A Day of Sewing Dresses



A selection of finished Little Dresses for Africa

Janel and Wesley cut fabric for dresses

Anna works on finishing touches to her Little Dress for Africa

Yesterday I had a few friends gather at my house to sew dresses for Little Dresses for Africa.  At the end of the day we had 12 finished dresses!  I only managed to finish 1 (mine has the flower applique) but one of the women, Vicar Anna (our church’s seminary intern), completed 4 dresses in about 6 hours!  The other 7 were created by a member of the T-Rail Quilt Guild of Danville, PA and brought to the event by my good friend Janel, who has been coordinating and communicating this service project for the quilt guild.  Janel has also been making them at home and has about 15 started already.  It was so much fun to get back into sewing and for such an important reason.  We thought about the children all day and imagined the smiles on their faces when receiving them.  We are also planning to make shorts for boys, but yesterday’s activities was all dresses.  Since all of us had fabric scraps available, we made the dresses from the Nancy’s Notions pattern and found it quite simple to follow.  I’m not a big fan of working with bias tape, so I decided to try making a facing sewn to the inside of the dress to finish the sleeve holes.  It worked fine after some fiddling around and trial and error.  When I perfect the technique, I will post the instructions, but Vicar Anna gave me some hints about how to better use bias tape, so I think I will give that a try, too.

I spoke to my mother this evening (she lives in Florida) and she has told her friends and church members about this project and many of them are also working on hats and dresses.  One of them is having great success with the pillowcase pattern.

Many thanks to all those who are working on these service projects!  I look forward to seeing them.  If you want to send pictures, I will post on the blog.  I will need all items by May 27 so that I can pack. (If you need a mailing address, please leave a comment on the blog with your email address and I will contact you directly.)  Anything you can send earlier is appreciated so I know if I will have room to take them all. I am traveling to Uganda and Tanzania with other students and faculty, and I’m hoping that if I exceed my 100 lb limit, some of them might volunteer suitcase space.

Travel Vaccines:  Tomorrow is the day I go to the Infectious Diseases physician to get my travel vaccines.  I know I need the Yellow Fever vaccine- that one is required for entry to countries where that disease is endemic.  Also needed will be the typhoid vaccine.  To prevent malaria, I’ll need to take an oral drug starting before I get into “malaria areas” and then continue throughout the trip and usually for 1 week or longer afterwards.  I’ll let you know how everything goes.

About kbohan

Professor, Department of Pharmacy Practice Binghamton University School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Binghamton, NY USA
This entry was posted in Pay it Forward Projects. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A Day of Sewing Dresses

  1. janelmartin says:

    Thanks for having us over to make dresses. I had sew much fun! Do you want me to try to have the dolls, shorts and bears finished by the 27th of May too?


    • kbohan says:

      yes, if possible I’d like to have the items by 5/27, although I won’t be leaving the area until June 3 and if I have an idea how much space is needed, that will help.


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