Sew because you care… the Comfort Doll Project
Last week I came across the Comfort Doll Project blog as I was looking for something new to sew.
According to the website…
The Comfort Doll Project is a group of artists who create and donate beautiful dolls to be delivered specifically to women in domestic abuse shelters.
The project was founded by Pat Winters, to reach out to the courageous women who have made their way to help. We want these women to know that they are not alone. The project is now run by Brenda Hutchings and all of her blog followers.
So far we have collected and donated 8,052 handdmade dolls. Dolls are donated to shelters a dozen at a time.
There is a little message to go with each doll. It says, ‘I am a Comfort Doll. I was made especially for you by a woman’s heart and hand who cares. When you need strength or just a smile, hold me and feel the love I send. Like me, your are unique, worthy, beautiful and deserve all good things in life. You have the strength within yourself to be extraodinary.
Find the strength and shine!’
As I sorted through scraps of fabric and felt, I thought of the women who will receive my dolls. I hope they are able to tuck them inside a purse or pocket and feel love and support at difficult moments.
I chose red thread for both dolls’ eyes for a reason. The other day after a particularly difficult morning I pulled myself together and headed to the grocery store with eyes red from crying. Part of me hoped no one would notice. But another part of me would have felt so much better if someone (anyone) had noticed and offered a smile or kind word. No matter our differences in age, location, or circumstance, we all get red eyes.
If you decide to make a comfort doll (or two or three), here are some tips:
You can find free patterns available on the Comfort Doll Project website. I choose the first one on the list, and then I printed it at 50% scale. With a scant 1/4” seam allowance, my dolls turned out 3” tall – just like Brenda suggests. 🙂
I emailed Brenda to ask if it’s okay for me to write about the Comfort Doll project on my blog. She said yes and suggested that I reach out to a local womens’ shelter to give my Comfort Dolls away. Unfortunately, abuse, drug addiction, and homelessness can be found in all our communities. She said, ‘It can be easy to walk with blinders on, but it’s also so simple to reach up, take them off and do small kindnesses.’ So true!
If you can’t find a local organization to donate your dolls to, you can mail them to Brenda at the address listed here.
Since it’s so close to Christmas, I stitched up two simple drawstring bags for the dolls and their little cards to go in. I’ve contacted a local shelter that I want to donate them to. I’ll update you here and let you know how it goes. ❤️
Do you know of any other worthy sewing projects or people who are doing great things through ‘small kindnesses’ involving sewing or quilting? I would love it if you emailed me about them – maybe I could share their stories here too.
Also, if you’d rather sew for furry friends, check out my post about cage comforters. 🙂
Disclosure: some of my posts contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting SewCanShe when you shop! All of the opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use. 🙂
Thank you Caroline for sharing this project. I plan on making some of these dolls and have shared this on my fb page.
Thank you for this post. I’ve 3 friends who have had their husbands pass away, since October. This being their first holiday season with out their husbands, I wanted to do something special, but didn’t know what. This is just what I was looking for! Thank you Caroline and Brenda.
This is wonderful! It won’t be happening before Christmas for me, but this feels like a perfect project for the New Year. Blessings!
I was unable to get on the page for the pattern using the link listed in the post. Is there another way to get to the site? I think this is an adorable way to let epople know you are thinking about them…
Thanks for letting me know. I fixed the link. 🙂
This is the first I’ve heard about this wonderful, worthwhile project. Thank you for sharing. Your dolls are adorable.
Awesome idea! I have contacted Brenda about making them for cancer patients/survivors as well as rape survivors. Thank you for giving me a way to give back to my community!
Years ago I came across a site about Ugly Quilts. I no longer have access to that story but here is what I found today
https://dornob.com/sleeping-bag-coats-makeshift-wearable-homeless-shelters/ – I can’t find a pattern for this one or I would be making them!
I made one Ugly Quilt and donated it to Street Help in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. (Street Help is a resource centre for the homeless. I can only wish every city and town had such a boon.) I used scrap fabric, old drapes, sheets and bedspreads. I put a secret pocket in it with some toiletries and a stuffed cat.
Oh Caroline. I want to make these. I can make these for our local shelter, Good Shepherd Alliance. and we have so many other places that we can share these precious dolls. How about being in the scary hospital, facing a scary disease? Sometimes it is good to have a doll to share worries and pray with