Sewing the thread of charity

Fashion design teacher initiated class project to contribute to LDFA


Photo by Israel Arias

Students in fashion design class do their part for overseas charity by making dresses for little girls in need

Cut the top off a pillowcase. Add elastic. Cut out armholes and decorate. Voilà. A new dress for a child in need.

In a little less than 2 weeks, Ms. Munn’s fashion design class has completed a project to make young girls’ lives just a little bit better. The students made dresses out of pillowcases and sent them away to provide clothing for underprivileged children in Africa.

To facilitate the project, the girls in the class brought in old pillowcases. To make them into dresses, the top seam was cut out and replaced with sleeves and elastic. The dresses were made to be worn by all different sizes and decorated with ribbons.

“I made a bigger one because not a lot of bigger kids have clothes,” junior Kaylin Edmonds said. “The project was great because it gave me a way to help kids in need.”

When they were finished, they were sent to a charity called Little Dresses for Africa, or LDFA. Formed in 2008 by Rachel O’Neill, LDFA is a Christian charity that sends dresses to African villages, as well as countries such as Guatemala.

Not only did the project provide clothing and physical comfort for children in Africa, it provided emotional comfort for the students who made the dresses.

“I remember seeing those movies when there’s a really really skinny kid who doesn’t have good clothes, or doesn’t have clothes at all,” junior Emily Dowden said. “I was excited when she said we were making the dresses because I want a little kid to have good clothes like we do.”

This is the second year that the class has done the project, and they plan to continue.

“It gave the girls an activity where they could do something for other people,” Munn said. “It was a charity that brought them all together, and I thought it would be neat for them to be able to make a little girl’s life better. I think it made my students feel better about themselves, and it was a really great project.”

This project has shown that it doesn’t require a lot of money or time to help someone. Sometimes, all it can take is a pillowcase, a needle and thread and the will to do something great for a child in need.

“It was me helping these little kids,” Edmonds said. “It was amazing to be able to do this for them.”