Because Every Girl Deserves at least one Dress

Sewing One dress at a time.
Because Every Girl Is a Princess and Deserves at Least One dress.

Monday, March 28, 2011

My Addiction got the better of me! oh my aching Back

So here is something I don't reccomend.
Sitting on the floor cutting.
Let me tell you about the events of  my last few Days.

So I gathered up my fabrics on Thursday and sat down on the floor and started cutting some dresses out. Before I knew it 2 hours had gone by. Then there came my problem. I  stood up and my back was aching and just not feeling great. So I had dinner then laid down on the couch. Then  I went to move a heavy laundry basket into my daughters Room. So I lift it up and promptly dropped it and cryed out in pain. As pain shot down my leg and up my back.
So I slept on it ( not very well) then was very tender. But had already planned to go to a friends house for a couple of days. And thought I would be fine and the break away would be good for my mental health.
My friends kept telling me how pale I was and I just kept on going taking Aleeve and  wearing Bengay pain patches on my back. I kept thinking if I sit a while, then walk awhile, then lay down a while all will be good.

Well to cut a long story short my friend who rode with me, had to drive me home in my car .
Then I finally got to the Chiropractor Saturday night ( who is a family friend) . And He was shocked I survived the weekend. I was in bad shape. My body was pretty much in shock that was why I was so pale. He also said he is often dealing with clients  especially around the holidays as they sit on the floor and wrap presents.

So let this be a lesson to all of you .
One look after yourselves first. So you are then in a position to help others.
So here I am laying around and trying to take it easy for a couple of days. No sewing for me. But who said you can't lay flat on your back and thread elastic in Dresses:-)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Simplicity Bias maker and other goodies

So I head to Walmart today, because I had a $25 gift certificate to use. So I head to the sewing department ( surprise surprise) and I was actually going to pick up a thread box and some new yarn to knit something.
But what do I see but the Simplicity Bias tape maker! it was $60. So I thought ok I actually will only have to pay $35 so I thought thats not bad.
So I bring it home and couldn't wait to plug it in and try it with some of the strips I cut the other day from Sheets . So there were no seams or anything. So I wind it on the spool, then let it heat up and set it all up and it started running. It had a little bit of a faulty start, but started feeding out great bias tape.
So I go eat lunch and put some groceries away. Then go back to my tape maker. Plug it back in, and let it heat up again, and wind the fabric onto the spool . And I was using the same fabric as earlier. And I let it run. But I had to push down on the top for it to feed through automatically. and it kept getting caught up inside.
Now I am not saying It isn't good I will continue to play with it . And use different settings etc and different fabrics. It's a great concept and I think I like it, But not totally in love yet.
I also picked up the Threading gadget that Janine mentions on Dress a Girl Connecticut.

Now what I am in love with is the Goodwill Thrift store. Although sometimes their prices can be a little high than others on their clothes. But their linens and fabrics are pretty good.

I know what your all thinking right now with all the donations etc why am I still looking. Well because they have some great stuff and I am addicted LOL.
I picked up more white  pillowcases  to be tie dyed and some other great pillowcases and  fabrics, with lots of yardage.
These fabrics are so fun . And with the one on the right I have some great really bright Pink Ribbon for the straps that matches perfectly. What is it with new fabrics that motivates you so much? I just love the start to finish process of taking fabrics and seeing what you can make.
 I'm off to sew

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Fabric, sheets ,homemade Bias tape, sheets, Pillowcases, sheets,dress shirts, Did I mention the sheets!

Yesterday I spent the day tackling my donations of sheets, they seemed to be multiplying. I'm not complaining as they are a great source of fabric. Soft, hard wearing and make some great dresses.

But I decided I would take the day and cut some of them up to make pillowcase shapes ready to make dresses.Some I cut up using a dress pattern . And some I cut up  to make homemade bias tape. I used my handheld little Clover brand bias maker. It Actually works pretty good, but I still have to iron it my self ( not my favorite job :-) . But I just keep thinking each yard I make is one more strap for a dress for a girl , so it's worth it. And also the money saved from buying ready made is also worth it.
I am still Coveting and dreaming about  the Simplicity Automatic bias maker and am saving my pennies. But now I am hearing mixed reviews . So I need to get it for a good deal for it to be worth it.
I also cut up some dress shirts, to make some cute dresses and some I  cut into bias tape.

Often friends ask me how I can make multiple dresses so quickly. This is what I do.

1 I take the time to cut out a bunch of dresses at once, either pillowcases, or from a pattern that I have.

2 Then I sit down at my serger and serge away,to make the side seams for the dresses. If I have used fabric instead of pillowcases. Or serge the tops. The serger is the best invention ever!

3 Then I press all my casings at the top for the elastic and press up any seams I may need to do, if I didn't use pillowcases.

4 Then I go back to my sewing machine with my stack of dresses. And sew the casings and hems. For those that   quilt  you will know what I mean when I say , I chain sew them. Basically I sew across one casing then feed the next dress through continuing to sew and then the next and the next etc etc and don't trim threads in between dresses until the end. I do sew a back stitch at each end of each casing though.

5 Then I find a good movie to watch or TV show and sit and trim threads and thread elastic and pin the ends.

6 Then back to the machine to tack the elastic in place . I actually have started to not do this now and wait until I have the straps pinned on then sew  back and forth where the end of the elastic is where the strap is attached.( hope this makes sense.)

7 Then I cut all my straps to match dresses .And just use one pin to attach them to the dresses for me to carry them to the sewing machine.

8 Then I sew on the straps. I separate my dresses into piles according to what color thread I will need for the straps. At the beginning when I am cutting out the dresses I try to think about the thread color needed ,so I am not switching colors every dress. For example yesterday.
I chose fabrics that will have red straps, and white or light colored straps, That way I only had to change thread colors once. and it worked good

9 Then this is the stage when I sometimes  embellish the dresses with lace or Ric Rac or pockets.

Well this is what works for me when making multiple dresses. I know it's not any mind boggling news to most sewers and you probably already do this . But people asked me so I thought I would share. Of course I still love the process of making an individual dress from start to finish. But some day I want to make a bunch and use my time wisely.

I am excited to be working with a group of youth at our church on March 30th. Young men and Women aged between 12-18. It is only 1 hour and 1/2 long activity. So I am trying to prep some ahead of time. So we don't have to wait on those cutting before we start sewing. So this was my system I'll let you know if it works out on the night.
I have
30 pillowcases un cut
15 dresses sewn ready for the elastic to be threaded and pinned
10 dresses  ready for the straps to be sewn on.
So basically while some are still cutting the pillowcases, a few can be threading elastic in the top casings, and some can be sewing straps. Then when the pillowcases are cut, they can then be passed on to someone to press the casings down at the top . Then passed to someone to sew the casings, then threading elastic etc etc.
I am trying to have a rotation system working so that all the youth have something to do as soon as we get started and there is plenty to keep them busy. You know teenagers their minds seem to wander sometimes. I realize we probably won't get them all finished that night. But I am trying to make it fun for them , by doing the rotation system. So they can encourage each other each step of the way.

So keep those donations coming, while you are spring cleaning ,think about donating your un wanted linens to Dress a Girl they will be put to good use. Clear out your fabric stash to, you know we all have that fabric we had to buy for a project sometime that never happened :-).
Thats how I got started by using my fabric that I  was going to donate somewhere. Now I am making Dresses for Cute little Girls all over the world. And I have never been happier.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

This is why we sew!

I Emailed orphan Grain train that are sending dresses to Haiti. and are Teaming with other churches/ organisations. to try to have 1000 dresses
Faythe sent me a email telling me how she was involved. She is the Executive officer for Orphan Grain train. But in Real life she is a quilter and had seen a TV show talking about the pillowcase dresses.
this is an excerpt from Her email and I am sure she wouldn't mind me sharing.

"One in particular…..a lady on our Board of Directors (Kae) took a few dresses in her suitcase when she visited Russia with one of our missionaries.  We cannot ship into that country due to the government restrictions.  She gave one of the dresses to a little orphan girl in one of the orphanages.   The little girl followed Kae around all the while she visited there and wanted to go home with her.  It as heart wrenching as you can imagine.   This little girl had never had a dress before and she was about 12 years old."

And all I am going to say is
This is Why We Sew!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Adorable patterns.! Such a great supporter of Dress a Girl.

The other day I bought some Adorable dress patterns. From
She was generous enough last week to donate 50 % of all her sales to Dress a Girl around the she was involved in the Sew a Long event.
I bought 3 patterns.
This adorable style
And 2 others, The Beach  sundress and the Fancy pleated top sundress. These are  just as Lightweight as the pillowcase dresses . and relatively simple. But with that added extra. And it will be a great way to use some fabric. I love the above style as it has built in ties from the dress fabric. So no need for elastic or bias tape and just something a little different.
I will not be copying this pattern to share with Others Only for My sewing events in My home. But feel free to pop to  To buy your own
 She will be closing her So teitei etsy store soon and her products will only be available at the lily bird store.
Thank you Cecelia for your wonderful Support and Generosity ,for Dress a Girl around the world
Can't wait to make some cute dresses with these wonderful patterns

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Sew Delightful: When Using Fabric width and lengths

Thank you Suzanne, over at Sew Delightful for coming up with this great list for widths, lengths etc to cut when making dresses from Fabric.
just thought I would share. Be sure to check out her blog.
One Because, I have Blog envy lol because it is such a pretty blog. and twoo because she too is part of Dress a Girl around the world.and has some great Pics and ideas.

Sew Delightful: When Using Fabric: "We have come up with the measurements for various sized dresses if you are using fabric rather than pillowcases to make your dresses... Pl..."

Monday, March 7, 2011

What a great Idea! Sew along!

My good friend Sarah shared this great link with me. I am so glad she did, what a fun blog.
And I am so grateful that others are supporting Dress a Girl around the World .
So be sure to pop on over there and follow along this week. There will be giveaways too
" Sew" much fun!
LBG studio

Sunday, March 6, 2011

We need those donations.For future trips.

I am "SEW" excited the word is getting out about Dress  a Girl.
Just from going to church to day, I had 2 bags of donations, some T shirts to change into Boys britches and girls dresses.
Our Young Womens leader came up to me and wondered if I could help with an activity . So we will be doing a Activity for the Young Men and Young Women for Dress a girl, Yes Boys can help with this.They need to learn to iron and basic sewing ( well I think so anyway :-) they are aged between 12 and 18

I was able to give Collin Mckinney our dresses to go to Dominican republic. And he  packs up on Tuesday. He promised to take lots of pictures.
He also told me about the group they are travelling with who go overseas a few times a year. So that is a great contact.
.So look forward to being in contact and have more dresses going out throughout the year..

Then we have a Guatemala trip going on the 18th. So we  are busy making dresses . Also  today was able to drop supplies  off to be sewn with my great friend Amy Jo to.
I am excited that the word is getting out .And people are catching the vision and mission of this wonderful organization.
Remember gather your friends for your own sewing group to,we need those dresses.

These 2 trips just came about quickly, But we were able to make it happen. One reason we were able to make it happen, was becuase of the wonderful donations and the donations of time of those making the dresses.

But remember we still need  dresses made ahead  for future trips. But  in order to do so we need those donations to keep on coming.  And also groups to make dresses .

We especially need elastic and Bias Tape( double fold 1/2 inch or wider), so please donate. Even though elastic can be bought quite cheap at certain discount store 98cents a pack. It still adds up, so if anyone knows a great resource  for donated supplies for these items please contact me.
 Of course we can make our own bias tape too. I  think I will invest in a bias tape maker to help with that process.So we are raising funds to gather materials also so every little helps.We have some great resources around here for supplies some being Amish Quilt stores who sell Bias tape by the yard very inexpensively too, but once again these supplies add up.
Of course we still need your Pillowcases, and fabric donations.
So as you spring clean those linen closets feel free to send your extra pillowcases , fabric, our way.