See this darling little favor bag below? So much can be said about it: cute, pretty, a lovely vintage touch, great little sack for teas and other treats – but the most important thing about this bag is that the hands that stitched it are those of a brave female refugee.I picked this vintage Ralph Lauren textile years ago not knowing what I wanted from it but was sure it would fit in somewhere – it became my favorite and served many purposes ~ I have used it for linen layering, propping, back-dropping, tying pretty bow and what not. While brainstorming with a bride for her hand-made wedding, this idea of bags clicked to both of us. I had worked with the bride for her shower and had an understanding of the vision of her wedding. She was looking for cute packaging for very cute bracelets for her bridesmaid. Knowing that she loved the fabric and flowers, I showed her the cloth and suggested we make the bags. She was instantly overjoyed!! I do sew occasionally but at that time, could not fit it in my schedule, so my next task was to look for someone who could do it for me…
Tan is a very dear and old friend of mine and probably the most modest person I have ever met. I knew she was dedicating her time actively to help out refuges that were re-settling in Arizona at that time. She has worked through various platforms and one of them is American Muslim Women’s Association of Arizona (AMWA). Although she was helping in all aspects of the lives of the refugees, one of her main goals was children and women (I blogged sometime ago about another projecct she was instrumental in: “Beads to Empower“). She had started multiple projects that focused on betterment of their lives from getting them acclimated to the unfamiliar surroundings to making them self-sufficient. So while I was looking for someone I could delegate the sewing task to, Tan’s project came to my mind and I contacted her. Sure enough, there were quite a few skilled to do the job! I sent out the fabric with sample and the charming print came back as the cutest little and oh-so-charming favor baggies! The bride and her bridesmaids loved them! The leftovers got featured in a popular shoot that was on local and national blogs on The Luxe Pearl, Phoenix Bride&Groom and Arizona Weddings Blog. I will be blogging the shoot myself sometime soon!
I also used them for my advertisement in WeAZ Magazine.
Tan – a very consistent person continues to work for preserving the integrity and furtherance of refugees. AMWA has recently started the program called “Sewing for Success” which promotes skill training and thus independence in the remarkable ladies. If you have some sewing projects that you had always wanted but could not find time to complete, do contact AMWA and they will be able to connect you to the skilled seamstresses!