Way back in April this year I started adult improvers swimming lessons. I am still having lessons but am glad to say I have improved quite a lot! I did a Swimathon at the end of my first block of lessons and was amazed at the distance I managed to swim in aid of Marie Curie cancer care.
Well, I have agreed to do another fund raising swim but this one is a bit different – and an altogether bigger challenge. This one is the Aspire Channel Swim Challenge. Over the next 12 weeks (ish) I’ll be swimming 22 miles across the English Channel to raise money for people who have been paralysed by Spinal Cord Injury. Apparently every eight hours someone is paralysed by Spinal Cord Injury. It can happen to anyone at any time, and I am aware of this because one of my friends had what she described as a minor fall from a horse and suffered a major spinal trauma. Her consultant said that if it had been one vertebrae different she would have been instantly and totally paralyzed. She was lucky and has made a full recovery (although I am sure she still has days that are somewhat painful though she never complains). Not everyone is so fortunate which is why I intend to swim this 22 miles in 12 weeks. Thankfully we avoid sea water (and the boats in the english channel) by swimming this in our local pool.
I managed to swim 2.7 miles in my first week which is a bit ahead of schedule but means that I am able to relax if I have a particularly busy spell with clients and such. Perhaps this is why my waist is starting to shrink a bit. Hmmm, nice side effect though unexpected.
Maybe you would like to join the challenge if you are in the UK, or you might like to follow my progress over the next couple of months at my Aspire swim Challenge page. I don’t expect to be sponsored by my blog readers but if you feel you would like to contribute to this cause (maybe you have personal experience of how traumatic this can be) I would be unbelievably happy. Here is the link to my Aspire Just Giving page.
Who knows, by December I may even have a recognisable waistline!
P.S. Because it has become so.much colder, and because I bought the Indie pattern bundle, I have decided to make the wonderful hoodie from Paprika patterns. The fabric has been purchased from Minerva and the pattern printed and trimmed. I will be very glad of this as the weather gets colder so I need to get stuck in!
In short? I should have started much earlier. All the things I had planned to make, the time allocated (until a client came with a crisis), the fabric I knew I had (somewhere). Despite my organisational shortcomings the fundraising total stands around £400 at the moment with the possibility of a little more if/when the last of the items I made go.
So, what did I make?
The cake from last week was all used up after a trip to my bridge club. I can’t believe how the ladies (and a few gents) who almost all claimed to be ‘on a diet dear’ can clear a table faster than locusts! Thankfully they were also very generous and boosted the total very well.
My husband (The Management) took the muffins into his office, along with some of the sewn goods and improved the total further. Thank you to all who donated. You are all wonderful!
Sewing took more time than I expected, and as I said to begin should have been started earlier. However, I am happy with how things went and some of the items I made are shown below.
The print on this fabric was an obvious choice for London Marathon fundraising. It is a lovely heavy cotton, so well up to the job of being an apron or bag. These are both made from self drafted patterns.
The apron was a very simple ‘draw around an apron I already had’. It really doesn’t come easier than that does it?
The shopping bag was basically two sections (it could have been made without the seam in the bottom but I wanted to keep the design ‘right way up’) which I sewed into a bag (what else?) and then stitched across the corners to create a base. There was an inside pocket so that you could keep a purse or phone accessible when in use. The main thing I had in mind was to ensure the handles were comfortable to hold, and also very securely sewn in place. They aren’t coming off any time soon I can promise!
Another ridiculously easy make was the loop/infinity scarf. I managed to make use of some of the remnants that had been lurking in my stash for a while making these. I chose 150cm wide fabric and cut 50cm strips (or as close as I had. Seam along the long side (wrong sides together) starting and finishing about 10-15cm away from the short edge. Press and turn before joining the short edges to make a loop. I hand stitched the remaining little opening closed but it could probably have been done by machine if you wanted to be faster.
I am very lucky to have had permission from several people to use their patterns to raise money.One of these was Melissa from Fehr Trade who kindly said I could use her arm pocket and ruffled wristlet patterns. The arm pocket is another very easy make – and is useful to both men and women – so I set up a production line with these! They are made in Supplex so they are super comfortable to wear and sold very well. I have included the links to Melissas posts for each of these items in case you would like to make your own. Thanks Melissa!
Sadly I ran out of time before making any other little bags as I also had permission from Rhonda to use her clam shell wristlet, and Stephanie at Cake patterns to use her Red Velvet Mini clutch (available here as a free pattern!). Stephanie is happy for these to be made by anyone who wants to raise money this way – just not if you are a multi national or similar! I really wish I had left enough time to make everything I wanted.
I am glad to have finished the fundraising makes, and needed to make a little something for myself just to get back in the mood. Ages ago I watched the Beginners Serging course on Craftsy (having already killed off one overlocker/serger) which I thought would help me to make better use of my machine. Despite owning and using this machine for years I did come away from the course with some new information so I was very happy (and I bought it on sale so it was a bargain – who doesn’t like a bargain?) On the course was a cute washbag/make-up bag that I thought would be nice to make. It is completed entirely on the overlocker (including a clever way to make the little loops for the sides, and inserting that zipper!) and was a very quick project, made almost entirely from scrap that was lying around waiting for a purpose. I love it!
It is a little way off but I could make some of these for my friends McMillan Cancer coffee morning. More fundraising. Doh!