Saturday, April 30, 2011

Prayers answered!

Wow~  I put out a cry for help with pillowcase donations and in a matter of a day, I receive about 12 HUGE bags and boxes from a hospice center in a Hartford!  Delivered to my home no less!  Amazing!  The donation was of used but cleaned hospital gowns.  Not your typical johnnie gowns though.  These are like a smock that you slip over your head- a big rectangle that is open on the sides and bottom.  They are in really cute patterned fabrics in all colors!  Again-not your typical hospital gowns!  They are too wide as is but will require no elastic, bias tape etc.  They can be sewn up the sides-a little narrower and out the sides to create a little sleeve!  I haven't actually tried it yet, but it looks simple!  Can't wait to try it out!

What a blessing this delivery is!  God is good!  Ask for help and He makes it happen.  This hospice center also does medical missions trips and offered to take dresses to the countries they visit!  Blessings abound!

Tomorrow I am helping a friend's Temple to host a Dress a Girl event here in Cheshire.  It is their Mitzvah Day; a day of giving back to the community.  Marlena expects about 35 women and girls to help and says many know how to sew!  I am excited!  That is a great amount of people and I am excited to share what Dress a Girl Around the World is all about.  I am praying that these women will be touched by what we are doing and maybe some will become DAG sewers!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Desperately seeking....Pillowcases!!

It appears I have used all of our donated pillowcases and desperately need more for upcoming "orders" for pillowcase dresses for Dress a Girl!  I just got a request for 200 dresses from Gordon College!  They are going to Honduras on May 22nd and I will need all the help I can to get those dresses made!  Don't forget I am still madly sewing for David Wagner's request to dress 10,000 girls in Africa and South America in July!  So thankful that Rachel has agreed to send 5,000 of them from Dress a Girl Around the World's headquarters in Arizona!  That still leaves alot for us to make and ship to Florida!

Please consider donating your old (or new) pillowcases and sheets to Dress a Girl.  The pictures on the girls faces when they receive a dress are priceless! Email me at for more information on where to send your pillowcase, sheets and fabric donations!  Thank you!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Dress a Girl Song

Our founder, Rachel, and a group of people from Hope 4 Women International just returned from a two week trip to Uganda.  While there, they wrote and sang this Dress a Girl Around the World song... Check it out!  So cute!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Celebrating family heritage

This week, my husband and I were able to get away (for the second year together) to Independence, Kansas.  My husband's great uncle, William Inge, was a famous playwright of the 50's and 60's.  He wrote 5 consecutive successful works:  Come Back Little Sheba, Picnic, Bus Stop,  Dark at the Top of the Stairs, and Spendor in the Grass.  Every year they honor his work and that of a current distinguished playwright.  This year the festival is honoring Marsha Norman. 

We are fortunate to be able to travel here for this fun event because we have some great friends and family!  They are taking care of our kids and pets while we are here and we are so thankful for that!

It is fascinating to be here and learn about such a dynamic and talented writer.  Even more cool-he's a relative.  Kevin's dad is here as well as his sister Sandra.  We are having a great time.

While spending a little time this morning in town, I discovered a really cute quilting fabric shop and in about 10 minutes was able to pitch Dress a Girl to them.  They were really excited and I gave them my business card and took theirs.  They took extras for a quilting retreat that is going on in town this weekend.  I love how wherever I go, I can find someone to talk to about this great campaign!  So, if you are ever in Independence, Kansas, please stop into Lillie's Classic Quilts and Home Decor.  It is a beautiful shop!!!  They are online at

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Kids help by tie-dying white pillowcases & fabrics!

On Saturday, our Cheshire Newcomers & Neighbors Club sponsored a children's event in which kids could come and help tie-dye white pillowcases and fabrics. These pillowcases and fabrics are what I have received as donations for Dress a Girl Connecticut.  My friend Kristi organized it and has vast experience in tie-dying with superior dyes.  The kids and adults applied rubber bands to various parts of the pillowcases & fabrics.  Kristi and her husband took care of soaking the fabrics in soda ash prior to the kids applying dye.  Then the kids were given liquid dyes in numerous bottles (scary in itself!) to apply to the fabrics.  They did a great job and I can't wait to see what they look like!  Here is a picture of some of the kids that helped out.

Kids help out by tie-dying white pillowcases & fabric
Kristi said she'd wash the lot of fabrics and pillowcases for me and return them to me in a few days!  I am so excited to get them back!  We don't want to send white or see-thru pillowcases to little girls so tie-dying is an excellent answer!  I will post pictures of the fabrics, pillowcases and dresses when I get them back!  A huge thank you to all those that gave up a couple hours of their time to help out!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Save more! Make your own bias-tape!

Sew, if you have been reading my blog or Facebook page, you may know that I have recently purchased a Singer Bias Tape Maker on ($61.99-free shipping).  I have been loving it for making bias tape out of those donated bottom sheets that kind of get hacked into odd shapes. 

However, just went to Joann's this week and got a decent deal on quilter's cotton prints for under $3/yd.  Bought a yard of 10 different printed fabrics in all colors.

Yesterday, I spent a few hours cutting two fabrics into 2" strips to make bias tape.  This doesn't take as long as it seems as I have a large self healing mat and clear straight edge ruler for quilting.  I sewed all the strips into one long one and fed it into my bias tape maker to get a ridiculously long single bias tape.  Then I cut into 2 yard strips (enough to do a single dress) and ran it through the bias tape maker folded in half to press into a double bias tape!

The result is the cutest bias tape!!!  Can't wait to do more!  I may even cut up some sheets that are printed to use for bias tape.  I wasn't going to-I plan on using all prints for dress material-but the bias tape is so cute!  Will really dress up those rather unsightly plain pillowcases or darker solids!

Pretty purple paisley

Sew pretty!

Light blue with black & white flowers

Sew far-cut 4 yards off this "roll" of single bias tape, pressed into double bias tape.
I made 24+ yards of 1/2" double bias tape from a single yard of cotton quilter's fabric.  To buy plain or solid color bias tape, I pay $2 - $2.49 per 3 yards!  I bought this yard of fabric for $2.79.  That's like buying one package of bias tape and getting 7 more for free!  I saved $14 on just this yard purchase in making my own tape.  I will have paid off my bias tape maker in ($62/$14=4.42) just over 4 yards of make-your-own tape!  Forget how much I am saving by using donated sheets at no cost to me!  Love it!  Imagine if I used even less expensive fabric!  I will post more pics as I cut up the pretty fabrics I picked up!

One pink bottom sheet yielded me way more that a yard of fabric-closer to three yards!  I didn't count how much yardage I got from that sheet but there is tons!  I'd estimate I saved about $50 from one sheet!  I may never run out of muted pink bias tape! LOL!  I guess if I consider this, I have already paid off my tape maker!  Yay!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Laundry just got a little better!

We are in the midst of finishing our basement-well, about 2/3 of it.  Finally!  I have been praying that we'd get around to this for a long time.  First and foremost to separate our two boys who have been sharing a bedroom forever!  They are 5 years apart and one is a teenager so-need I say more?  It's been ugly and it's high time they got their own spaces.  So the oldest, Andrew, is moving down to the first floor bedroom which has been a playroom with laundry closet for the last 8 years.

We have started a room in the basement for laundry, our 2nd fridge, washtub sink and toilet. It will have counter space to fold laundry, storage etc.  Today we had a new washer & dryer delivered.  It is those high efficient models that use less water etc...  I am really excited-more than I thought I'd be.  Mostly because they are much bigger than our last W/D setup.  I am hoping I can do less loads??  Also that I can wash the tons of sheets and pillowcases I get in all in one giant load rather than running laundry all day long!  Yay!  (It's the little things, right?)

Guess I have to go out and buy some HE detergent now?  Can't wait to actually wash something!  (Is that sad? LOL!)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Another donation arrives!

Much to my delight, a box was waiting on my front step this afternoon!  A new friend in California sent me two new sets of really cute sheets and pillowcases!  This will make lots of dresses!  Thanks sew much Jessica!  Have a great vacation!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sewing event a great success!

Saturday we had a great turnout at our sewing event at Cornerstone Church!  It started off slow as many of our normal helpers were helping out with another event with the church.  By 10am, we had lots of ladies trickling in and had a handful of new helpers.  So glad to see new faces excited about helping out!  I hope you all will come back again! 

We got alot accomplished!  Pauline (our women's ministries coordinator extraordinaire) pressed casings all day!  She has quite a way with an iron!  Raw talent!  :) 


Evelina serged raw edges and serged pillowcase forms together that I had preciously cut from sheets.
Ana sewed the elastic into the casings and helped with pinning.
Ferba and Ana's daughter Breana cut the pillowcases.
Ferba & Breana

Donna pinned bias tape on dresses.
Newbie Christine learned several steps and was pinning bias tape on here.
Jordan came to help for the first time with older sister Jesse.  Here Jordan has learned to pin on bias tape.
On a whim, I decided to bring the fabric paints and stencils.  We had many younger kids come to help this time and the painting of plain pillowcases was the perfect way for them to help pretty them up!  Here, Evalina's daughter Brianna, Jesse Micayla and Breana were all painting stencils and freehand.  Some really amazing paintings!
Brianna, Jesse, Micayla & Breana
This is Marie and she spent the whole day sewing casings and bias tape on.
This is another new friend, Maria.  Maria found our Dress a Girl website only last week and when I invited her to come and sew with us, she agreed and came with pillowcases.  She is excited about what we are all doing and hopes to set up her own sewing groups.  She has been looking for ways to help others and glorify God.  I think she's found her way!  Thanks Maria!
Evalina and Sorea & her Mom helping with Bias Tape
Two more newbies who know how to sew came to help and even brought a huge pile home to finish!  They are really excited to keep sewing and think they can gather more help!

Here is Mary who decided not to drive to DC to see the cherry blossoms in the rain and instead came to help us!  So glad you did Mary!  She even took a huge pile home to work on!
Ryan & mom, Judy
Judy couldn't stay this time, but came by to pick up a pile of dresses that needed bias tape pinned on.  She took them home to work on!  Thanks Judy!

So as you can see, we had a great turnout!  Thanks to all that came and even those that couldn't come this time but always help out sewing in their own time!  As soon as I have more pictures of the dresses we finished and a count for you, I will post it!  God Bless you all!