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Posts tagged ‘pillowcase dress’

Update on little dresses for Ethiopia

Bandana dresses!

HI!  If you read my blog, you’ll know I’ve been making dresses for the Howlett family to take to Ethiopia on their mission trip to work at an orphanage (scheduled for December).    

This update is to show you some pics of the “bandana” dresses I made to go with the “pillowcase” dresses.  Both the how-to links can be found on the howlett’s blog: http://thehowletts5.blogspot.com/       

This is the link I used for the bandana dress pattern:  http://www.girlythingsbows.com/bandana_dress.html    

my motto: every stitch an act of worship.

These dresses are not difficult.  If you want to spread a little love one little girl or boy at a time (the guys need shorts and t’s) please contact the Howlett family at the link above or go here…  http://www.littledressesforafrica.org/blog/  

Because I posted this project on my blog, someone said to me,  “only a power as big as a government can change individual lives”.  Pffft.  That’s my response.  Pffffffft and double pffft. 
I posted this because doing this work made me really happy and I want to encourage YOU to help out in whatever way YOUR gifts and talents and interests lead you.  Whether you share my Christian beliefs or just want to make a small difference in your world, you will understand that I think love starts on a person-to-person basis.  These dresses only cost about $2 each to make (not counting your labor which is beyond a price to God).  Do you want to spend that time watching Simpson’s re-runs, or giving a gift to a little girl who lost her Mom to the African AIDS epidemic?  We will show love – even if our own hands never get to personally tie the ribbons on their new dresses. 
Do your thing!  Get after it!

hugs, V-


Litle Girl Dresses for Ethiopia (Pillowcase Dresses)


My Rush Hour friend Heather, who plays Cammie at our Fredrick Campus, suggested a dress-making project to support orphans in an Ethiopian community. Check out this link to understand the scope of what the Howletts are trying to achieve.   http://thehowletts5.blogspot.com/   

Here’s a link to the pattern I chose to use…    http://sewingmamas.com/b/downloads.php?do=file&id=17  I made 6 dresses like this.   

 I was a little concerned about how the dresses would be laundered, and how the ribbon might hold up. I decided to try THIS pattern next… http://freshlypicked.blogspot.com/2008/03/pillow-case-dress-tutorial.html  because the ties are sewn in as elongated casings on the sleeves.   

Fabric and ribbon!


Aleah (my daughter) and I went shopping for pillowcases which we first washed, dried, and ironed.  

We washed, dried and ironed the cases first.


We wanted to launder the fabric before beginning so we could pre-shrink and check them out to see if the would hold up long-term.  We didn’t want to send dresses that would disappoint little girls by raveling or shrinking the first time they were washed.   

After learning they have an outdoor latrine, we weren’t sure about their access to laundry facilities and an iron for pressing clothing, so we tried our best to think about those things while choosing our materials.  



... sew ...


Thread some ribbon...


... and VOILA!


These were constructed using the method found at the first link we listed above.  After making several of these using the simple design, I was ready to move on to the more challenging pattern, which I thought would  be longer-lasting and a little more rugged.  I used the pattern found at the second link above, and the dresses turned out to be SOOOO cute!  

We added some ribbon trim to the dresses made with solid fabric, just to give them a little extra cuteness.  🙂   

Thanks again to my friend Heather for the suggestion!  And thanks to the Howlett family for all you do!  

Hugs, V-

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