Ryan’s Case for Smiles

Ryan’s Case for Smiles

I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving. My husband, children, and I traveled to Pennsylvania for five days. It’s always a good time when my kids get to see their Mimi and cousins, and we get to visit family we don’t get to see often enough. My husband and I both grew up in the same town where Mimi still lives so we like to reminisce about the good old days and tell our kids stories of our childhood. When we got back yesterday I decided to do a project that my children and I got supplies for two weeks ago. Between working on client projects and trying to get ready for Christmas I know my days are going to be super busy this month. I wanted to get this done before things get too crazy.

A few weeks ago we were in JoAnn Fabrics and we saw a flyer for a charity called Ryan’s Case for Smiles. They collect and distribute homemade pillow cases for children in the hospital battling cancer and other life changing illnesses. The kids and I decided that donating a few pillow cases would be a nice way to start off our Christmas holiday. I had the kids pick out the fabric for us to make three pillow cases. Yesterday after we got back from PA I worked on them and was able to finish all three. I wanted to post about this in hopes that others may like to donate. I would’ve never known about this charity had I not happen to walk by the flyer at JoAnn Fabrics in Bel Air that day. The Bel Air store is a drop off point but they have drop off points all around the country. Click HERE to find out your local drop off point:

Here are some guidelines from the site:

PILLOWCASE GUIDELINES Please use 100% cotton (no polyester) fun/novelty prints! Pillowcases for teenage boys and girls are always needed. Please, no glitter and no skulls.

Flannel is acceptable but not in all hospitals. Please check with your local coordinator in regards the hospital’s policy. Note: JoAnn’s flannel prints wash fairly well but the solid flannel tends to look worn after 2 washings. Use caution with using RED. Always pre-wash to avoid bleeding into any contrasting fabric being used on the pillowcase.

Wash pillowcases in unscented detergent, iron and place in a quart or gallon ziplock bag. Please make sure all pins are removed and the pillowcases are sewn properly. If sewing with inexperienced sewers, you will get the best result if you have an experienced sewer at each machine assisting those less skilled. We are very conscious of the children’s compromised immune systems so whomever washes and bags the pillowcases should be healthy and work on a “clean” surface. If the pillowcases were pre-washed please re- wash after they are sewn. Have Fun…Happy Sewing and Thank you so much for helping kids feel better to heal better.

I used these instructions that were on the flyer:

I had to read step #3 and #4 a few times before I understood what to do. Here are a few photos to clarify with they mean:

This shows the border piece folded in half lengthwise with wrong sides together.

Here I pinned the right side of the border to the right side of the body.

This shows it sewn together. The directions have you just use one large piece for the body but my son picked out two different fabrics so I just seamed them together before moving on to step #3.

After I finished the pillow case I used pinking sheers to zig zag the edges to keep them from fraying. You could also surge the edges before sewing or use a zig zag stitch on the edges to also keep them from fraying.

Here is the finished product:

When we were shopping for the fabric I told my children to pick from the flannels because I thought they would be the softest. The flyer I had didn’t mention anything about only using cotton. I only realized after I was done and was looking on the website that some hospitals don’t allow flannel! I was so bummed. I just spent several hours making these things and now I’m not even sure they can use them. So if you decide to make them make sure you use 100% cotton and no glitter fabric. I am waiting to hear back from the local coordinator to see if they can be used. If not they were easy enough I can go pick up some more fabric and make a few more. I will update the post once I find out for sure if flannel can be used in any of our local hospitals. Please let me know if you decide to donate a pillow case. I know this is a busy time but it really didn’t take long to make. It feels good to know you could put a smile on a child’s face that is going through a rough time.

Thankfully they were able to use the flannel cases we made but in the future we will use cotton to be safe.

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