My post for #CharityTuesday this week really sums up how the simplest of ideas can have a wonderful and inexpensive affect.
I’ll now hand you over to Louise who can tell you all about the pillowcase dresses – if you think you can help her please get in touch xx
Earlier in the year 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, India etc. The charity felt that every little girl should own at least one pretty dress. 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 dress 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 300 dresses from lovely people all over the UK and Ireland!
I am still looking for people to make dresses! The charity in America have distributed over 48,000 dresses so far so we have a way to go! Its a very simple pattern to follow and there is a great link to a tutorial and pattern on my blog. Once you start its a bit addictive and people often end up making more than one dress. I have 2 lovely sisters who between them have made nearly 100 dresses for the charity! We also have sewing groups who make dresses together, a local college is hoping to involve their textiles students soon and The Craft Studio in Nottingham is running free dress making workshops in November which is fantastic! 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.
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! 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!
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.