Friday, 6 February 2015

MONUMENTAL - Our Thanks go to all our STITCHERS. Over 5,000 garments since September!

! WOW !

over 5,000 dresses and shorts since September
Now we need your help to find links to distribute these wonderful treasures!

Do you know that that makes a total of around 20,000 in the 3 1/2 years since Louise started this project!

We are now busy finding resources and especially people and places for delivery of all these wonderful dresses and shorts.

If anyone has a name or contact details that you can give us of someone who is going to visit charitable projects abroad who can take and distribute dresses and shorts, if you know anyone please do ask them to contact us direct   

In the past we have delivered to many many countries around the world including

Argentina, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Haiti, Malawi, Kenya, Goa, Ghana, India, Peru, Uganda, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Soudan, South Africa, Tanzania, The Congo, The Gambia, The Philippines, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and to International Charities to distribute worldwide.

Can we make a special plea that all dresses and shorts have at least one pocket as we have found that pockets are especially appreciated to put a little special treasure in.  Sometimes that might even be just a pretty pebble as these children do not have anything that they can call their own.  So a pocket becomes a special treasure place.  Thank you!

A second plea and tiny reminder is that we only send out new dresses and shorts made for us.  

We cannot send second hand, those that we receive that are second hand are, we know, sent with best intentions and love, however, we hope that you understand and accept that we then pass those on to another charity who do use second hand.  The Guardian recently reported that :~

"and 12 countries in Africa are among 31 globally that have now banned the import of second hand clothes."  As second hand clothing is swamping the markets and making local trade difficult.  

Our - and the International Dress a Girl movement - dresses and shorts are special ~ they are new and made to be given as a one and only 'best dress' and only given directly to individual children who are known in villages and orphanages and not to 'markets' or 'traders' nor to organisations where strict distribution rules are not applied.

Thank you all for being understanding.


Thursday, 8 January 2015



This is an absolute cracker of a pretty, darling dress that every little girl will want.  

Thank you - a very big THANK YOU to Night Owl's Menagerie for the pattern ~ which has been used by Dress a Girl last year ~ the instructions and downloadable pattern are linked HERE for you.

Please everyone just remember that Night Owl designed this for charitable purposes so no cheating and using it to make and sell!!  

this is that dress, an easy one to make, the instructions are clear and you won't need ribbons, bows, elastic, ties etc.


YES I know we go on about this a LOT ~ BUT  we are still in receipt of garments that have 

Seams that are not finished, 
Edges of cut pillowslips that are left raw, 
Trims that are stuck on with glue - hello, will that withstand one wash??  
Even received one with buttons glued on!! Oh dear, ladies we know you are better than that!!
The fold up flap on pillowslips that are used as a hem but not stitched ~ a hem that is not stitched will drop down and trip up the wearer 
My goodness me we really cannot keep accepting these errors!!


this is the ten point check list:~

  1. 100% cotton - or very nearly 100%
  2. NOT see through, if you can see a ring on your finger when you put your hand behind one layer then it is too thin and will need lining ~ with cotton!!
  3. All stitching finished and threads sewn in and trimmed
  4. All seams finished ~ no RAW edges
  5. No glued trims
  6. No ribbon ties
  7. All buttons stitched on properly
  8. All pockets finished with a double stitch at the top to prevent them coming undone when the wearer put their hand in the pocket
  9. Elastic on shorts and dresses firmly stitched and not just knotted
  10. Your garment is correct to our size chart - 

Monday, 5 January 2015



Check out our Facebook page at 
Dress a Girl Around the World - UK

Everyone needs a doll or bear to hug once in a lifetime!  These cuties are just what is needed and are so simple to make, the doll is stitched and the bear is knitted.

So grab your needles and get one underway!

We are making baskets of them to sell to raise funds to help us with postage and printing costs.  If anyone would like to help just let us know!

This is the pattern for the doll, she is snuggled up in her little blanket and is just so adorable you won't resist making some!

Thanks to Dress a Girl USA for the PDF  ~ you can find it HERE

And now, boys and girls alike will just love these teddies, so soft and cuddly; just the chap to help bring a smile and obviously will keep all your secrets safely tucked away!  

Thank you to Bev's Country Cottage Buddy Bears for the link. The link is HERE.

Sunday, 4 January 2015


Hi there all our lovely stitchers.

Happy New Year, we hope that you all had a truly wonderful family time together.

Ready for the New Season here is an image that clearly shows some important things to note.

Ties - no ribbon please as it often frays and shreds and is sharp and uncomfortable to wear, sad because they do look pretty - just remember that we have to cut ribbon shoulder ties off and make new fabric or soft bias binding ones to replace the ribbon! 

Backstitching and finishing seams

100% cotton fabrics please

Making yours the best dress ever that will last!  Please only use dyes that are specifically made for cotton fabrics.

Added to that
Please Remember:~

That girls need to be able to walk and run comfortably so no tight hems please!
That boys need shorts too!
That all trims have to be washed harshly like the dress, and that they do not have resources to repair them!
The older girls need dresses too!

Thank you all!

Friday, 28 November 2014

 Just a short reminder page about making garments

We have had some lovely, beautiful dresses and shorts.  Fantastic fabrics and effort.

One small thing - we hope won't  become a bit of a problem - is quantity overtaking quality.

The parent organisation in the USA are very strict on fabric choices, sizes, seams, seam finishes and hems as well as decoration.

Louise made a decision to be more 'lenient' and 'forgiving' however, as you will see from photographs I will post next week - which in no way identify makers!!! - some dresses are not quite hitting the high standard we know you would like.

Please do remember 

1 ~  That seams need to be finished - if you don't have an overlocker - and not many of us do!! - then double stitch,  once for the seam line and then a second row of zig-zag to ensure the seam lasts and lasts through numerous hard wear washes.  Alternatively you could do what is called a run and fell or an enclosed seam.  See this posting from Sue for a guide. HERE

2  ~  Hems, please turn up a small 1/2" hem and stitch, then turn up another 1" and stitch again.  The second turn up could have decorative stitches - or some pretty ribbon or strong lace.  Our single lingered lace I am afraid is not 'man' enough for the job.  It is such a shame when the lace disintegrates after the second or third wash, that is so disappointing for the child as I know you all understand!

3  ~  Sizes, whoops, we have had one or two or more dresses that are far to narrow and so we have had to dis-assemble and insert more contrasting/matching fabrics to make the dresses - which were so pretty - a practical wearable size.

4  ~  General hints  and tips LOOK under the October posts in 'Tips and More'

This is the size chart we all internationally use.

In the chart above, in the 'cut size' column, it shows the first measurement is the length and the second measurement is the width of fabric which is then folded over.  So for example the first one on the list for a 6 month old is cut at 17 inches long and the fabric is cut at 30 inches wide and that is then folded over to make a dress that, finished, is 14 inches wide and 28 inches around the hem.  That allows for plenty of movement for the child at that age.  

For the last three on the list ~ the 10, 11 and 12 year olds the dresses would need to finish at 20 inches wide with a small extra pleat or just a short 5 inch split in the seam to allow for walking.  If you imagine a young person in a 20 inch wide skirt it would be quite restrictive!! A more ideal size for those would be to cut at 50 inches wide and that give a finished width of around 24 inches still trim but allowing more walking!

Jacqui and I do hope that you all understand the need to keep quality at the top of our agenda as these are 'Best Dresses' and are all a gift to a young person as a special event!  Imagine your own young person being in receipt of the garment you have so lovingly made and you will know what we mean!!


Monday, 17 November 2014


PATTERNS, patterns patterns!

You have all been asking for patterns, whilst we have posted links it is not easy - and it is tiresome for you to search a blog for links - so here they are again.

Girls dress pattern - simple A line style with shoulder ties

Start by reading these hints and tips from Flo  - HERE

For boys shorts
Shorts in all sizes are simple to make, find the pattern from Media Fire HERE

Now - for dresses made from a length of fabric and the instructions on how to make please click HERE 

for instructions on how to make dresses from a pillowslip please click HERE

The printable PDF for the armholes for the simple pillowslip dress is HERE

and for a downloadable PDF dress pattern click HERE

For a dress with three lightly gathered tiers style which again has a simple neckline and ties click HERE

For a wrist bracelet or a pretty headband with a little flower click HERE Please note that if you make the headband you should not stuff with little balls - just finish off by threading elastic through the band and stitch securely on both the ends.  Finish with a button and loop or join the ends together.

Free printable PDF Peasant Dress Pattern in sizes 12 months to 8. Step by step tutorial w/ photos.
and FINALLY a delicious pattern see the picture above - from Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom - for a peasant dress, instructions and down loadable pattern HERE

This cute little simple bear pattern from Patchwork Posse is HERE

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,