Every Thursday, you'll find the members of the Greenwich High School Sewciety sewing club tucked away, hard at work, in a room at the school. They are busy cutting, sewing, pinning and pressing, creating colorful scarves made from silken remnants donated by the Tibi fashion house in New York. And they are making them for a good cause. The scarves are headed to teenagers with cancer at Memorial Sloane Kettering who have lost their hair to chemotherapy.
Sewing teacher Sherry Myer oversees the girls' efforts. The scarves, she says, are not easy to make. "They're working with silk," Myer says. "Its slippery -- it shifts easily." The girls, however, are up to the challenge, she says.
The scarf-making project was introduced this school year after Myer was contacted by Greenwich resident, Amy Smilovic, founder/designer of the Tibi fashion house in New York. It seems that Smilovic was looking for help in her ongoing partnership with the Pediatric Cancer Center at Memorial Sloan-Kettering (MSK). "We started producing the scarves for the MSK in our sewing room," Smilovic says, "and while it was something we loved doing, it was a massive undertaking."
The project was a natural fit for the girls in the club, 10 of them from 9th grade to 12th grade. Not only could they learn how to sew, they could also help other teens in need.
Ninth grader Laura Stasio says she likes putting together the scarf remnants -- or strike-offs as they are called in the fashion business. In her first year of sewing, she says she is learning how to do the back bend hem and the French seam.
At the same time, Stasio likes where her scarf is headed. "It's really nice to give back to them (the teens at Sloane Kettering) for all they've been through," she says.
Modeling one of the scarves was ninth grader, Pauline Fernandez. "It's a nice design," she says, "and it covers the head." She found making her scarf difficult. "I'm a perfectionist," she says, "I want everything to be perfect."
She added that she was happy to be sewing for charity.
"The kids are so attracted to this project of making scarves for teenaged kids with cancer who are going through chemo and have no hair," says Myer. "They are so generous with their time and their skill to make a difference in someone else's life."
And they're learning how to sew, do difficult work and enjoy it, which is why Myer started the club six years ago -- " for those who love to sew and want to learn."
By the time the school year is over, according to Myer, her students should have completed more than a dozen of the scarves. "We'll make 12-15 by the end of the school year," she says.
And they are popular with their recipients, too. "The young teens don't wear turbans or a wig," Myer says. "They're more attracted to the stylish scarves. They're really in now."
So the scarf project has been a win/win proposition for all involved, especially Sewciety club members. They found out recently that Smilovic has invited them to her Fall Fashion Show. "That" says Stasio, "is so cool."