Premature babies spark interest in sewing

Kim Martin, Caitlin O'Connell, Emily Jordan, Bianca Castro and Brianna Selfe. Picture: Jon Hewson. d441744
Kim Martin, Caitlin O'Connell, Emily Jordan, Bianca Castro and Brianna Selfe. Picture: Jon Hewson. d441744

Home economics teacher Rebecca Tennant donated the gowns to Tiny Sparks WA and she will soon send some boys� outfits.

Ms Tennant was looking for a project to occupy and challenge her Year 12 class members who were not busy with work placements, and decided upon the gowns after seeing a friend�s handiwork posted on Facebook.

She said the project was not part of the school�s home economics course but she hoped to introduce it as a regular sewing project next year. Some interested Year 11 students joined in and the project inspired one student to consider getting a sewing machine to learn more about sewing.

Tiny Sparks WA co-founder and manager Amber Bates thanked all the knitting and sewing volunteers who helped stock hospital pools of clothing, and provide keepsakes for families through Tiny Sparks care packages.

She joined with other parents affected by premature birth to create Tiny Sparks WA after the birth of her child at 25 weeks gestation in 2010.

Babies born prematurely were often too small for regular baby clothes, or they were medically fragile and required clothing of particular specifications, she said.

�Only gowns made from approved patterns can be used in the neonatal units,� Ms Bates said.

Patterns are at www.tinysparkswa.org.au, and people can use the website to donate cash for care packages.