Tuesday, 28 October 2014


Oh we do love these sunny autumn days!

Blue skies, golden amber leaves and berries for jams wow!

On to more pressing matters


Please do be aware that we do hope to get lots of lovely photos, however, as we ourselves do not accompany each shipment we can't guarantee photos of each garment.

Sometimes we wait until we have a substantial number that can go into a carriers’ container and then we have even less access to photographs.

Because, as yet, we do not have the status, nor funding to pay for containers ourselves.  We are reliant on others; sometimes individuals and sometimes sister charities - to take our garments out to areas of need.  This does then in turn make photos a slightly hit-and-miss affair!

We know that you long to see 'your' garment on a child but it is often not possible.  Please do have fun looking at the photos and seeing if 'yours' is in one of them, but don't be too disappointed if they are not - and maybe they will be in a month or so time! you never know!!

For schools and other groups who would much appreciate more information on deliveries, such as where the garments are going, please tell us at an early stage so that we can make appropriate decisions beforehand

Again we really appreciate all the help from our volunteer merry band of stitch and knit folk.  Thank you so much for all your time! 

For anyone who would like to donate please send cheques made out to DACAW (Dress a Child Around the World) to either,

Jayne Butler (DACAW)
12 Old Banwell Road,
BS24 8BS

OR to

Jacqui Onslow (DACAW)
30 Bourne End Road,


Monday, 27 October 2014

Blue Ink Clouds and New Links!

Well on this Monday of blue black skies,
and warm winds that are blowing in clouds of ladybirds - welcome!


We really need some shorts for boys now, the best are made from Tee shirt material, thick rugby shirt type jersey (that’s the knitted fabric) is the best as it is easy to cut and sew.  Don’t use the very soft old tee shirts as they will be really difficult to sew and even more to cut out!! 

 These darlings in the photo are made from cotton pillowcase fabrics and are just so great but won’t grow with the boys.

Pattern and photos coming later, I am fighting with my printer to get PDF instructions ready, I need to print off one to double check that there are no flaws so please do bear with me.  I am having to re-install my printer – it has been out of action for 6 days now, just so awkward!


Lovely Sue has been working hard and given us another couple of links to some more great tips.
for reversible dresses without bias binding on the armholes - what a lovely way to use the finer light fabrics!  see the links to Sues' blog HERE

for the link to some lovely reversible dresses that have super reverse colour bands click HERE

Thank you Sue for the links!

Keep a look out tomorrow for 'Headband with a Flower' instructions for girls.

My goodness the sky is so blue black and the dog is hiding under my chair so I am off to make a cup of tea!

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Thursdays musings!


The charity is still looking for people to make dresses. Its a very simple pattern to follow and very easy to make. Once you start its a bit addictive and people often end up making more than one dress! 
Its been such a pleasure collecting the dresses and seeing what people have made. Some use new fabric, some recycled pillowcases (hence the name) and some upcycle old clothes into new dresses. Most are made from the same simple pattern but they are all individual and each one has been made with love. (If you are using pillowcases, please ensure that they are clean and have no marks on them and also that they are not see through). 


GHANA 2012

The charity and I agreed that it would be more cost efficient to get people in the UK to take the dresses to developing countries if possible rather than post them to America. Dresses have now been distributed to many different projects in Malawi, Kenya, Goa, Ghana, Uganda, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Cameroon, Haiti, India, Rwanda, Tanzania, Sierra Leone, India, The Gambia, Peru, Ethiopia, Bulgaria, Argentina, The Congo, Sudan, Burundi and The Phillipines and also to International charities to distribute worldwide. You can read about some of these projects and see photos of dresses being distributed by clicking on this link to simply scrumptious here 

The charity is always looking for people in the UK who are visiting charitable projects abroad who can take and distribute dresses so if you know anyone please ask them to contact us at jayneb61@googlemail.com or 


The highlight so far has been seeing photos of girls wearing the dresses and realising that the dress you made is now being worn by a little girl on the other side of the world. Its made it all worthwhile!

GHANA 2012

If you would like to make a dress or find out more please check out this blog post or the facebook page. If you can’t sew but would like to get involved we are happy to accept donations towards the cost of posting the dresses to distributors in the UK. If you run a sewing cafe, sewing group, textiles course or guide group please get in touch to see how you can get involved. 

jayneb61@googlemail.com and Jacqui-dressagirl@outlook.com

Tutorials and Patterns

You can find a great tutorial for making dresses out of pillowcases and top tips including sizing here along with good printable armhole patterns.

This lovely blog has a tutorial and pattern for making dresses from new fabric. An elastic casing version AND a fabric tie casing version. The pattern is a PDF file that you can download from here

You can find a tutorial for a really pretty 'tiered' pillowcase dress here


We also need shorts for the boys! 

We will be posting a new PDF pattern for shorts for boys soon.  Keep in touch!

There is a tutorial for '10 minute' fabric shorts on this lovely site here

Blog Badge

If you have made a dress then please feel free to put a blog badge on your blog or website!

Thank you for getting involved!!

Please send finished dresses the new co-ordinators listed above.If you are sending large quantities of dresses it may be cheaper to use a courier rather than Royal Mail. Please put your name and contact details (email address, facebook page or Twitter name) in with the dresses. 

You will be contacted to let you know that the dresses have arrived safely. If you do not have an email address and would prefer to be contacted by post, please include a stamped addressed envelope. Please allow a couple of weeks to be contacted due to the number of dresses arriving daily.


Will I see photos of my dresses being worn?

We always ask for photos of the dresses being worn or distributed and have lots of photos on my blog. However, it is not always possible to get photos for a variety of reasons e.g. sometimes dresses are left with local charities to distribute at a later date and sometimes it is just not appropriate to take photos. Any photos that are received are posted on this blog and the facebook page.

How much will it cost to post my dresses to you?

This depends on how many you make and the weight of the parcel. It can be really expensive to post dresses using Royal Mail. If you are sending lots we would suggest looking at the Parcel Monkey website as this often works out much cheaper in my experience. http://www.parcelmonkey.co.uk

Is the charity a religious organisation?

The charity in America is a Christian charity. We personally have no religious affiliation and dresses distributed from the UK are distributed by people of all religions to children of all religions.

I have seen labels on the dresses on the American website. Should we be using them?

The dresses in America do have labels sewn on to them. We are not currently doing this in the UK due to the cost of importing and distributing the labels to people making dresses. You can order them from America if you would like to use them but you do not have to. The charity in America has a team of volunteers who sew the labels on when they arrive at their warehouse. 
We are looking at the costs and viability of labels - keep a look out here for news! In the UK it’s just us organising things at our houses!
Do you have any promotional material?
There are no promotional materials available at the moment I'm afraid. This is something that is being worked on and we will have available very soon!

Please feel free to design your own posters and flyers for your event. Please link to this page rather than the American website for any events in the UK as it has the most up to date information about dresses made in the UK and all of the photos of UK dresses being distributed. You are welcome to use any of the images on this blog to help promote your sewing event but please do not use images from the American site without asking permission first.


Year 10 pupils making dresses!

facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DressagirlaroundtheWorldUK

INDIA 2012


Wednesday, 22 October 2014

TIPS and More!

Greetings everyone

Now the colder, darker nights are drawing in how about getting that stash out and making a pair of shorts or a dress?

The beginning is important, 
how to choose fabric
how to stitch to survive
help us stitch well instructions and photos from Sue

Flo’s Hints and Tips: Most Important... make sturdy dresses. We need a dress that will last!! Many of these dresses will be washed in rivers or on a washboard with harsh homemade soaps.


When choosing pillowcases or fabric put your hand under the fabric if you can see the outline of your hand then that fabric is too light!! Do not use it for dresses!

Lightweight Fabrics

If you have fabric or a pillowcase that is too lightweight, use it to make bias tape. Or if you have a wonderful antique pillowcase and the fabric is too lightweight use fabric under it as a lining (make a tube the same width as the pillowcase and hem)... cut the tops and armholes at the same time and sew them as if they were one pillowcase. Other suggestions include making a pinafore over top of the lightweight pillowcase or line the lightweight pillowcase and use it as the skirt on a t-shirt dress. These ideas can be done before you make the dress or, as a solution when receiving dresses made out of lightweight material.


Please make straps out of bias tape or fabric not flimsy materials. And only use items intended for garments. Everything must be washable. No craft ribbon or raffia. When making a longer dress, make a kick pleat or slit at the bottom and reinforce the top of the kick pleat inside of dress.


Always... did I say always... yes always backstitch at the ends of the bias tape, where the bias tape joins the top of the dress (back and front) and at the top of the pockets. Use a medium stitch length (10 to 12 stitches per inch).


We have found that making the elastic one-inch longer for the back casing on larger dresses makes for a better fit. We generally use 1⁄2” or 3⁄4” for the casings. When tacking your elastic make sure you sew close enough to the edge so that when you sew the bias tape on it covers the stitching


Please make sure that your straps are long enough. But on baby dresses do not make them too long (choking hazard). No 1/8” or 1⁄4” ribbons for straps!!
We recommend the following strap lengths:

Size 1/2 to size 1 Size 2 and 4
Size 5 to 7
Size 8 to 10

Size 12 to 14
27" x 2 34" x 2 36” x 2 40” x 2 46” x 2


Please attach all items by sewing... Not by gluing. When adding appliqu├ęs or pockets please finish the edges. NO RAW edges on dress anywhere!


Please consider making a pocket for the dress average about 5” by 5” or 6” x 6”. The link below to Sue contains a simple pocket tutorial.


They are so cute and they add so much to dresses... check and see if your sewing machine or serger has a ruffling foot... it makes these cute accents go so much more quickly.


When making a fabric tube I often put the seam in the center back because it just looks more like a regular dress with the seam there. Whether you put the seam in the back or on the side please make sure that it is a serged seam or that you finish that seam off in some way... zigzag the seam after straight stitching it or french seam it. If you just straight stitch the seam it will fray and that dress will not last long! Be sure you totally enclose the selvage in the seam.

We are making God’s best dress for a little girl. This may be the only new dress this little girl gets and it is important that it is well made out of sturdy materials. Please do not take short cuts!! 

Sue has made some great help videos to make sure seams are stitched really strongly - just right for surviving the rigours of the washtub!

You can find the link HERE

Little girls and boys just love to have somewhere special to keep a little treasure.  Why not make an added patch pocket for those treasures, not too small but just right for little hands!

You can find the link to Sues great instructions and helpful photos just HERE

More patterns and instructions next time!