Just Keep Sewing

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Rosalia learns to use an electric sewing machine for the first time.

Rosalia learns to use an electric sewing machine for the first time.

Dory, from the movie Finding Nemo, was fond of saying “Just keep swimming.” It was her way of saying don’t give up—keep trying. That’s one of our unofficial mantras in Friends of Cozumel. We work hard to find ways to help families with limited resources keep trying to better their lives.

One way is to teach families to make the things they often don’t have the money to purchase. The second FOC sewing workshop took place recently, this time teaching women with limited sewing skills how to construct simple girls dresses and tops.

“I learned how to make these sun dresses while working with Volunteer Christian Builders,” said Ilene, an FOC leadership team member.

Ilene shows a finished sun dress.

Ilene shows a finished sun dress.

“We send them all over the world. But we wanted to teach women here how to make them for their own families.

“None of these women had ever used an electric sewing machine before and some of them were a bit frightened of it,” she said. “But they’re doing great.”

Ilene chose a pattern that doesn’t require a great deal of fabric. She also brought sturdy cotton fabric that had been donated by a fabric shop in Andrews, Texas that was going out of business.

A simple "pillow case" pattern was chosen to make sun dresses.

A simple “pillow case” pattern was chosen to make sun dresses.

Instruction was provided by Elena, a Cozumel resident who first took sewing classes from Friends of Cozumel five years ago. She continued sewing and learning—and now has a small, home-based business sewing for others. Although this was her first experience as an instructor, she’s a wonderful example of how learning a new skill contributes to long-term success. She urged the others to just keep sewing.

Elena (left) made an excellent instructor at the sewing workshop.

Elena (left) made an excellent instructor at the sewing workshop.

“I can make another dress,” said a workshop participant. “Next time I can do it myself.”       ~Phyllis from Nebraska

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