October 16, 2014

On the Edge | Little Dresses for Africa (part 1)

I have a ton of fabric. And for as long as I can remember I've wanted to do something meaningful with it. I've got a whole cubbard full just waiting for a worthy cause.

I think I've found it, guys.

It's called Little Dresses for Africa; you can read more about the organization here
Basically this organization is asking people to make some seriously simple pillowcase dresses and send them in the mail. The organization takes care of getting the dresses to needy girls in Africa, and they even have a pattern to follow on their site! These dresses can be made from fabric pieces or pillowcases, and the only extra supplies needed are 14" of 1/4" elastic and 76" of double-fold bias tape. If you haven't sewed much, this would be an excellent place to start!  

So that's what I'm doing with the fabric waiting in my basement. I'm planning on sending a box full of hope and sweet dresses over to Africa in the near future! Here are the instructions for you to join me!

If you're starting out with just fabric, start here. If you are using a pillowcase, simply cut off the short seam on the top of the pillowcase and skip to step 4.

1. Cut a piece of fabric 28 inches wide by 40 inches long.
2. Fold in half crosswise, patterned sides together. It should look like an inside-out pillowcase. 

Sew the long sides together, then zigzag/surge the edges and trim.

3. Pick one unfinished edge of the tube and zigzag/surge all the way around. Turn under and sew a simple hem. This is the bottom of the dress.
4. Turn the tube right-side out and fold in half lengthwise, so it's half as skinny as it was before. Cut a 2 inch by 4 inch armhole at the corner where the unfinished top edge and all the side seams meet. 
When you unfold the dress it should look like this:
5. Zigzag/surge both raw edges at the top of the dress (in between the armholes). Turn each edge under about 3/8" and sew on top of the zigzag/surging. This should make a casing big enough to fit 1/4" elastic.
6. Cut two 7 inch lengths of 1/4" elastic. 

So I'm going to leave you hanging right here until next week... Or you could hop on over to the original directions here and finish your darling dress yourself. :) 

(Disclaimer: credit for the ideas and patterns in this post go to Little Dresses for Africa)

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