Sew Giving May: Teaching Moms to Sew at Hope House of Colorado

The Sew Giving project for May was teaching young moms how to sew. I was asked by a Regis University student if I would collaborate with her on a school assignment for her intercultural communications class. She was to reach out to a specific demographic of her choice and plan a community service project.

Sewing lesson for young moms at Hope House Colorado

She selected teen moms and wanted them to learn a life skill. I was contacted and we made arrangements to teach teen moms how to sew. I took my sewing machines, notions, and tools to the Hope House of Colorado and taught my Intro to Sewing class to very enthusiastic teen moms. We had fun learning how to operate the sewing machine, how to sew seams, and how to make a drawstring bag. The moms did a super job and were excited about the possibilities of what they could sew next!

Drawstring bags completed in a Sew Giving lesson

If I haven't said this before, I thoroughly enjoy the Sew Giving program I offer at Sew You Studio. Everyone who participates benefits and it just reinforces the goodness of giving!

Sew Giving April: Baby Bibs

The Sew Giving project for April was baby bibs for a local crisis pregnancy organization: The Gabriel ProjectThis center is committed to supporting pregnant mothers by offering emotional, spiritual, and material assistance. These bibs were lovingly made by my students and we hope they bring smiles to their recipients.


Sewing bibs was a fun project! The girls who participated were able to practice stitching skills along with construction skills. They worked hard and with each completed bib it was very apparent that their skills were developing and improving.

Making a bib at Sew Giving

Sew Giving is open to all Sew You Studio students, past and present! i hope you can join us in May--date and project to be announced soon. 

Tutorial: How to Make Small Bean Bags

Bean bags have many uses. They can be used as weights, for playing games, as markers on a sports field, and even for therapeutic purposes*. Not all bean bags are filled with beans; there are many things that can be used as filling. Some examples include rice, feed corn, sand, dried lavender, beads. Let's learn how to make bean bags!


Sewing Bean Bags - tutorial

Finished size is about 3" x 3".

1. Gather your materials.



2. Cut the fabric to the desired finished size and add 1 inch to each side for a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Example: to get 3" x 3" finished bean bags, cut fabric 4" x 4". You will need 2 squares for each bean bag.


3. Place 2 squares of fabric right side to right side (RS:RS) and sew all the way around leaving a 1.5 inch section open. This opening will be used for turning the bean bag right-side-out and also for filling the bag.



4. Clip the corners to reduce bulk. Turn right-side-out.



5. Using the funnel, fill the bag with the filling. How much? That depends on how you choose to close the bean bag. If you want to sew the hole closed with the sewing machine, then leave enough space to flatten the edge and get it under the presser foot. If you choose to close by hand sewing, you can fill the bean bag completely leaving no flat sections and sew it closed using the slip stitch.



6. When sewing by machine, use a straight stitch to sew the whole edge that has the opening--make sure to backstitch at the beginning and end. Optional: After sewing the straight stitch, sew a zigzag stitch along the edge to reinforce it and give it some character.


The bean bag is finished!

*These bean bags were the project in March for our donation program Sew Giving. They will be used by the therapists at the Mount Saint Vincent Home.


Here are some ways for using bean bags in the sewing room:

  • as weights to hold down patterns or to hold open a book
  • as markers on top of a pile of fabric or paper patterns to help organize a project
  • as air fresheners when filled with dried lavender flowers (also know as sachets)
  • as neck warmers to sooth a stiff neck after working on a sewing project (if filled with rice, warm the bean bags in the microwave)

Sew Giving March: Bean Bags

The Sew Giving project for March was bean bags for the Mount Saint Vincent Home. This is the same organization that we donated to in February. I found out that they could use bean bags for their therapy services so we made that our project for the month of March! I am glad that we could donate a practical gift. 

The bean bags that we made were not filled with beans but with rice. I'll be posting about the simple process for making bean bags in my next blog post.

Bean Bags

Sew Giving February: Valentine's Day Cards

The Sew Giving project for February was sewing Valentine's Day cards for a local organization. The Valentine's will be given to the children who are part of the residential program at Mount Saint Vincent Home. This organization offers a variety of programs to help children who have been abused, neglected, or traumatized. Children who are part of the residential program, attend school at Mount Saint Vincent Home and receive therapy treatments. They are also offered a variety of fun and enriching opportunities after school and on the weekends. We are happy to get to share our sewn Valentine's Day cards with them and hope that this small gesture of friendship and love is received with smiles. 


Sew Giving January: Winter Hats

The Sew Giving project for December (2013) and January (2014) was to make polar fleece hats to donate to the lunch program at St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Denver. St. Catherine's has a small food bank and offers lunch sacks to those in need of a meal. The weather in Colorado is always changing and while most days are sunny with beautiful blue skies, there are many frigid days during the winter. Those that ask for food are also in need of warm coats, hats, and gloves. We hope that the hats that were so lovingly made by Sew You Studio will give warmth of body and heart to each person that receives a hat.


The fabric that we used for the hats was generously donated by Jesi of Hip Violet. Thank you, Jesi! These fleece hats were a great project for our young sewers and beginners too! They are simple and quick to make and don't require much fabric. Speaking of fabric, we will gladly accept your fabric and thread donations for future Sew Giving projects! (Cotton, flannel, and fleece are ideal fabrics.) Contact Claudia if you have a donation or questions about Sew Giving.

So thankful to share of our time, our talent, and our gifts!