SIGNUP - FREE Membership and 1 FREE Sewing Lesson
| FAQ | Login
Platinum Sponsor
Fabulous Fit
Fabulous Fit

Pattern Reviews> Other> none (Little Dresses for Africa)

44 more reviews
Review submitted in Fabric Stash Contest 2013 Contest
Viewed 508 times 
Reviewed by:maria 6705
Friend of PR

About maria 6705
Member since: 7/21/08
Reviews: 34 (patterns: 34)
Body Type:
Skill level:Intermediate
Favored by: 1 people
Report a problem with this review

Posted on:1/18/11 10:10 PM
Last Updated:6/20/15 8:51 PM
Project Photo:
Other: none by maria 6705
Pattern Rating:Easy & Great for Beginners
Review Rating: Very Helpful by 2 people   
Fabric:Cotton  [See other projects in this fabric]
Edited June 2015 for Fabric Stash contest

Pattern Description: sleeveless child's sundress made from two rectangles of fabric. I made two in size 3 and one in size 5. click here

Pattern Sizing: 2 to 12 (small, medium, large) I think the current version of the pattern only gives directions for sizes small, medium and large.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? no illustration. Download instructions from "Little Dresses for Africa"

Were the instructions easy to follow? very easy

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? It's quick and easy to sew and makes a cute child's dress.
I find that using elastic to gather the upper edges of the dress sometimes makes for a stiff and possibly uncomfortable "neckline" in the smaller sizes because 42 inches of fabric is being reduced to 6 inches. At times in the past, I have replaced the elastic with bias tape or cord, which gives a softer result. However, this time I followed the pattern instructions and used elastic.

Fabric Used: The dresses are made of woven cotton that has been in my stash for about a year. The total amount of fabric for the three dresses was 2 1/4 yards, which includes 1/4 yard of lime green cotton that was used for bias tape and trim for the blue dresses. My total stash is about 50- to 75 yards.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
Ruffled trim was added at the top of the bodice front and at the hem. A strip of green fabric was placed just above the hem and just below the top ruffles on the smaller blue dress.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Definitely! I make some of these every year, usually for charity. These dresses were going to be made at some point in the next few months; this contest is the reason they were sewn now.

Conclusion: A free, easy pattern that turns out well. When sending them to other countries as charitable donations, I try to include a harmonizing tshirt, long-sleeved if possible, for reasons of modesty.

<< Previous      Next >>
19 Comments      Login to Add a Comment    
maria 6705 said... (7/22/13 1:24 PM) Reply
It could very possibly be the same organization. I think there might be a link to it on Nancy Zieman's website, Many other organizations and churches also take donations of these or similar dresses. I've also made them as gifts for family members. They're fairly quick to make and can look so cute!
sewingcanary said... (7/21/13 2:16 PM) Reply
I play African drum. A year or so ago our group met at one of the member’s churches. There was a group of women there making little dresses like these. They said it was a charity deal = could be the same one?? They were using printed sheets and pillow cases. Many of the prints were from the 70’s. They made the cutest little dresses! It was a great use of yesteryear’s no longer wanted items. Kudos.
Sew Whatever said... (7/15/13 6:17 AM) Reply
Love the idea of pockets big enough to properly carry things!
txcwgrlmom said... (6/27/13 11:09 AM) Reply
Thank you for sharing. I am going to make some play dresses for the great neices and charity.
Sew Whatever said... (6/27/13 6:22 AM) Reply
These are very sweet dresses. I like the little extras.
RJFoote said... (2/22/11 3:48 AM) Reply
I just love this pattern for pillowcase dresses! So simple and fun to add embellishments to. We are making these at our church as well. Great sewing fix when you don't have time for more involved projects.
maria 6705 said... (2/19/11 11:58 AM) Reply
It's wonderful to see that others are planning to participate in this project. Sewing even one garment makes a difference to a child somewhere, and makes you feel good too.
maria 6705 said... (2/19/11 11:56 AM) Reply
Getting my sewing fix is a big part of why I do this: no little boys or girls to sew for.
tiger28 said... (2/18/11 5:34 PM) Reply
this is precious! i recently saw a news piece on this wonderful organization--i am now inspired to participate:)
Pippi Longstocking said... (2/18/11 12:25 PM) Reply
Okay i just checked out the site and read about the charity and am very excited about participating. Sounds like a very sweet and worthwhile cause. It's also a good way for me to get my sewing fix because goodness knows my own daughters don't need anymore dresses!
Pippi Longstocking said... (2/18/11 12:07 PM) Reply
This is adorable. It looks similar to a pillowcase dress but i love the little ruffley lace trimming.
maria 6705 said... (2/18/11 11:58 AM) Reply
Thanks for your kind comments, JD. I also sew elastic-waist shorts for boys - have been doing so long before finding the little girl's dress pattern. It's very satisfying to create something cute for someone who really needs it.
JDpenelope said... (2/18/11 7:32 AM) Reply
katlew03 --- So glad you are helping out with this effort for the children of Guatemala. It's fun to make pretty things for girls, but just a reminder that half of the kids are boys. There's a very quick two piece pattern in Kwik Sew's Sewing for Children, with no fly, just an elasticized waist. The shorts come out so cute in sizes 4 and 6 (Xs and S). The charity is also shipping dresses and shorts to a contact in Haiti.
katlew03 said... (2/17/11 9:29 PM) Reply
Just got a copy of this pattern at my church group Thursday. We are going to make them for children in Guatamala. We have teams from our church going there every couple of months. We may also send them to Africa if we get enough. One of the ladies made one up at the meeting and it was really cute. So, I guess I'll add this to the other projects I have going for needy children. Your dress is really cute.
JDpenelope said... (2/17/11 7:03 PM) Reply
Maria -- Your dress is beautiful and obviously sewn with love. So good of you to donate your time to this effort. Speaking for myself, I don't want to sew c#&p for charity, and obviously you don't either! A friend and I are sewing boys' shorts, in sizes 4 and 6, as requested by the founder, Rachel O'Neill. Rachel and I have chatted via email, and she is overwhelmed by the response, but now is requesting something for the boys, who are also very much in need.
maria 6705 said... (2/17/11 6:58 PM) Reply
There's a new photo with this review that should give a better idea of what the finished dress looks like. No pockets on this one, but I added lace at the top and the hem.
JDpenelope said... (2/1/11 9:47 PM) Reply
Hi and it's wonderful that you have sewn for this charity. I would like to see your gallery photo better, too. I'm familiar with Little Dresses for Africa, and have sewn for this charity. They have received over 100,000 dresses in their short history, thanks to sewers like you, and they are now asking for boys' shorts. Here is the website, if anyone wants to know more:
maria 6705 said... (2/1/11 6:02 PM) Reply
Hi CynthiaSue. Sorry to be so late replying. It's been an unusually hectic time in our household. The pattern instructions came from It's basically a sleeveless dress with elastic gathering across the top, front and back. The armholes are bound with bias binding which extends to becom tie straps. I'm sorry the picture won't come up. I was able to get a photo on the pattern review, but haven't figured out how to get it on the Fabric Stash contest entry yet. I believe there is an address with the instructions for sending in the dresses, but I put them in the shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child run by Samaritan's Purse. Good luck with your sewing.
CynthiaSue said... (1/18/11 10:54 PM) Reply
Hi, thanks for sewing these for those in need! Can't get the picture to come up and what was the pattern? Some people may want to participate. thanks!
adv. search»
pattern | machine | member
Online Class
Perfectly Fitted Shirt
Perfectly Fitted Shirt

Class Details

Online Class
Sew a Designer Unlined Jacket
Sew a Designer Unlined Jacket

Class Details

Japanese Pattern Books ShapeShape bk 1- #12

by: lamstu

BurdaStyle Magazine 01-2014-122

by: SewWil

Victoria Jones Collection Men's Hawaiian Aloha Shirt

Victoria Jones Collection Men's Hawaiian Aloha Shirt

Pattern Details
Sewn Square One Small Change Pattern

Sewn Square One Small Change Pattern

Pattern Details