‘If you have hope you have everything’.

(Irfon and Becky’s Motto – Quote taken from Becky Williams, Irfon’s wife’s Facebook page.)

This week I finished my fourth pair of Turia dungarees by Pauline Alice Patterns. I pledged just before World Cancer Day to sew #aweekofturias, seven pairs by the end of February 2015 to raise 250 euros for my friend, Irfon William’s cancer charity. I’ll be auctioning the final pair at the end and donating the proceeds to the charity, so stay tuned.

Before I share the pattern deets, let me tell you a little about my friend Irfon and why I want to help him.

Irfon and I worked together many years ago during our Group Study Exchange trip from the UK to the USA with Rotary International. The exchange programme enables professionals to travel abroad and teach and learn more about their field of expertise.

Rotary International Group Study Exchange Team 2001
Rotary International Group Study Exchange Team 2002

We were a group of five – four non-Rotarians and one Rotarian. The month long trip was intensive. We visited many places – ranging from prisons to funeral parlours, disused coal pits, court houses, even the United Nations on our whistle-stop tour. It was a cultural eyeopener and we were generously welcomed into the homes of many host families and escorted around and treated like royalty. We attended countless meetings and gave many presentations but most of all, we had a lot of fun.

Our group gelled from the get-go and we shared many belly-laughs – you know the ones that make your sides hurt! It was often Irfon who set us off giggling, he’s such a warm, funny guy.

I have many fond memories of that trip and the time we spent together when we got back to the UK – lifelong friendships were borne. The exchange was one of those ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ opportunities that I feel very grateful and richer for doing.

The motto of Rotary is ‘Service Above Self’ and Irfon embodies this. He’s a trained mental health nurse and an involved father to his five children. When Irfon got bowel cancer, him and his wife Becky, set up the #teamirfon charity because Irfon was inspired by the other cancer patients and he wanted to raise funds ‘to create good times and to thank the staff on the Alaw cancer unit of their hospital who support the cancer patients during the bad times’.

It’s heartbreaking to think of him sick. We’re the same age and the youngest two of his children are about the same age as mine but Irfon’s attitude is – ‘let the good times roll’ – and his zest for life is contagious!

Irfon’s and Becky’s positivity has inspired over 1,100 folks to join #teamirfon on Facebook – that’s the equivalent of 8% of the entire population of the Welsh town that they live in! They’ve raised over 65,000 British pounds, smashing the original target of 20,000 pounds and the money’s still coming in! It’s an incredible achievement and testament to Irfon and Becky’s amazing characters!

Please help and honour my friend and go to #teamirfon at JustGiving.com now and make a donation – it’ll make Irfon’s day!

My Sewing Challenges!

It may not seem much of a hardship to sew seven pairs of dungarees but this week it was so cold here, my hands dried out and my skin cracked and my knuckles were bleeding while I was sewing!

Check out these cracked hands!
Check out these cracked hands!

It’s carnival here now as well and I’d promised my two little daughters that I’d make them costumes but I won’t have time because I want to make these pants to help Irfon. My daughters understood and didn’t create any fuss. They said they’re happy to wear the costumes they’ve already got! They’re only three and six years old – it was a very proud-mummy moment!

The Turia Dungaree Pattern Deets

For these shorts I used up the leftover denim from my first Turias and a little of the leopard print from my third pair to face the straps.

The good news is, I managed to squeeze a regular pair and a pair of shorts out of just two metres of denim! I had to get creative though to maximise my usage and used the denim selvedge as a design feature on the pockets.

Denim selvedge pocket detail.
Denim selvedge pocket detail.

I enlarged the back pockets by printing the back pocket pattern piece (page 16) at 125%. I then cut the pocket pattern piece into thirds because I didn’t have enough fabric to cut two out whole. Again I tried to turn this into a design feature, which I find happens so often in garment sewing.

Patchwork pockets.
Patchwork pockets.

I only used one side zip which seems a standard Turia pattern edit, but other than these minor alterations, I followed the pattern completely.

I’m so excited about the final pair that I’ll be auctioning! I hope I haven’t bitten off more than I can technically chew – my fabric choice is challenging to say the least! I’ll be revealing some sneak peaks on Instagram so go to @yosamicontact #aweekofturias to follow along.

I’d love for you to join in the Turias making fun! I’m already in fine company – Kirsty from Top Notch is on board and so is Kelly from Cut Cut Sew. Come and join us, use the #aweekofturias tag!

‘If you have hope you have everything’.

I’ll be back soon with my fifth pair of Turias. This was a long post! Thank you for sticking with it!

Happy sewing,

Christine

 

 

 

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