As many of you know by now, I own a lot of dresses! Dresses make me happy.
In October 2011 I was looking through online craft magazine The Craft Tonic (Issue 3), and came across an article which actually made me cry – I cry at a lot of things, but that’s not what you expect from a craft mag!
The article told me about Dress A Girl Around The World, a charity based in the US that asks you to ‘Imagine a world where every little girl owned at least one dress’, and then tells you how you can make simple dresses from pillow cases. These dresses are then distributed to girls in countries such as Malawi and Kenya. I know how good dresses can make you feel, and I cannot imagine not being able to own even one.
As I sat there with 52 dresses in my wardrobe, I felt more than a little bit guilty. So I decided I would do something to help.
Lots of sewing bloggers set themselves challenges, so I set myself the challenge of making at least 52 pillowcase dresses, one for each of my own. I set the time limit of Christmas 2011.
Sewbox kindly offered to help me with this challenge by supplying some of the bits and pieces needed to make each dress.
I knew that would need a bit of help for the challenge though, so asked people if they could get involved in different ways:
1) Send me pillowcases!!
Each dress uses one pillow cases, so if you have any in good condition, or find any in charity shops, or want to go out and buy new ones that would be great. The more colourful the better!
Each dress also requires the following: 37cm of ¼” or ½” elastic, 92cm of doublefold bias tape. If you can’t supply these with your pillowcase then that is fine as Sewbox are helping me out – it just makes it easier for me if everything comes together.
You can get elastic and bias tape from haberdashery shops and places like John Lewis, and of course, online at Sewbox!.
2) Make dresses!
You can do this on your own at home, and then pass the finished dress on to me. If you have a sewing machine then it will obviously be a bit quicker, but I don’t see why you couldn’t make them by hand if you don’t. I can then make sure all our finished dresses get to Dress A Girl Around The World.
You can also download a PDF of the original pillow case instructions from Dress A Girl Around The World here.
3) Tell EVERYBODY!
Whether you forward this blog page on, speak to a craft loving friend, Facebook, or tweet, tweet, tweet, the more people you can tell the better!
4) We can have a dressmaking party!
I would LOVE to do this! If enough people respond, then I will see about organising this. Not sure of the logistics yet as I only have one machine at home!
The whole challenge really took off, and so many people have got involved it’s been amazing. Not only did we reach 52 dresses before Christmas, we also reached 100 and then a total of 180 dresses!!
Although I closed the challenge at the end of 2011, the Dress a Girl Around the World Charity will always need dresses. If you would like to get involved let me know either by putting a comment on this page, or emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you can look at the UK Facebook Page for the charity.