My Kind of Dressmaking

I am not a dressmaker. I am too slapdash to be a serious dressmaker or quilter. Occasionally I take a lot of care over something I’m making and, in doing so, will spend long hours creating it. But then something usually happens which ends up ruining the effect – so it is a bit disheartening. I first noticed the phenomenon very soon after we had welcomed our lovely little Barney into the family. I had been to a fabric box workshop with Little Sis. It had taken me hours longer than anyone else to do all the stitching that was required but I was really pleased with the result. We went out for a short while, leaving Barney in the house. When we returned he had managed to climb onto the dining table and had dug his teeth into my lovely box! I could have cried! Anyway, that’s what tends to happen when I take time and trouble to do something properly.

So, when I saw an article about pillowcase dresses I decided I would like to make some. I checked all of the pillowcases in our airing cupboard and took out the ones that were in very good condition that we didn’t regularly use – then I turned them all into dresses. Oh, wow! Easy peasy! Lots of result for not too much effort – my kind of project!

I posted my first batch to Louise, who co-ordinates the UK end of Dress A Girl Around The World and went in search of more pillowcases. Unfortunately I had used all of our spares so I asked family members and Little Sis if they had any that they would like to donate. I made those into more dresses and started searching again. This time I had to ask friends and acquaintances if they had any – luckily they did. I also asked for donations of bias binding [for the straps], ribbon and lace [for decoration] and elastic for the tops of both front and back. People have been very generous so I have been able to continue making the dresses.

I have just finished making a batch of seven dresses which I shall send in my next parcel.
These pillowcases were kindly donated by Luv2nit and Tinyholt who are members of the Friendly ELKS Loving Hands group in East Lancashire. They and the other members are all ELKS [East Lancashire KnitterS] but I am a SULK [“Southerner Up near Lancashire” Knitter]!

I always try to make each dress different from the others as I think that is important. It is not very clear in the photograph but one of the blue dresses has lace around the bottom. Because of the cost of posting, I try to fill a box completely before sending it to Louise by the cheapest possible method. Louise then co-ordinates distribution of the dresses around the world, wherever they are needed. She has started receiving requests for shorts, as well, so sometimes I make and send some.

When Louise receives dresses or shorts she photographs them and puts the pictures on her blog. She also tries to post pictures of the dresses and shorts being distributed. You get a lovely feeling when you see a photograph of a child wearing a dress or a pair of shorts that you have made – it’s very rewarding.

If you are interested in helping this wonderful cause, please either email Louise [her email address is at the bottom of the page that the links take you to] or leave a message for me in a comment below and I’ll get back to you.

Thanks for reading.


2 thoughts on “My Kind of Dressmaking

  1. Thank you so much for blogging about the pillowcase dresses. That is so kind of you! I really appreciate all your support so far and all the beautiful dresses you have made. I've lots more photos to share over the coming weeks of girls in Ghana, Uganda, Kenya and South Africa wearing their dresses! It makes it all worthwhile. Louise xx


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