)echt says:

    So far I’ve sewn quite a number of wrap around bodies for the cardiological children’s station of the University hospital in Tübingen, Germany. These are required to nurse the kids with all the medical devices.
    I’m also thinking about joining a group of sewists under the label “mini decki”, a project that has been started by Simone Maurer from Switzerland. “Mini decki” means “my blanket” and it aims at providing all the refugees’ kids with a sewn blanket as symbol of a warm welcome (and a real one) and a small piece of personal comfort. Following the example of the Swiss sewers, ladies in other European countries have gathered and are sewing small blankets as well.
    There is still so much to do.

  10. Victoria says:

    I donate time and items to our local domestic violence refuges. Cushions so far and I have curtains next on my list!
    Thanks for the great ideas for other charity projects. As much as the item itself, you’d be surprised how much it means to a recipient that someone took time out of their day to think of them.

What do you think?