Meet the Boss Pillowcase Dress Lady!

In the first article I read about the Dress A Girl Around the World charity, I found out about a blog called Sew Scrumptious and how its author was making all these pillowcase dresses. It turns out that the author, Louise, is the UK representative for Dress A Girl Around the World. She does an amazing job promoting the charity, making and collecting the dresses, and then making sure they are distributed. And she’s a busy mum!

I thought you might like to hear a bit more from Louise and about the charity, so asked her to write today’s blog post.


At the beginning of 2011 an article in a sewing magazine about a charity in America called ‘Dress A Girl Around the World‘ caught my eye. People who could sew were asked to make simple pillowcase dresses which were then delivered to girls living in poverty in the developing world. Girls in countries like Uganda, Rwanda, Haiti and India. The charity felt that every girl should own at least one pretty dress.

Malawi 2011

As the mother of a little girl with a wardrobe full of pretty dresses, this struck a chord with me and it didn’t seem too much to ask to make a dress as I could sew and had loads of fabric lying around. I made a few dresses and roped in some of my blogging friends to make dresses too thinking that would be it. Little did I know that 6 months later I would be the UK International Partner for the charity having collected over 400 dresses from lovely people all over the UK and Ireland!

I made this dress!!

Malawi 2011

We are still looking for people to make dresses. You can find a great tutorial here. Its a very simple pattern to follow and very easy to make. Once you start its a bit addictive and people often end up making more than one dress! Every dress I receive is photographed and put on my blog with a link back to the maker. Its been such a pleasure collecting the dresses and seeing what people have made. Some use new fabric, some recycled pillowcases (hence the name) and some upcycle old clothes into new dresses. Most are made from the same simple pattern but they are all individual and each one has been made with love.

Malawi 2011

The charity and I agreed that it would be more cost efficient to get people in the UK to take the dresses to developing countries if possible rather than post them to America and so far 100 dresses have been taken to two different projects in Malawi including the Home of Hope Orphanage and 50 dresses to Kenya. I am always looking for people in the UK who are visiting charitable projects abroad who can take and distribute dresses for me so if you know anyone please ask them to contact me!

Home of Hope Orphanage Malawi 2011

The highlight so far has been seeing photos of girls wearing the dresses and realising that the dress you made is now being worn by a little girl on the other side of the world. Its made it all worthwhile!

Home of Hope Orphanage Malawi 2011

Malawi 2011

If you would like to make a dress or find out more please check out my blog or facebook page or email me for more info. If you can’t sew but would like to get involved we are happy to accept donations towards the cost of posting the dresses in the UK. If you run a sewing cafe, sewing group or textiles course please get in touch to see how you can get involved. I am really open to new ideas and suggestions!



3 thoughts on “Meet the Boss Pillowcase Dress Lady!

  1. Thank you so much for featuring me on your lovely blog! Can’t wait to see how your dress challenge goes!! You are doing amazing things to support the Dress a Girl charity. I really appreciate it. Love your dress making party idea. That has inspired me to try something similar!! I am also very impressed that you got your husband involved. I’m working on mine!!
    Another 50 dresses went off today with the ‘Mary’s Meal’ charity. Each dress will be put in a backpack along with educational material eg pencils, pads etc and given to a child at school in Malawi. Going to blog about it later. Thanks again. Louise x

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