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Sewing Session for injured Australian wildlife

January 9, 2020


My name’s Charlotte Appleby and I am a couture dress designer from the UK. I actually design and make dresses for a living. and when I heard that we obviously need to have something made with fabric – little pouches for the injured animals in the bushfires, I decided to donate my space and put a big event together so that everyone could help out and produce everything that we need for the animals. We have done a two day event and we’ve had over 120 people operate the machines, cut the fabric, do the pattern pieces. So it’s been a full operation. Everyone has really pulled together. We have been working with the Animal Rescue Guild that have provided the pattern pieces for all of the animals. We’ve just had families come in and who have had kids that have also been helping out … couples and even some men have been sewing, so it’s been amazing. We’ve got a full operation happening, so I am just going to show you around. So we have got some of the pieces that have been cut here. We’ve also got a huge delivery of fabrics that come from all over. And then from the cutting section they are going to be taken over here and they got broken down into the different sizes. So we’ve got liners, pouches, some koala mittens and the bat wraps. Then we go onto the sewing area (Sewing machine sound) We have been making pouches for the kangaroos, the wallabies, the joey’s we’ve also been doing koala mittens, bat wraps and little pillows as well. Hi, my name is Joni. I’ m one of the
Craft Guild Administrators so I am the one behind the scenes one who’s answering all of the questions also helping to get patterns developed and distributed. We’re making medium size liners for pouches. I’m sewing liners and outers. I’m making a liner actually. So inside out and then we should have hopefully if all falls to plan, we’ll have no threads there, and a nice finish on the side. I’m showing Isabel how to make the pouch liners. “Turn it in at the top there and just top stitch that through and it should be fine”. So here are some of the bat pillows. We’ve got a step by step guide, so people know what they are doing and how to make them. We’ve also got things like the bat wraps which have also got the pillows included. I’m making a bat wrap. I’m taking the elastic off the edges of the flannelette sheets so we can make bat wraps These are cotton flannelette for sure so
that they’re going to be good for the bats. So these are the pillows for the bats. These are like mums for the juvenile bats. They cuddle up to this little pillow, which becomes like their adopted mum, and then they get wrapped. So we’ve even had people make these lovely little nests, and they’ve been made by hand. We’ve also got the wallabies, we’ve got the 3D hanging pouches. This is an example of one of the 3D pouches that will actually get hung up, and it enables them to go
in there, like through the day. They’re not always in there, but it kind
of gives them a little bit of support. These are all made with a hundred
percent cotton on the inside so we’ve had to really make sure we are sourcing the right materials. The liners have to be 100% cotton. So what’s been nice has just been using something quite soft, and it makes it a lot better because it’s going to be against their skin. You usually have to have three liners
per pouch. So we’ve even got the very tiny ones, which are these little ones here… and because we have a lot of animals like the little sugar gliders that obviously need something to kind of go inside. There’s been a rotation of people coming through. People have been setting up with their machines and then they’ve been going, so we have been doing a bit of shift work. Everyone has been staggered throughout the day. We’ve also got a tallying system here, and this really helps to keep track of what we’ve got happening on numbers. So far we have been doing really well. We’ve got to help all those poor animals. (sewing machine sound) I said I was making pouches for injured wildlife because I do that every year and then I joined a group on Facebook, which had a very large community making pouches, to make sure that my bits and pieces were going where they were needed. Then Charlotte emailed me and said she was going to organise a sewing bee. So that’s how it started, which is really nice of her, to lend us your space (says to Charlotte who laughs humbly). It is very sad to see all animals you know. There are so many people fighting the fires on the frontline, and we are just doing what we can. I just believe that, you know, if everybody can do what we can, we can make this world society much better. It is really touching you know … seeing so many ladies come and even men. I saw one of my friend’s. She brought her husband, and she cannot sew, but her husband can. (Laughs happy) I’m really glad I’ve got the skill to do something like this. So if you guys can help come on and do it. It’s a lot of fun. Everyone’s donated a lot of their time over the two days, and I have just been so grateful to make a difference… so thank you.

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