Thursday, August 23, 2012

Pillowcase Dress Sizing Chart & Armhole Template

Suzanne, our Washington State rep, has uploaded the sizing chart for dresses and armhole template for dresses.  Rather than duplicate her efforts, here is a link to her blog "Sew Delightful".

Monday, August 20, 2012

Dress a Girl Connecticut is 2 years old! New sewing date this weekend!

Dresses made in Connecticut bless girls in Romania!
Dress a Girl Connecticut has been sewing and blessing girls for two years now!  How we have grown in just two years!  It started a small group of 25 women sewing at my church, Cornerstone Church in Cheshire.  We have grown to well over 200 across New England that have helped in some way!  Small groups of friends are coming together to sew in their homes, churches and clubs and then sending finished dresses to me.  I am humbled and touched at how this affects those that hear what we are doing to bless little girls worldwide.  I love that it moves them to get involved and make a difference in the life of a girl!  Girls are shown love when blessed by their very own handmade pillowcase dress.  They feel pretty and smile ear to ear when blessed.  Their self esteem is raised.  That is a wonderful thing!

There is a lot happening now with Dress a Girl Around the World!  We are currently sewing dresses nationwide to go to Cambodia in the fall.  We have a request for 10,000 dresses and the deadline to ship them to the port in South Carolina is the end of August.  We have sent about 500 so far from Dress a Girl Connecticut!  Keep sewing!

I would like to invite you all to our next sewing event.  We can fit about 60 so if you think you can make it, please RSVP to me as soon as possible. Come for some of the time or join us for the whole time.  If you sew, bring your machine and thread and we will set you up to sew.  If not, bring an iron and ironing board, sharp scissors, pins, PILLOWCASES, or a dish to share at lunchtime.  We will be working and having fun too!  Bring a friend if you'd like!

Saturday, August 25, 2012
Cornerstone Church
1146 Waterbury Road
Cheshire, CT
***** RSVP to ASAP *****

In June, I attended our first Dress a Girl Around the World conference in Arizona.  I'd like to share with you how our mission is changing from simply providing a pretty dress to a girl who may not have one to blessing a girl with God's BEST.  This means the dress must meet some criteria that we feel is very important.  Here's a wrap-up:
  • Always start with pretty, clean pillowcases and materials.  Think to yourself, would I wear this or put it on my own daughter/granddaughter?  The material/pillowcase must NOT BE SEE THROUGH.  The test is, if you can hold your hand under a single layer of the material and you can see the outline of your hand, it is too see through.  Consider lining dresses with any thin materials/pillowcases you have or use these materials to make bias tape.  We want to respect the modesty and dignity of the girl.  This may also protect her from would be predators.
  • The dress MUST BE CONSTRUCTED IN A DURABLE manner using proper materials.  Please remember these dresses may often be washed in rivers on rocks or on washboards with harsh homemade soaps.  There may be no delicate cycle in many cases!  Back stitch when beginning to sew and when ending your stitches.  Hide raw edges to prevent fraying and unraveling over time.  This can be done by serging edges, sewing french seams or encasing raw edges in a double fold.  When making a dress that is 36" or longer, please make a kick pleat at the bottom (side or middle) so the girl can run and play without having to hike her dress up.
  • We have found that making the elastic pieces one inch (1") wider for the back of the dress fits the girl better.  We generally use 3/8"-3/4" elastics.  Be sure and tack them in place (backstitching) to ensure they will not fall out before you apply bias tape straps.
  • Armholes should be cut between 3"-5" in from the top edge and down from the top of the pillowcase or fabric.  Do not make them any longer or deeper a cut or the straps will not be long enough and the girls chest may be exposed.
  • Straps should be made of DOUBLE FOLD WIDE (1/2") BIAS TAPE or grosgrain ribbon.  When using grosgrain ribbon, use FRAY CHECK on ends to prevent raveling.  Stitch the ribbon in place on the casing so that ribbons aren't pulled out and not able to be re-inserted.  Do not use craft ribbon as this is not soft, can fray and is not washable.  Never use wired ribbon or rope of any kind.  Make sure the straps are long enough to go over the girls shoulder and tie in a bow!  Too often we receive dresses that are beautiful otherwise but cannot be used because the straps are too short to tie a bow.  A good rule of thumb is to make your straps a FULL 36" each no matter the size dress!  When sewing straps on, start at one end, folding in edges, backstitch, and sew to the opposite end, folding in edges, backstitch.
  • Extra touches make the dress even more special.  Add good sized pockets-minimum 5" wide- (girls love to carry little things around in pockets!), trim such as ric rac, and sewn on bows.  Ruffles are pretty too.  Buttons can be used decoratively as long as they are sewn on sturdily.  Please, NO hot glued items adhered to the dress.  They can fall off over time.

Finally, I would like to thank everyone for your prayers, donating supplies, money for buying supplies and shipping costs, time for helping out, prepping materials, sewing, rolling and bagging, packing and shipping dresses.  It is all of you who make Dress a Girl a success.  To date, Dress a Girl Around the World has blessed over 101,000 girls with our pillowcase dresses in 59 different countries.  We have people sewing in all states of the US, in the UK, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Australia, Canada and Uganda.  There are many more girls out there waiting for a dress of their very own, so please keep sewing! 

I feel like the more I share what we are doing, the more girls will be blessed.  I would love to come and share what Dress a Girl is doing with your church, group, or organization.  Please contact me to schedule a convenient time.  Also, we are in need of financial contributions to help with supplies and shipping to our contacts.  If you feel you can help out in any way, please make checks payable to Cornerstone Church-Dress a Girl Ministry and mail to Cornerstone Church, 1146 Waterbury Road, Cheshire, CT  06410 (this is a tax deductible donation) or bring to our next sewing event!  I hope to see you there and meet more of you all in person!  If you have not gotten involved and would like to, call or email me with any questions you have!

Please continue to keep Dress a Girl Connecticut in your prayers.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


I need your help!  I currently have 134 dresses packed and ready for shipment (and more waiting to be packed and shipped).  These dresses are headed to Cambodia with missionaries that have requested a total of 10,000 dresses from Dress a Girl Around the World.  There is great need in Cambodia to lift up the girls in prayer and to bless them with their own handmade pillowcase dresses!  A new dress for a little girl who has never had one will raise her self esteem and make her feel pretty.  It is a selfless act of love to make these dresses for a girl you may never meet.  It shows her that she is loved.  By others and by God.  We are seeking to provide God's best in the dresses we make.

I estimate that it will cost about $60 to ship these dresses the the port in South Carolina where the group will load them with all the others coming in from all over Dress a Girl sewers onto the ship that will sail to Cambodia in the next few months.  Please pray for the girls of Cambodia and if you can help us with any of the cost of shipping, please click on the "DONATE" button on the right of this page.  100% off you donation will go to helping us bless little girls.  Thank you.

Let's give them smiles like this!