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Sewing classes continue! (updated January 2023)
We are thrilled that sewing classes have started again! After such a long break during Covid, Sofia of Fiaga Boutique in Ajijic has continued to support our program and comes to San Pedro as often as she is able.
In November 2021 she reviewed the sewing machines on site and showed the ladies how to maintain them. We started using the ones at the San Pedro Government owned Community Center as they were all the same make, and its easier to teach a class where all the machines are the same.
But the machines belonging to the government were in sad shape - apart from being really dirty, they had parts broken or missing. And because of moving and storage, our machines also needed attention.
So we have spent a lot of time and money getting the government machines working, taking them for repair, only to see them fail again a few months later. They are not great machines we have decided.
Beverly Letourneau also came with us in November 2021, with a pattern she had made for pajama pants in three sizes for children. And, thanks to Days for Girls, who donated a huge amount of flannel fabric, this combination was just right and perfect timing for chilly nights.
So that's what we started with, as we had a new group of women wanting to learn or improve their sewing skills. They made so many pajama pants - of of which they took home for their family members or for sale.
Then in January 2022, another wave of covid hit the area, so we had to suspend classes again. As we were not able to go out to help, the women continued cutting out pajama pants. So when we restarted the program again in May 2022, that's what we continued making.
But making pajama pants was a useful start because many of the women needed to learn basic sewing skills and techniques, and were taught how to maintain the sewing machines.
With still more flannel fabric left over, we plan to make pajama tops, and then use a similar base pattern to make simple tops or dresses for children – with different fabric.
In November 2022 we brought a new pattern for the women to learn because we had an event where we thought we could sell them - making door stops and garafone (big water jugs) covers. So with trial and error, we started, and have sold 12 doorstops and 3 garafone covers so far (January 2023). The profit goes back to the women making them, and no commission is taken by the stores, so that helps keep costs down. Let us know if you would like one made for you!
They are available for sale at Kinda Bazaar in Riberas, and the door stops at Simply Joyful Restaurant in Ajijic.
You may wonder why we are making these rather than napkins or tablecloths. Our supporting organization, Tepehua Community Center, help us a lot. But they have very skilled sewers and we don't want to compete (nor are we able yet!) with them. So we chose these two items that were different...
So yes, we are always looking for sewing supplies - fabric, needles, pins, sewing machine needles, sewing thread, and anything else you don't need! (Thank you Tepehua for donating supplies to us too!)
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