Teaching the Mamas How to Sew

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to let you know that I will be in Zambia, Africa, for the next two weeks!

Last summer, as many of you helped raise money to buy the mamas there each a sewing machine, God was impressing on my heart that I should be the one to go and teach them how to sew.


And sew (so!), that’s where I am headed!

I am getting excited!

I’ve gotten all my shots and the bags are packed.

A friend of mine challenged me to help her sew dresses and skirts for each of the orphan girls. We had so much fun that we ended up making 62 when we only needed 42!

Most of them are tiered skirts, but we made a few dresses like these:


I’m sure we’ll find plenty of extra girls to give them to.

My friend even started making boy’s pajamas as well.

The ladies in my Bible study donated so many things for the kids: toys of all kinds and personal items. I was really touched by their generosity:


What I am really excited about is that I get to help my daughter and son-in-law in the ministry called Every Orphan’s Hope!

This ministry is doing amazing things to help the orphans and widows in the country of Zambia.

And if your heart is moved, go ahead and sponsor one of the orphan’s!

It only takes $27 per month to sponsor one of these kids who have lost their parents to the AIDS/HIV crisis.

Several of the children have tested positive as well.

But your money goes to give them food, water, medicine, clothing and an education and the ability to live in a home with 7 other children and a mama who loves on them with extra special love. Most of the mamas are widows.

I can’t wait to meet them all!

And teach them how to sew.

There is another lady joining me on this adventure, whom I will meet in Zambia, who is willing to help me teach them.

I’m so grateful for her.

We hope to make great progress with these mamas so that they can learn to make purses or bags and sell them as a small business for themselves.

One of the mamas is already doing this and her bags are on this page of the  Every Orphan website.

If bags are not your bag, there are other ways of helping the ministry, like buying real live chicks for the orphans and mamas to raise.

Check out the website by clicking on any link above or on the photo in the right sidebar.

I can’t wait to come back home and share all kinds of incredible stories with you!

Until then, I won’t be able to respond to your questions daily like usual.

Internet will be spotty there.

But, I’ll respond as fast as I can.

In the meantime,  if you have a question about something, type the subject (like hems or side seams or wedding dress) into the search box on any page of my website and find articles and other seamstresses comments that will guide you through your sewing dilemma. Remember that there may be several pages of posts with the answer!

I would appreciate your prayers as I embark on several long flights and for good health and that I might be helpful and show the love of Jesus wherever I go.

Thank you soooo much.

I’ll be back soon!

How to Alter a Top With an Elastic Hem

You’ve seen these blouses everywhere:

ImageThey’ve got elastic running around the bottom edge.

Many women complain that they don’t like how they look when they wear them and pass up the idea of buying them.

Altering them is an easy fix.

Just trim off the elastic close to the edge:


I use sharp small scissors to accomplish this task:


Next, turn the hem up and press if necessary.

I hand baste the hem as well so that the knit doesn’t slip around.

If you have a woven fabric, you should press the hem up as well.


In addition, if you are sewing on a woven cloth, be sure and finish the edge with a serger or a zig zag stitch first.

Next, look for a thread to match:


On this top, I will sew a double row of stitching on the hem.

This means I’ll need two spools of thread.

If I don’t have two spools of matching thread, or they are very close in color, I will wind two bobbins.

One bobbin will be used in the bobbin case and the other bobbin will be used as the second spool of thread.


Then, get yourself a double stretch needle. They look like this:


Put the spool of thread on the first spool pin and a bobbin on the second spool pin.

To thread your machine with two threads, treat them as one thread and thread through until you get to the needle area:


Then, thread one thread through each needle:


Stitch the hem, keeping the right side of the shirt facing up so you can watch to make sure you are doing a good job.

As you can see, if you flip it over, the bottom threads form sort of a zig zag stitch:


As you can see, it doesn’t take long to convert your top and the hem looks great!: