Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Little Dresses Project

NBC Nightly News does a segment called Making a Difference and featured sometime last month was

Click Here to See the Segment

So shortly after seeing this clip (on the internet, because my Grandma and Uncle told me about the clip) I made a trip to the Fabric Mecca of Minnesota, S.R. Harris and bought about $100 worth of fabric (which is a lot considering it is a discount outlet) and went to Bemidji and had a sewing party up there with friends.

I still have LOTS of fabric left over (because sewing projects always take longer than you think they will) and I've been thinking about doing a Sew-Along/Sewing Circle for a while, so what better way to get started than to make things for a good cause?!

Nancy's Notions has also interviewed Rachel and I will be using Nancy's directions for the project. I have fabric and thread, I have some bias tape and lots of hem lace that can be used for decorations and embellishments. If you have any Bias Tape you are looking to get rid of, bring it!!

This project gives us practice on sewing simple seams, working with Bias tapes and curves (the armholes), making drawstrings and simple accessories like pockets or bows or lace.

Here are Exerpts from Nancy's Notions:

Little Dresses for Africa
Follow the simple directions below to make a dress that will be a prized possession for a grateful little girl in Africa. Use fabric yardage, or modify a purchased or gently used pillowcase. Mail completed dresses to Little Dresses for Africa, c/o Nancy’s Notions®, 333 Beichl Ave., Beaver Dam WI 53916-0683, and we’ll ship the dresses to their destination. If you would like confirmation that your dresses have been received at Nancy’s Notions®, please enclose a self-addressed stamped postcard.For additional information, go to

Making the Dress with Bias Tape Ties
1. Cut a fabric rectangle. ¼", then ¾" to make each casing. Edgestitch casings. ¼" and then 2". Edgestitch hem.

Materials required:
• 3 yd. double fold bias tape
• Coordinating all-purpose threadyd.–1yd. cotton fabric, depending on size

Size Cut size   Finished length Size Cut size Finished length
3      22" x 42"   19"                        8 33" x 42"     30"
4      25" x 42"   22"                        9 35" x 42"     32"
5      27" x 42"   24"                       10 37" x 42"    34"
6     29" x 42"    26"                       11 39" x 42"    36"
7     31" x 42"    28"                       12 41" x 42"    38"
    2. Fold fabric in half, meeting selvage edges. Stitch or serge the seam. Press seam open or to one side. Center seam on the stitched tube. (This will be the center back of the dress.) 3. Cut out armholes on upper side edges using the Armhole Template Pattern on p. 1. 4. Cut two lengths of bias tape long enough to bind the armholes. Bind cut edges of armhole and edgestitch tape. 5. Fold under casings at the front and back top edges (the edges containing the armholes). Fold edge under 6. Cut remaining bias tape into two equal pieces. Stitch folds and cut ends of tape together with a narrow zigzag to prevent stitches from breaking. Insert one piece through each of the casings, allowing equal extensions at each end. Machine stitch at center front and center back to prevent tape from pulling out of the casing. 7. Hem the lower edge, turning under To wear the dress, pull up tape ties to gather the top of the dress to fit. Tie bias tape at the shoulders.
    You’re finished! Wasn’t that easy? Optional trim ideas: • Add one or two pockets. • Add a band of a contrasting or coordinating fabric to the dress. • Add lace or other trims. • Add an appliqué. • Add machine embroidery.
Use your imagination! This is a great way to use bits and pieces of leftover trims and fabrics.
Hope to see you tomorrow at Olympik Village for some sewing action!  Bring your sewing machine, this is sort of an "in class" project.

Christmas Presents to Usher in the New Year

My two new resources to rely on in the New Year are these:

Which I'm pretty excited about Fabric Savvy... It's not something I would have chosen for myself, but I am pretty pumped about owning...

But the real treasure is this:
This is an archive of every issue of Threads Magazine from 1985 to 2009. 146 issues. Amazing. The best part is that it can be installed on any number of computers because it is basically a pdf file, so I shared it with Mom (who bought it for me). Fantastic!