Dresses for little ones in Haiti

I was reading Rachel Denbow’s blog and came across her post about making pillowcase dresses for little girls in a Haitian orphanage.  I loved the style she chose of the one long ribbon tie.  I browsed online until I found a few great tutorials. These were all made from pillowcases I had on hand.  Lots of pillow cases can be found at thrift shops for around $1-2.  They couldn’t be simpler to make.  You just measure the length needed based on this chart.   I added 2″ to the finished listed length for account for the top seam.

You just cut off the top of the pillowcase according to the size you chose (the bottom will be the bottom hem, simple right?) and fold in half and use the provided template linked above for the arm holes.  Cut the arm holes on the open end, not the folded center 🙂  I used vintage bias tape found at the thrift store, but any old bias tape will do, or you can even make your own.  The ribbon is grosgrain and measures 7/8″.  Once you have the arm holes completed, you fold down the top 1/4″ and then again a bit larger than the width of your ribbon.  Sew it closed making a casing for the ribbon.  Using a safety pin attached to the ribbon, feed it through the casing.  You can have two ribbon pieces or one long one to tie on one shoulder.  So easy!  Literally from start to finish, under 20 minutes!  I like to heat seal the ribbon ends and fold them over a few times and sew.  I also tied knots at the ends so that they don’ t come unthreaded.

They are in need of all sizes, from baby up to teen.  I think this is such a wonderful service project 🙂  Rachel’s friend Katy Shatto is heading this one up.  Her church is the one who will be visiting the orphanage and will be delivering the dresses to the girls.  The due date is June 1st to have them to her.  If you would like to participate in making a few or more dresses for the orphaned girls PLEASE contact her at did2613(at)hotmail(dot)com.  Her church’s website is here.  The orphanage/school is called Center Of Hope.

I hope to be able to whip up a few more of these over the weekend.  Have a happy Friday and a great weekend 🙂

9 Responses to “Dresses for little ones in Haiti”


  1. 1 Christina May 14, 2011 at 1:50 am

    I love them! What a cool project.

  2. 2 Linda May 14, 2011 at 2:46 am

    You are in inspiration! Martha Stewart had an article several years back on making similar dresses out of vintage pillowcases & I’ve loved them ever since. Good job!

  3. 3 Tifaine May 14, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    I was so excited to read this today! I along with a ton of other fantastic women from Grace Covenant Church in Cornelius,NC have been sewing these dresses too! As of niw I have sewn over 40! Thanks for sharing your story and your heart for this great cause!
    Tifaine

  4. 4 Amy May 23, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    Oh, Jaime! You never fail to amaze me and inspire me each time I visit your blog. You are so sweet to participate in this craft charity. I have been wanting to make some clothes for the girls, and I think this will be my first project.

    Love you, Darlin!

  5. 5 Kimbercrafts May 24, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    Your dresses turned out wonderfully! I made a few to send to Katy as well. I really like how you chose to use one long ribbon for the ties. I’m a novice sewer, so I had a tough time using the bias tape. If I make any in the future I will keep this technique in mind. 🙂

  6. 6 sara May 26, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    what a fabulous idea!

  7. 7 Alexandra June 4, 2011 at 12:44 am

    That yellow butterfly print might be the source for one of the Dream On prints, the one that happens to be my favorite. They scaled down the size and changed the colors a little but its almost an exact copy! Anyhow, the dresses are adorable and so thoughtful:)

  8. 8 Heather Grow November 18, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    They are all so cute! I make these dresses for Dress A Girl Around the World. I’m planning on doing a dress-a-thon on the Vintage Sheet Blog after the holidays. I hope you will join us. Thanks for linking and for doing this great project.

  9. 9 Liz November 18, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    I love the ribbon detail!


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Ten years with this sweet thing. Love her so much. Happy birthday baby girl. She just wanted clothes and shoes for gifts......:sob: #teenageralready

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