Sharing in Aqua Aerobics
By Louise Ambrosi—Leicestershire, United Kingdom
I first heard about the Sew Powerful project back in July 2015 via bag pattern designer Two Pretty Poppets on Facebook.
I was amazed and moved at how a simple thing like a bag could make such a difference in helping the young girls in Zambia stay in school. With my 10-year-old daughter Sofia (who is growing up so quickly), combined with an overflowing fabric stash and the ability to sew bags, I knew I just had to get on board.
I run my own bag-making business from my home in Loughborough, Leicestershire, UK. I have quite a large following on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media. So I immediately starting spreading the word about the project to my fellow sewers and bag-making groups, and wrote a piece on my blog inviting British folk to send their bags to me to post in one big parcel.
My promotion worked with many people joining Kylie’s new Facebook group for the project, and I received several bags from fellow bag makers to add to our growing parcel. One of my fabric suppliers spotted my post and was so moved that she donated a big batch of fabric towards the cause.
I recall telling my aqua aerobics friends Alison and Donna about the project one evening, while we were jumping up and down in the water to very loud music! I knew that they could sew and they were keen to take part and learn a new bag pattern too. A mother and daughter team also, they contributed an amazing 12 bags to our big parcel from the UK, and even made their own Sew Powerful purses afterwards!
We now meet up for regularly sewing sessions and a giggle—it’s so much more fun sewing together than solo! I’ve also gained the best friendships as a result of this project—Sew Powerful brings people together!
Sofia and I made four bags together. It was her first time reading a pattern, and she was so excited to be making bags just like mum! She helped me cut them out, and then I set up a little production line where Sofia would sew all the straight lines and I would sew the curvy or more complex sections. It was really special spending time with her, knowing that we were contributing to such an amazing cause in our small way.
In the end we collected 20 bags from the UK to send to the project by the deadline—I’m certain there were others from the UK as well—and we will continue to contribute more bags in future.