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
- Slip of the tongue: Obama shouts out Flacco December 19, 2014During Friday's year-end White House press conference, President Obama said it was a mistake for Sony to cancel the release of "The Interview" because of threat of violence from North Korea.Jamison Hensley
- Cowboys list Murray (hand) as questionable December 19, 2014Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray went through his second straight practice in which he was limited and is listed as questionable on the injury report.Todd Archer
- Browns' Mingo fined $16,537 for hit on Dalton December 19, 2014Barkevious Mingo's hit on Bengals QB Andy Dalton was costly to the Cleveland Browns on the field Sunday, and now it's costly to his bank account.Jeremy Fowler
- NFL or Michigan? Harbaugh said to be torn December 19, 201449ers coach Jim Harbaugh's family and friends have been encouraging him to take the University of Michigan head-coaching job, but he is torn because his heart is in the NFL.Adam Schefter
- Rivera 'confident' Newton will start Sunday December 19, 2014Panthers coach Ron Rivera is "very comfortable and confident" in saying Cam Newton will start Sunday against the Browns.David Newton
- Source: Bills' Spiller expected to play Sunday December 19, 2014Buffalo Bills running back C.J. Spiller is expected to play against the host Oakland Raiders on Sunday, a league source told ESPN's Adam Caplan.ESPN.com news services
- Seahawks give Avril a four-year extension December 19, 2014The Seattle Seahawks have signed pass-rusher Cliff Avril to a four-year extension, the team announced Friday afternoon.ESPN.com news services
- Source: Texans expect to start QB Keenum December 19, 2014Recently signed quarterback Case Keenum is expected to start for the Houston Texans against the visiting Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, according to a league source.Adam Caplan
- 49ers' Harbaugh: 'Only talk about job I have' December 19, 2014San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh would not bite Thursday when asked to comment on numerous reports that have him and his alma mater at the University of Michigan exchanging flirtatious glances.Paul Gutierrez
- Cowboys' Murray: Decision to play is mine December 19, 2014Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray would not come out and say he will play Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts, but he said the final decision to play will be his.Todd Archer
- Slip of the tongue: Obama shouts out Flacco December 19, 2014