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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!

Dear Readers:

Thanks so much to those of you who purchased Selfish Seamstress merchandise! I wanted to give you an update on the donations. Because I was worried that the Salesforce matching program for donations to the American Red Cross might meet its $250,000 limit, I made a donation on Saturday night of everything I had earned until then, which I matched, and then put in an additional $50.  For those who want to do the math, this was $91 + $91 +50 = $232.  With Salesforce’s matching, this brings the total to $464.

On Sunday and Monday I repeatedly attempted to donate to the Red Cross both through the matching campaign and directly and the webpage simply kept giving me errors.  I can only hope this is because they’re getting more donations than they can handle right now! Anyway, I decided today to make an executive decision and donate the new earnings, which I matched, to Doctors without Borders.  More math: $59.78 + $59.78 = $119.56.

So, Selfish Seamstress readers, this means that we have been able to contribute a total of $585.56 (with some matching help) to the relief efforts underway in Haiti. I will continue to donate all of earnings from the sales of Selfish Seamstress stuff to disaster relief in Haiti until further notice, so please keep visiting the Selfish Seamstress Store! And as always, if you navigate to the store from a link on my blog, that means 30% of your cost will be donated! Thank you so very much for your generosity in this time of need. 

-Elaine, The Selfish Seamstress

You guys have been doing a great job buying up stuff from the Selfish Seamstress Store!  As requested, I’ve added new totes, mugs, and shirts with some of your favorite recent haikus, including, “Your stupid house,” “No such thing as bedtime,” “Me me me me me,” and “We call them ‘suckas.’” Check out the store for more styles, colors, and haikus! 

Proceeds from all sales will be donated to the American Red Cross to support relief efforts in Haiti.  More details here and here.

Thanks to those of you who have purchased items from the Selfish Seamstress Store, the proceeds of which I am matching and donating to disaster relief efforts in Haiti.

Shannon has just pointed out’s matching campaign, which is matching donations to the Red Cross dollar for dollar up to $100,000. Thank you, Shannon!

I plan on making the donation through this campaign, which means the royalties from sales will be quadrupled and donated.  That’s right– you purchase a Selfish Seamstress Haiku mug, shirt, or tote by navigating to the store from a link on my blog, and I will receive 30% of your purchase price, which I will match and donate, which means 60% of your purchase price.  Salesforce will then double this amount, which means 120% of your purchase price will be donated to the American Red Cross’s disaster relief efforts (more than you paid for your mug, shirt, or tote).  There’s no better time than now to pick up some snarky haiku merchandise and help people who are desperately in need.

Dear Readers:

As you have no doubt read or heard, a massive earthquake struck Haiti yesterday causing tremendous destruction. The Haitian government estimates that the death toll from the earthquake may exceed 100,000 people. This is surely one of the greatest human tragedies that has taken place during my lifetime.

This Sunday, I will make a donation in the amount of $50 to the American Red Cross’s International Response Fund to support relief efforts in Haiti. In addition to that $50, I will donate all royalties from the sales of Selfish Seamstress merchandise purchased before Sunday and match those royalties with my own funds as well. (UPDATE: I will match up to $200- my apologies, I should have specified this earlier. Sorry, I’m a person with a regular salary, not a foundation!)

If you would like to purchase a Selfish Seamstress haiku item, as always, please navigate to my store using a link on my blog– this doubles the royalty, meaning that I will be able to donate 30% of your purchase price, rather than 15% (the remainder of your cost goes to for manufacturing the items and hosting the store.) This figure will be matched for a total of 60%. 

Please consider purchasing an item from the Selfish Seamstress Store or making a donation directly to the Red Cross to help provide relief to the victims of this terrible tragedy.


-Elaine, the Selfish Seamstress

P.S.– A request to fellow blogger-seamstresses: If you post on your blog between now and Sunday, please consider including a link to this post to help spread the word and drum up relief!


About this blog

The Selfish Seamstress loves to design and sew garments, but only if she gets to keep them. I'm Elaine, known in the online sewing world as elainemay, and welcome to my selfish sewing blog.

Little Black Dress Medium

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100% of sales proceeds are currently being donated to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Total donations to date:
$270.00 to the Atlanta Humane Society
$464.00 to the American Red Cross
$119.56 to Doctors Without Borders

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