Dear Readers:

Have you ever had one of those terrible days when it seemed like everything that could go wrong was going wrong, and everything that could possibly frustrate you, irritate you, exhaust you, or stress you out was happening at once, and at the end of it all, all you wanted was have a few moments of sewing and serenity to yourself? If so, this may help you to understand a tiny bit of what fellow sewing blogger and Haiti resident Arielle (Lakaribane on Pattern Review) is going through right now.

Arielle is a warm and lovely member of the online sewing community whom you may recognize from her enthusiastic and positive comments on other blogs, in addition to her own beautiful work. I and many others were ecstatic to hear that Arielle survived the massive Haiti earthquake, but she is now struggling with the aftermath of the destruction and has some harrowing stories of what she has lived through and is still experiencing every day. In my comparatively pampered state, I can’t even begin to imagine the horrors, fear, and loss that she has survived. But one thing I can identify with is when she tells me all she wants to do is sit down and sew.

Arielle’s home was destroyed and she has had to move. This is what became of her former sewing space:

Needless to say she lost a lot of stuff, including sewing stuff. Fortunately her sewing machines are still intact, but she lost patterns, tools, notions and some of her stash as well (it sounds like she had some heartbreaking Emma One Sock losses!) Unfortunately the current state of things in Haiti means that not only is money incredibly tight, but also that one can’t just walk into a shop and buy new pins- it’s not business as usual and goods are scarce.

Arielle still has limited internet access at the moment, but I asked her to take stock of what she has and send a list of things that she needs to replace. Now that I’ve received her wishlist, I’m hoping that perhaps some of you would like to send some of her wished-for items to her. To receive postal mail, she is currently using a courier service in the US which means you would send items to a US address and they will subsequently get forwarded to her by a private shipping service. This means that things won’t disappear in the Haitian mail (apparently a huge problem) and also that you’d only have to pay postage to ship to a US address.

Arielle has broken her wishlist down into “necessities,” “luxuries,” and “oddities.” If you would like to send her something, please send me an email at selfishseamstress[at]gmail[dot]com and let me know which item(s) and how many (if applicable) you would like to send. I will update this list to reflect purchases and email you back with Arielle’s courier address so you can ship the items to her. Here is her list:


  • Tailor’s chalk or other marking tool
  • Polyester sewing machine thread : black, white, navy, gray, brown
  • Tracing paper
  • Dressmakers’ pins, LOTS
  • Ballpoint pins for knits
  • Seam ripper (is this a sign?)
  • Class 15 bobbins
  • Rotary cutter blades: 60mm, 45mm
  • Buttons
  • Hand-sewing needles
  • Zippers, skirt and dress length, regular or invisible
  • 1/2″ shoulder pads
  • Hooks and eyes, skirts and pants sizes
  • Snaps, various diameters
  • Ironing board cover (I had one of those ruled ones but it is caput! Now, any will do)
  • Steam-a-seam, regular or lite (it’s addictive!)
  • Patterns (list to be forwarded soon, needs updating)
Oddities :
  • 3M Magic Tape
  • Glad Press n’Seal


Arielle has lost a lot more than sewing notions in this terrible tragedy and as much as we might wish we could, we can’t undo what has happened. But we can help to brighten Arielle’s day and get her back to the joys of sewing- please consider sending her a little treat!