Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A Dress for Every Girl - Giving Back

Being part of a wonderful community of sewists, quilters and crafters is the best part of having a fabric store. We thrive here in the Bay area because of the loyal patronage of customer base.  We enjoy hearing their stories about their sewing projects, both challenges and successes, and about the many ways that they use their talents to give back to their communities.

Our own support of Brightest Little Star, is just one of the ways we give back to our community by sponsoring sewing events to make soft baby blankets for the  Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Berkeley, California.

From Laurel, my seamstress and friend, we learned of another opportunity to participate in giving Dress a Girl Around the World ("DAG") is a non-profit arm of Hope 4 Women International. It's purpose is to make "pillowcase dresses" for little girls in impoverish areas of the world, and even in our own United States. The dresses are distributed to far reaching places through missionaries and community service volunteers, bringing smiles to little girls who perhaps never had a new dress to wear.  The heart-tugging benefit of these dresses is that village leaders tell DAG that a girl wearing a new dress presents an appearance that she is well cared for and may discourage would-be predators, a horror so common in some of these third world countries.
back to communities around the world.

Laurel (Laurel's Quill blog) is active in Northern Californa's DAG's activities in the Greater Sacramento region.  That group just celebrated 5 years of making dresses, coming together on a monthly basis for "Sew Fests", much like our Brightest Little Star events.  Leaders Sue and Sharon and their community of volunteers have made over 14,000 dresses, both from pillowcases and cotton fabrics. We wanted to be part of that birthday celebration so we sent Laurel off with some great cotton prints from our inventory!

The dresses are simple to make: just a length of 45" cotton fabric, serged up the back along the selvage edges...the length of the fabric determines the size of the dress

Cut two arm holes using the specs provided on the Dress a Girl website instructions.

Hem the bottom of the dress and sew two casings at the front and back necklines for elastic...

Double fold bias tape is used to bind the armhole and make the the "straps" of the dress

DAG No.CA volunteers came for a wonderful birthday celebration and Sew Fest on Saturday - what's better than getting together with a group of people who love to sew??? 

We love that apple fabric!!

Laurel's dress..."it's all about the pockets!"

The pockets are what gives the dresses personality!!

Laurel tells us that all kind of people come to a Sew Fest - not every one knows how to sew - they also come to iron, cut bias tape and elastic, put together kits, cut pockets, etc.  We love it that even men and young children show up...parents teaching children the importance of giving back. 

Young girls learn to hand-sew "Yo-Yos"

Anyone can make a DAG dress - the instructions are on the website. We understand there is even a DAG arm in the East Bay, according to their website, if you want to get involved locally. But I think it would be great if any of our Stonemountain friends want to make their adorable dresses to have Laurel come down some week night or Saturday or and we'll have our own DAG sewfest!  I totally get why this project makes her heart sing!

Creatively yours,

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Zan for your generous donation of fabric for Dress a Girl. It's SEW nice to sew on beautiful cottons, as I am sure many of your customers believe also. Love you!! Lo