Monday, June 17, 2013

Dress a Girl around the World.

About a year ago, I joined this organization as a sewer. We sew dresses for disadvantaged girls around the world. The original premise was to take a pillow slip and create a very simple dress from it.  Many still do that, but I have kind of left the reservation. I found I did not enjoy sewing pillowslips into dresses. I wanted to create more. Today, I use exclusively fabric and have altered the original pattern a bit.
One of the first changes I made to the original DAG pattern was to eliminate the elastic across the top of the dress and add a yoke instead.

Made from coordinating fabrics with the added yoke.

My eldest daughter, who does not sew, crocheted four tops for me.  I added the skirt.

Sometimes, I like to add a peek a boo of lace under the dress. I added the contrast fabrics to extend the print I had. By doing this, I had enough fabric for three dresses. The yoke is shirred with three rows of elastic. I started making headbands to go with each of the dresses as I make them.

This dress is probably made closest to DAG specifications. A tube of fabric with an elastic top, Bias binding and straps with a pocket. I added the touches of lace just because I can.

This is the back view of a dress I created. It is opened a little down the skirt for ease of putting it on.  Since many of these dresses go to places that the mother may not have access to needles, thread, and/or buttons, we make the dresses as simple as we can. Here, instead of button closure, I added ties to the back.  I also used two widths of fabric because I really do like the extra fullness.

The front of the dress with the headband.  I did not have a red flower.  I  keep my eyes open whenever I am out. If I find a red flower, I will replace the one on this band.

I made this dress from a package of coordinating fat quarters I bought. I tore each quarter into three inch strips and then sewed and serged them back together. The straps are made by constructing tubes that are about 1 inch wide and inserting 3/4 inch elastic into them. When I was finished, I think I had a 3x4 inch strip of fabric left.

A close up of the straps and yoke.

This is the underside of the next dress. I sewed this dress in tiers and at each tier, on the inside, I added a ruffle of lace.

This is my twirl dress. I think every little girl deserves a twirl dress at least one time in her life. On this dress, instead of adding the bias ties, I scooped the front out just a tiny bit, then I sewed a piece of fabric that was cut to fit 1x1 across the top front and back. Across the shoulder area, I added 12 inches for each shoulder into the measurement. Once I sewed it onto the dress front and back, I created a casing that I added elastic to. I have used this idea for several of my dresses.
Almost all of the fabric we use in making our dresses is donated so there is very little expense involved in making a little girl happy. If you would like to become involved, you are welcome to contact me for information, or you can find their website on line.  I am planning to make a trip to Africa next year and have hopes of taking about 1000 dresses with me. I would love to include some of your works in my suitcases.  If you do not feel like you have time to sew, perhaps you have fabric you would like to donate to this project. Again, you can contact me to find out how to do that.


Betsy said...

UnfortunatelyI am not a very good seamsress. Are there any knitted or crocheted items that would be needed? Washcloths maybe?

Anonymous said...

Dolls which fit in the pockets are good, maybe there are crochet or knit patterns for those?

Anonymous said...

Headbands, flowers, and bits of lace. KMRM

Madeline's Album said...

What cute dresses. You do a wonderful job of sewing. Who ever get one of your dresses will be very happy. Have a blessed day. Madeline

David C Brown said...

Quite a Dorcas!

Audrey said...

God bless you for what you do.
Audrey z.


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