Little Dresses for Africa

IMG_1811Want an easy sewing project that help your students and school feel good too? Nancy’s Notions, a popular sewing tools & pattern store have come up with this charitable project for African children–a Pillow case re-purposed into a little girl’s dress.

Time Frame: A few classes depending on how many you want to make and if you teach high school or middle school


  • To practice basic sewing skills and finishing skills as well as help less fortunate children


  • Describe the project, show a sample, flip through the website (lots of galleries of pictures) with your students


  • One new or gently used cotton pillowcase
  • 2½ yd. double fold bias tape
  • 12″–16″ elastic, ¼” wide, depending on size
  • Coordinating all-purpose thread
  • Make a Sample Dress to show the class


  • Read the pattern instructions as a class answering questions as you go.


  • Have students bring in a pillow case
  • Spend a few days making the dresses (take pictures of the projects for your local newspaper- Good FACS press!)
  • Size your dresses (Small, Medium, Large, Extra large)

(Measured from the shoulder to the hem)

Small = 2, 3, and 4  (16-23 inches long)

Medium = 5, 6, and 7 (24-29 inches long)

Large = 8,9, and 10 (30-34 inches long)

X-Large – size 11 and above (anything over 35 inches long)

  • Roll up dresses and place in 2gallon plastic bags by size before shipping them
  • Send finished dresses to:

Nancy’s Notions
Attention: Little Dresses for Africa
PO Box 683
333 Beichl Ave.
Beaver Dam WI 53916



3 comments for “Little Dresses for Africa

  1. Guest
    November 29, 2011 at 9:56 am

    I am very excited to see this post. I will be doing this project with my high school sewing class next semester. Thanks for the information.

  2. nancy
    April 9, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    Great post. I saw this on Nancy's program and loved it and hope to incorporate it next year!

  3. Miranda
    August 25, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    Thank You! This is a GREAT Idea I plan on doing this school year with my high school students!

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