This post doesn’t involve fashion at all. If you find this deeply disappointing, come back later. This post does involve fabric (yards and yards of gold lame’, to be precise), and I think it’s worth a show-and-tell. :)
I was chatting with my friend Irene, who is a band director for a local high school. Her color guard team was about to enter a big competition. For those of you who might not know what a color guard is, look below.
Irene’s color guard team performs with the marching band, but also just as themselves in the off season. Their routine was ready. There was just one big problem. Flags. They didn’t have enough flags. The flags they had weren’t big enough to work for their routine. Like lots and lots of high schools, they couldn’t afford to buy new flags, which cost about $50 for the size they needed. ($50 x 16 flags = $800).
I was a band geek growing up (Yeah Euphoniums!!! Can I get a what what?!?!), and we had terrific parent support. The “band boosters” would help us in our fundraising, bake us stuff, and sew just about all of our color guard flags. They were a crafty and dedicated bunch.
“Why don’t you get your band boosters to make the flags?” I asked. Irene explained that a lot of the parents for these kids worked multiple jobs and didn’t have the time. The other parents didn’t have the inclination. They had no band boosters. Irene was planning on having to sew the flags herself by hand.
I was shocked. Nobody would help these kids get the flags they needed? After they’ve worked so hard after school, every day, for hours?
Eff that. Irene and I made a plan to get these flags made. I’ve never met these kids, but dammit…we band geeks gotta stick together! Solidarity, and whatnot, you know?
Irene came over, and we got to work. We had 16 flags to make, and the kids needed them by Friday. There was no time to waste.
First off, we tackled the flags that would just need a piece added on to make them larger. I cut a piece of fabric from an old duvet cover, which we would use as the template.
I allowed an extra ‘1/2 inch all around for the seam allowance.
We cut several of these guys out from our bolt of gold fabric.
First, I pinned the add ons to the original flags.
I ran the add-ons through my machine, attaching it to the main flags. Then, I hemmed all the raw edges, tucking them under.
With the added-on flags done, we still had to make 7 completely new flags.
We traced one of the altered flags to make a template, allowing an extra 1/2 on the edges for the seam allowance, as well as an extra 4″ along the side where the pole would end up going.
With Irene pinning, and me sewing, we managed to knock the 16 flags out after two long nights. :) She was a huuuuge help, and a really good sport about Basement Kitteh constantly attacking her and getting in the way. :) I’m so impressed and inspired by her dedication to her students and her school! It’s great that awesome teachers like Irene are out there, really trying to help their kids.
So…how did the flags turn out? See for yourself!
This isn’t even all of them…just what could fit in my kitchen! :)
So…what’s the point of this post? The point is, help. If you’re able to do something that not everyone can do (which is everyone), do that thing to help people. It doesn’t matter if you even know who they are. Don’t assume that someone else is going to step in (like I did at first). Even if you’re busy, you can make time to do something pretty nifty…like make a bunch ‘o flags!