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Local

Sewing for a good cause in Sugar Grove

Ellen Violet Designs Sewing Studio creates items for local nonprofit organizations

SUGAR GROVE- You can learn how fun sewing is, how to operate a home sewing machine and the basic skills to create things with sewing classes and private sewing lessons at Ellen Violet Designs Sewing Studio in Sugar Grove.
 
But what does sewing have to do with empathy, teamwork and humanitarianism?
 
According to Ellen Svehla, the owner/instructor of Ellen Violet Designs Sewing Studio, it can have plenty to do with those things when you combine sewing with charity.
 
“We have been doing charity sewing events because I like to show the students how they can use their sewing skills to help others,” Svehla said. “Previous donations have gone to the 3:11 Project in Montgomery, Hesed House and MK Blankets, that passes out blankets to the homeless in Detroit.”
 
The group’s sixth charity sewing night of 2018 saw the group sew more than 40 pet beds on Dec. 14 that were donated to the Tails Humane Society in DeKalb. Svehla chose Tails because she’s been spending a lot of time in the DeKalb area as her husband is undergoing cancer treatment. Previously, her group had sewn blankets, hats, scarves and more.
 
Sugar Grove resident Jill Cramer acknowledged that her daughter Cassie, 12, is creative, but she is not. Once she heard what Svehla was offering for kids through sewing she enrolled her daughter in classes.
 
“She’s been able to cultivate that creativity,” Cramer said. “Ellen is always doing something to help the community. It’s something special knowing they were able to make something for pets at the shelter right before Christmas. I know they totally loved doing that project and Ellen is always doing something like that to get the kids involved, adding character building and encouraging them to use their talents for the community.”
 
Emily Horsfall, a Sugar Grove resident and freshman at Aurora Central, has only been sewing for a year, and didn’t really know she’d be using her newly acquired skills to help others.
 
“I sort of thought I might be doing stuff and giving back, but never thought of actually doing it,” Horsfall said. “I found it to be nice to be able to help people and help animals in need.”
 
With two small dogs of her town, Hornsfall appreciated the chance to help other animals.
 
“I really did like helping the animals in the shelter,” she said.
 
Hailey Vogtmann, a fifth grader in Sugar Grove, has been sewing with Svehla for three years already. Her mother, Colleen Vogtmann, is beyond satisfied with what sewing and Svehla have contributed to her young daughter’s life.
 
“Ellen teaches them patience because sewing is a skill that takes a lot of details, and she is taking young girls who don’t have the largest attention span and teaching them a lifelong skill,” Colleen Vogtmann said. “I would not be able to do what (Ellen) does. She’s very patient with the girls, shows them what to do and tries to get them to think about other people by giving back.”
 
Svehla has promised additional charity events for 2019 and is always looking for volunteers who are looking to join in the fun at these events to sew, and would also welcome fabric donations of fleece and flannel.
 
To learn more about charity sewing nights, making donations, signing up for classes and more, follow its Facebook page for updates on upcoming events or call Svehla at (630) 465-2954.
 

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