It all began when a group of women, from the Trenton Church of Christ in Michigan, went on a mission trip to Malawi, Africa. Upon seeing first hand, the devastation brought on by H.I.V. and A.I.D.S., one missionary, Rachel O’Neill, returned home inspired. As most young girls have but one dress, which they wear until it is literally in shreds, O’Neill’s idea was to provide simple frocks fashioned out of colorful pillowcases.
Little Dresses for Africa was born of this idea, “Simple dresses are made out of pillowcases and distributed through the orphanages, churches and schools in Africa to plant in the hearts of little girls that they are worthy.”
The mission soon caught on, and other churches, civic groups, schools, and just plain ‘ole everyday folk are getting involved with this creative, colorful enterprise.
These sweet and simple dresses bring hope to young girls who live in an otherwise bleak environment. The non-profit organizations provide mostly to the children in the Central African area, which is hardest hit by the AIDS epidemic, and has been joined by its companion mission, Britches for Boys.
Many of the children are orphans or are being raised by siblings, with all living in poverty. As such, clothing is a luxury. The distribution of the clothing is held in conjunction with various educational classes centered on nutrition and sanitation. To date the organization and its sister efforts have provided over 37,000 dresses.
1) Fold a freshly pressed pillowcase in half length-wise with the fold towards you. Cut off the top of the closed ends of the case, about 3/4 to 1 inch.
2) On the opposite side, you will cut out the armholes. Come down about 5 inches; start cutting in about 2 inches; start cutting upwards to the top; the cut out should resemble a letter J.
3) Open up the pillowcase. From the top, turn down about 1/2 inch and press. Turn down about 1 inch again and press.
4) Sew a straight line to create a casing for the elastic that forms the neckline – do this on both sides. The original hem on the pillowcase serves as the hem on the dress also. The elastic, 2x about 10 inches of 1/2-3/4 inch elastic, is then snaked through the casing on both sides.
5) Secure the elastic with stitching on each end. You are now ready to add bias tape to finish off the armholes. Make sure you allow enough to create ties – one yard per armhole works well.
Donations may be sent to:24614 Curtis Dr. Brownstown, MI 48134.
Little Dresses for Africa – Video
- Walk on wild side: Lions OK with Levy's trips April 1, 2015Detroit Lions linebacker DeAndre Levy posted pictures of his wing walking in Washington earlier this month -- but the team seems to have no problem with Levy's dangerous offseason activities.Michael Rothstein
- Sources: Mariota doesn't plan to attend draft April 1, 2015Just as Jameis Winston does not plan to attend next month's NFL draft in Chicago, neither does Marcus Mariota, per league sources. Mariota informed the league he plans to be in Hawaii among his family and the community that helped raise himAdam Schefter
- Kraft: Hernandez told me he was innocent April 1, 2015Patriots owner Robert Kraft took the stand Tuesday in the murder trial of Aaron Hernandez, recalling that the former star tight end told him he was not involved in the death of Odin Lloyd.ESPN.com news services
- Romo: I would have taken pay cut for Murray April 1, 2015Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo says he was willing to take a cut in pay from his $17 million base salary in 2015 to keep DeMarco Murray, who left to sign with the rival Eagles.Todd Archer
- Winston: 'I'm the best player in the draft' April 1, 2015When asked why the Tampa Bay Buccaneers should make him the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, Jameis Winston didn't hesitate: "Because I'm the best player in the draft."Pat Yasinskas
- Lawyers: Hernandez trial may end next week March 31, 2015Lawyers involved in the murder trial of former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez say they expect the case to wrap up next week.ESPN.com news services
- Ravens sign QB Schaub to back up Flacco March 31, 2015The Baltimore Ravens signed Matt Schaub to be their backup quarterback Tuesday.Jamison Hensley
- Raiders release DT Smith after one season March 31, 2015In another sign of poor results from the 2014 free-agency period, the Oakland Raiders are releasing defensive lineman Antonio Smith.Bill Williamson
- Bowe predicts more TDs: 'Sit back and watch' March 31, 2015Browns receiver Dwayne Bowe, who had zero touchdown catches last year in Kansas City, thinks he can go "back to the Dwayne Bowe of 2010," when he had 15.Jeremy Fowler
- Eagles sign WR Austin to one-year contract March 31, 2015The Eagles signed veteran wide receiver Miles Austin to a one-year contract Tuesday.Phil Sheridan
- Walk on wild side: Lions OK with Levy's trips April 1, 2015