A few days later one of my favorite bloggers, Amy Smart of Diary of a Quilter, posted her monthly Sew Goodness - Charity Sewing and this got me thinking about what I was doing to give back My focus since the mid 90's has been charity support with my infant quilts, crochet hats, scarves, and Prayer Shawls. I felt the need to do something new. I didn't have the same enthusiasm for quilting as I once had and my hands hurt after crocheting for any length of time. I needed a new challenge!
About that same time someone posted on Facebook about a woman from Iowa, Lillian Weber, that wanted to sew1,000 Little Dresses for Africa by the time she was 100 years old, she exceeded that number and made over 1,200 dresses before she passed away just one day before her 101st birthday. What an amazing woman with a generous heart and using her time and talent to serve God. 1Peter 4:10
Then came my nudge from God and the idea of making pillowcase dresses for girls. I had made a few dresses for my former church and was familiar with the simple pattern and realized this was something I could do. The next day, excited about my new project, I ventured into Joann Fabric. Not a fan of their fabric for quilting, but it would be fine for my dresses and they were having a 50% off sale. Next thing I knew I had purchased twelve yards of fabric, bias tape, and rickrack, enough for 12 dresses.
My first dress was O.K, but by the second and third try I had made changes that I was satisfied with. Changes like using 1/2" elastic instead of the 1/4", a narrow 3/4" hem at the bottom instead of a 2" hem, and a little gathering at the front and back to give a little extra detail. These first dresses have a simple rickrack or lace trim, maybe as I feel more confident I'll add more detailed trim.
No way will I ever have the dedication that Miss Lillian had but if I made 5 or 10 or maybe 25 dresses, that would be great. Each one would represent another little girl that had a new dress, maybe the first new dress she ever had and quite possibly would replace the rags she has been wearing. I pray for each little girl as I sew and let them know that they are not forgotten, that others love them, and most of all that they are a child of God.
I don't know where I will send my dresses as I have contacted a couple of resources and not heard back but one thing I do know is that God has directed me to make my dresses and He will find the best home for them.
I'll be sharing more of my dresses with you along the way.
Hugs and stitches