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Sewing for Soldiers

July 6, 2010

changing pad.jpgKeeping with yesterday's theme of handmade goods for soldiers, I wanted to write an article featuring sewing patterns but amidst my search I stumbled upon a small niche for soldiers' families. While our hearts and thoughts follow our troops into battle everyday and we watch the progress every night in this news, the soldier's families blend, often unnoticed into the crowd at home. Moms and Dads doing the work of 2, putting on a brave front while worry is a constant companion and the news a continuous reminder of the danger. Children carry on normally but knowing that half their heart is a world away and longing for the day when Mommy or Daddy will be home again. Supporting our military families rallies both at home and aboard. Seeing their child smile and know that a 'stranger' cares can ease the burden for both the soldier and their family. Below are a few projects perfect for spreading good spirits near and far.

bibs.jpgOperation Top Knot- Created by a college student who wanted to share her admiration for expectant and new mothers of military families. This operation sends care packages to new moms and soon-to-be mothers to help them care for their new family members as well as themselves. Items to sewn include but not limited to: Bibs, blankets, burp cloths, booties, hats, onesies, washcloths and diapers. Since many of these items are for new babies be sure when you prewash your fabric to do so with a gentle detergent. Choose soft fabrics that wear well.  You can also nominate a family you know or donate fabrics suitable for their projects, clip coupons and contribute store bought goods.

Daddy Dolls- Giving a child a doll sewn up with Daddy or Mommy's image not only allows a kid to snug up with their loved one but also helps them remember and be proud of their soldier parent. All you need is some Muslin or Broadcloth, printable transfer paper and a sewing machine. This is probably best done for a friend of family member whom you know and have access to their pictures since I could not find any websites that organized making and sending Daddy Dolls to military families. Once you have a picture of a solider you can have it sized to whatever size you like at any photo center. Print your picture out on the photo transfer paper and follow the direction included with the package to affix it to your fabric. Cut 2 pieces approx. 2-3 in. around the picture and place right sides together sew around the edge with a ½ in. seam allowance leaving a small gap for turning. Stuff your doll and hand stitch closed. If you are not up to sewing one of these treasures or want one bigger than your transfer paper allows, you can order one from these fine folks.

Drawstring bags- Not technically for troop families, these drawstring bags can be whipped up from quilting cotton in no time and sent full of toiletries for a taste of home overseas for our troops. Hearing how good it is to have toothpaste, deodorant and gum, home front parents will love the feeling of knowing that it is not just family members who care about their spouse.

P.S. Changing pad tutorial here

Bibs here

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Hi Tara,
I think what you are doing is wonderful. I am concerned when you stated you could not find a site to help with making "daddy dolls". We have made daddy/mommy/anyone dolls since 1999. Since 2004 especially for the troops. Ours are actually less money or the same but alot less work than if you made them yourselves. Also there is a wonderful charity by a military mom called OPERATION GIVE A HUG.org. Susan Augustin you can contact at SLA767@msn.com and she donates to children of deployed parents. Otherwise please look at our site at www.huggeemissyou.com and let me know if we can be of help.
Best Always,
Audrey L. Storch

Love your blog. Can you let your readers know about a wonderful military mother named Susan who started OPERATION GIVE A HUG over six years ago to help other children likes hers with a deployed parent? Susan raises monies to donate for free to all these children a huggable picture frame which her daughter named Daddy Doll in 2003 or 2004. The real Daddy doll is www.huggeemissyou.com but more important is her charity at www.operationgiveahug.org. 100% free! thanks

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This page contains a single entry by published on July 6, 2010 12:00 PM.

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