Ever bought a sewing pattern during a lunch hour, only to be surprised when the envelope drops onto your mat? It’s easy to spend money without thinking. Ever wondered if that £5, £10, £15 or £20 could be put to better use? Welcome to The Made Up Initiative!
Last December, I retreated to the Isle of Wight for a week of rest. I should have been switched off, zoned out and concentrating on myself. But as I tramped the beaches with a small dog, I thought a lot about sewing. There’s a palpable, almost physical ball of energy in the sewing community. This has been put to a lot of good use to connect with each other, build businesses, launch projects, raise profiles. I felt that this energy could be put to an even greater use, and that’s why I’m here today.
Together with Love Sewing magazine, I’m launching the Made Up Initiative in support of the National Literacy Trust. Did you know that one person in six in the UK lives with poor literacy? Some children never have a parent read to or with them. Many households can’t afford books. Literacy can be a game of luck, and it’s a game with high stakes. It can make or break lives. With the help of my fellow creatives, I’d like to sway the odds.
I’ve set us a simple goal – to raise £1,000 in a month-long fundraiser, hosted at a Justgiving page. To give us some context, if less than half of my Bloglovin subscribers each donated £10, we’d raise over £40,000. A person could easily spend £10 on a metre of fabric, that might go straight into a bulging stash cupboard, and probably end up donated to a fabric swap. Food for thought, eh?
So, let’s have fun! We have until 10 September to show the world what we can do.
How does The Made Up Initiative work? People can visit the Justgiving page here and donate an amount of money. (Two friends already have!) When you donate, leave a comment stating your self-set challenge. I don’t care how big or small it is. You can pledge to make a napkin or tailor a jacket, knit bomb your street or bake a cake. There’s no limit to what you make – it doesn’t have to be sewing or knitting. The point is, you’re making something to support Made Up.
Prizes! If you successfully complete your make by the deadline of 10 September, you’re automatically entered for a prize giveaway worth more than £300. All you have to do is blog about, or email me details of your completed project at didyoumakethat[at]fastmail[dot]fm. The winner will be randomly picked and the prize includes:
- £50 voucher from The Village Haberdashery
- Copy of the Aster pattern from Colette Patterns
- A place on Tilly and the Button’s Learn To Sew Jersey Tops online workshop
- All seven paper patterns from Sew Over It (for UK residents. For applicants outside of the UK, the patterns will be provided as PDF downloads.
- Ten sewing books donated by Love Sewing. These will include Learn To Sew with Lauren Guthrie, Alabama Chanin Sewing Patterns, Sew Over It Vintage by Lisa Comfort, Quilt Me by Jane Brockett and Skirt A Day by Nicole Smith.
- with more prizes to come!
Deadline? 10 September, 2015. We all have a month to make, starting today.
Oh no, I don’t have time to make anything. Hey, why not just donate some money anyway? It’s for a really good cause.
Stay Connected If you want to keep up on what your fellow Made Up Makers are doing, and behind-the-scenes details on how the Initiative is progressing, you can join my new Facebook page.
THAT’S IT – FOR NOW
There’s so much more I could say, but I’ll save that for other blog posts over the coming month. Prepare yourself for blog buttons, surprise extra gifts, new mini-goals and prizes, inspiring interviews, thoughts around creativity and literacy and – oh, yes! What am I going to make? I’ve set myself the £10 challenge of completing the vintage Vogue 5098 I first blogged about over four months ago.
I have no idea if I can sew this dress in a month, but I’m darn well going to try. I want to help others love words as much as I do, and if I can do that with a sewing needle I’ll feel pretty darn proud of myself.
Do you want to feel proud, too? It’s easy. Become a Made Up Maker.
You can see all the launch details in the August edition of Love Sewing magazine, available at all major supermarkets and WH Smith stores. With thanks to them for their support.