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
- Sources: Redskins' Hall tears Achilles again October 31, 2014Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall, who tore his Achilles tendon last month and underwent surgery to repair it, tore it again this week and will have to redo the surgery, according to sources.Adam Schefter
- Bengals RB Bernard out vs. Jags; Hill to start October 31, 2014Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani Bernard, who hasn't practiced all week because of hip and collarbone injuries, will miss his first career game on Sunday, coach Marvin Lewis said Friday.Coley Harvey
- Garrett: Romo might be a game-time call October 31, 2014Tony Romo is missing his third straight day of practice with a back injury and will have to move around before Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals in order to be able to play.Todd Archer
- Report: Charges unlikely for 49ers' McDonald October 31, 2014The Santa Clara District Attorney's office likely will not charge San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman Ray McDonald with domestic violence, according to a report.ESPN.com news services
- Adidas reaches deal for on-field presence October 31, 2014Adidas spokesman Michael Ehrlich confirmed Friday that a deal was reached with the NFL that would allow players who endorse the brand to freely wear cleats and gloves using the logo.Darren Rovell
- Schefter: Numbers enhance Andrew Luck's aura October 31, 2014Colts QB has chance to break predecessor's single-season passing yardage markAdam Schefter
- Tweets by Jets' Decker spur social media spat October 31, 2014The New York Jets' Eric Decker picked a bad week to try to rally the team's disgruntled fan base.Rich Cimini
- Concussed Cards DB: Couldn't recall game October 31, 2014While driving after Sunday's game, Cardinals safety Tony Jefferson pulled over for about 30 minutes.Josh Weinfuss
- Saints top Panthers to take NFC South lead October 31, 2014Drew Brees overcame a shaky start and threw for one touchdown and ran for another and the New Orleans Saints defeated the Carolina Panthers 28-10 Thursday night to take over first place in the NFC South.Associated Press
- NFL seeks to dismiss ex-players' painkillers suit October 31, 2014The National Football League on Thursday asked a judge to toss out a lawsuit filed by former players who allege team officials gave them powerful painkillers and other drugs to keep them on the field without regard for their long-term health.ESPN.com news services
- Sources: Redskins' Hall tears Achilles again October 31, 2014