OT: Stash Relief (Cross Posted)
- Good gentles;
It's a new year, and most of us have made resolutions.
Is one of yours to reduce your stash? Not buy any more fabric until
your existing supply has been reduced by so much? Not buy any more
except what's necessary to USE what you have: interfacing, thread,
seam binding, whatever you use of that sort of thing, in your
Well, as I've been reading the mundane reports of the relief efforts
under way in the Pacific, the thought came to me:
Most of us who sew have stashes, and a lot of the stashes have natural
fibers, very comfy in the heat and humidity that those of us in the
northern hemisphere AREN'T experiencing right now. And most of us
keep on acquiring fabric, and find that a lot of the older stuff in
the stash just doesn't interest us today.
That cotton print you bought on spec, just because it was pretty, but
for which you had no specific plan? A two-yard length of lightweight
linen you didn't resist because it was such a steal, even though the
color makes *you* look vaguely jaundiced? That cotton gauze
intended for chemises BEFORE the authenticity bug bit you so hard,
and today your motto is "Linen or nothing?" Bright linen-rayon
blend for a special project for your special someone, acquired two
weeks before you broke up AND the authenticity bug bit? Had no idea
cotton jersey wasn't period when you started with SCA?
Very enthusiastic we were when we made these purchases. (I was
downright euphoric, for some of the ones I've made, but that fabric
is still sitting unused.) Today we may not be as enthusiastic about
using those purchases for their original purposes.
The December 26th disaster in southern Asia and India has left
You've read details; no need to recount those stories here.
Many of those disaster victims have lost everything except their
lives, and in addition to food, clean water, and medicines, they need
Doubtless *any* clothing would be appreciated, but many of us could
cull our stashes, and help the relief effort a little bit, too.
I know you're busy; most of us are. But if you can spare a few
hours, and put your more personal projects on hold for just a little
Why not sew up a few salawar (those middle eastern pants which aren't
the poufy "harem" or dancing girl trousers, and my
apologies for any misspellings) or short tunics or long tunics and
kimono-ish coats or short jackets?
The geometrically cut T-tunic, wasting virtually nothing, wouldn't be
out of place, either.
Men, women, boys, girls, babies... All ages are in need.
It's helpful to bear in mind, however, a number of cultures in that
part of the world disapprove of any representation of sentient life
forms, and others frown on graven images of any sort, and to select
prints or other decoration accordingly.
It's also worth noting that Islam requires that men and women dress
modestly and without revealing the shape of the body; avoid form-
Those gentles not confident enough of their own sewing abilities to
feel comfortable offering their completed works to disaster victims
might make up care packages of yardage and some hand sewing needles
and spools of thread, remembering that the reason we so encourage
natural fibers is how comfortable they are in heat, cold and
humidity, and southern Asia and India are going to be warm--and wet.
Perhaps some embroidery floss might be included: someone, somewhere
in all that devastation might be glad of a task that also provided
them with an opportunity to create a tiny bit of beauty.
There are a number of relief agencies to whom tunic dresses, pants,
caftans, and the like, may be sent. Oxfam is one, the Red Cross (in
your country) is another.
If every stitcher on this list or in your shire, barony, province,
principality, or kingdom made and donated just two garments, well,
that would be something. It won't answer ALL the needs, but it will
help, and it will make a difference.
The great statesman Edmund Burke said, "The greatest error is made by
him who does nothing because he could do only a little."
Yseult the Gentle