Monday, 28 April 2014

Feedback on Dress Distribution from Manila Phils (c-o Leila Sevilla)

A picture from a dress distribution made in one of the churches in Manila Philippines by a good friend Leila Sevilla last month. Not sure which particular location in Manila. Am waiting for a response from my email but here are 3 pics -
I think distributing is probably quite difficult if you are dealing with the younger kids. Your concentration is divided between handing out dresses and making sure they are the right sizes and whether you are able to take pictures at the same time. This picture was probably taken after everything has been given away. At least she was able to gather at least a few of the kids for a pose. :-)

A wholehearted thank you to Leila for sparing the time to make this distribution on behalf of Dress A Girl Australia. Spike, I know you are a very busy lady but thank you so much.

For larger and individual images, please click here.

Great inspirational quotes

Am probably the last person in this world to preach but just want to share with you these very inspiring quotes from two top religious leaders. This is one of the reasons why Dress A Girl (Around the World) Australia exists - 
From the Dalai Lama -
      "The very purpose of our life is happiness, which is sustained by hope. We have no 
       guarantee about the future, but we exist in the hope of something better. Hope
       means keeping going, thinking, ‘I can do this.’. It brings inner strength, self-
       confidence, the ability to do what you do honestly, truthfully and transparently"     
and from the Pope who tweets - 
       "None of us can think we are exempt from concern for the poor and for social justice
       (EG 201)."
                      - Pope Francis on Twitter
And 'we all can do it' !!  We all can 'shake for a better world' and make this world a better place for everyone -
for we can sew it !
for this kind of joy and happiness !
 If you want to be a part of this very worthwhile cause and need more information, please send an email to

Donation Acknowledgement FY14/#47 to #49 - From Karin, Bett and the Two Bettys

Second to the last batch for the month of April are Donations #47 to #49 from Karin Maltby, Bett Holmes and the Two Bettys - Betty Barrett and Betty Paull.

1) Donation #47 are three big bundle of fabrics from Karin Maltby for a community of schoolboys in Uganda.
2) Donation #48 is a parcel of 14 beautiful dresses and 5 pairs of shorts from Bett Holmes. Am loving the colours of these dresses and it keeps me awake.
3) And Donation #49 is a parcel of 13 dresses and 12 pairs of shorts from the two Bettys - Betty Barrett and Betty Paull. Another bunch of  amazing colours especially the colours of the t-shirt dresses. It is almost midnight and am still wide awake. Must be the colours of the dresses on this batch. :-)
To Karin, Bett, Betty and Betty, thank you so much for your contributions to this very worthwhile cause. Thank you for your unwavering support of this campaign. It is very much appreciated. Thank you.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Donation Acknowledgement FY14/#44 to #46 - From Jean, Linda and Make and Learn

Continuing on the task of acknowledging donations interrupted by work commitments are three more donations from Jean Lobb, Linda Smyth and Make and Learn. Without further ado -

1) Donation #44 is a parcel of 11 dresses from Jean Lobb -
2) Donation #45 are 11 dresses from the group of Ladies who attended the Sew for Charity workshop by Make and Learn organized by Natascha Wettmarshausen -
3) Last but not the least is Donation #46 from the ever reliable Linda Smyth of 3 dresses, bundles and a roll of fabrics. In one of our email conversations, I mentioned that I was intending to make dresses for another school community in Uganda. She has been sewing dresses of the same fabric regularly and in one of her shopping moments about 3 weeks ago she found this roll in a shop she frequently goes to for fabric for $5.00. A more than real good value for money. This roll is going to keep me real busy when I come back from my 3-week July trip.
A wholehearted thank you to Linda, Jean and the workshop attendees of the Sew for Charity by Make and Learn and a special thank you to Natasha Wettmarshausen for making the workshop possible. Thank you Ladies. Thank you for the time, money and effort you spent making these dresses. Much appreciated.

Donation Acknowledgement FY14/#43 - Silk Scarves from Monika

19 fine silk scarves and 1 handkerchief with matching embroidered fabric envelope are Donation #43 from Monika Osvald. If I can recall correctly I think these items were given to her and she gave them to me to sell to help raise funds for postage. At first I was not sure what the prints were all about especially on the blue ones. It was only after I took pictures of each of them and have downloaded the images to my PC that I realized they were handpaintings of the horoscope symbols - Aries, Virgo, Taurus, Leo, Saggitarius etc. I did not dare iron the silk scarves at the time I took the pictures as I may damaged them but you can still see the painted images. Some are plain very fine silk.
I will be posting this in Dress A Girl's e-shop to sell for probably $5.00 each including postage. If you are not into wearing scarves there are actually other ways of using them. Check out what I did with a silk scarf I had for so many years and never used at all below. I used it as a belt for a pair of my denim shorts I recycled about 2 years ago into a denim bag. Quite a few people wanted to buy the bag but I did not think of selling it. Perhaps you can use it too when you recycle some of your old stuff into new.  Or maybe I can make more of this recycled denim bag and use one of the scarves as a belt and sell the bag with the scarf belt. Imagine the possibilities for a $5.00 silk scarf that will dress a disadvantaged girl.
To Monika, thank you so much for the scarves. Aside from directly selling the item as is, it opens up a lot of creative possibilities that can be sold to help a disadvantaged girl get to own a new dress. All I need is time. Thank you so much.

Donation Acknowledgement FY14/#40 to #42 - From Angela, Leonie, Julie and Bev

The month  is about to end and it is time to acknowledge all dresses received for the month of April. I hope to finish them all today so I can start my distribution tasks. Am continuing on with doing acknowledgements in batches so here is the first one today but actually the second batch for the month of April -

1) Donation #40 is a parcel of 11 dresses from Angela Collins -
2) Donation #41 from Leonie Turnbull for 4 dresses -
3) And Donation #42 is the last parcel on this batch of 18 dresses from Julie Nielsen and Bev Stephens who wrote that they both had the pleasure of sewing these dresses and  hope they can make more in the future.
Thank you so much to Allison, Leonie, Julie and Bev. Thank you for believing in this wonderful campaign. It is much appreciated.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Happiness #1 is....

This is happiness and happiness #1....and more to come !

Pretty good example of a girl, a dress and a smile

I know it is 9:30pm but sometimes it is at this time that I can really think of what to say plus I am on work call again tomorrow and may not remember and have the time to write this. Please have a look at this picture so everyone will understand why I kind of go crazy and start reminding everyone again about the kind of materials to use when making dresses to donate.
I am not an expert dressmaker, in fact, dressmaking is the farthest thing in my mind when it comes to crafting although I love sewing. The dress on this picture was given to this beautiful kid about 6 months ago and look at the dress. Even if the color has somewhat faded but it is still a very much wearable dress which the girl enjoys wearing perhaps almost everyday (wash tonight wear tomorrow). I do not believe using thin materials and washed in rugged environments will last the same way this dress has. And imagine how this girl would feel if after washing the dress she founds out that it got torn and damaged and can no longer wear it. These kids do not have the luxury of getting to own and wear new dresses all the time. They would be lucky if they get to own a new one at least once a year and that is why they treasure every minute they get the chance to wear it. 

So PLEASE before you sit down in front of your sewing machine check that you are using the right materials, materials that can withstand rugged environments, materials that would look good on every kid who gets to receive one. Let us keep sewing dresses that will make the kid who gets to wear it have that big smile on their face whenever she gets the chance to wear it.....and until the next time she gets a new one. Thank you!

Reminder on Materials to use

I think this will have to become a monthly reminder for anyone who wants to make dresses and donate to this cause to PLEASE PLEASE do not use thin or flimsy materials. Being able to see through the dress is not helping at all and there is no one who can make repairs to these dresses so PLEASE take note of this requirement. Thank you.

Friday, 25 April 2014

Next Big event of the year - Mother's Day

Yes, quickly coming up is another big event of the year. Mother's Day on the 11th of May. If you have not decided yet on which card to give your mum or grandma who mothered our mum to include in your special box, please feel free to look at these cards. They are now available for sale. Card sells for $1.75 (normally $2.25) plus postage of $1.00 and comes with a matching white envelope. 
Of course I cannot compete with dollar shops that sells their cards for a dollar each. :-)  I just do what I can do. There must be thousands and thousands of those cards printed by an industrial machine in less than an hour which cannot compete with my old and reliable inkjet printer but still any sale I make is always appreciated. Every card that sells gives a new dress to a disadvantaged kid around the world as proceeds from the sale helps pay for the cost of sending dresses to different locations around the world. And with the increasing costs of paper and printer inks, these cards are more than good value for money so if there is anything you like please make a purchase.

To check out these cards, click on the image above or click here. More handmade items to choose from will be made available soon. Thank you and please help spread the word.

Donation Acknowledgements for the month of April coming up !

Am supposed to be on my way to the National Pass Blue Mountains for a practice trek/hike this morning but due to a work commitment where I may have to go to work at 4:30 this afternoon for a system go-live checkup I am stucked at home. Going for my hourly walk and when I get back while I wait for the work call I might as well start taking pictures of dresses donated and start posting my donation acknowledgements. With the long weekend I think I will be able to finish all the donation acknowledgements with only about a dozen parcels to open.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Back to business with Dress A Girl Australia activities

Back a little bit early for Dress A Girl Activities (calendar says my break is until end of April). Between now until the end of June I will be busy sorting, packing and sending more dresses to different locations around the world before I leave again for an adventure of a lifetime in July, a dream I always had to do the Inca Trek for 4 days and 3 nights to Machu Picchu (Peru). Woohoo!!

Another girl loving her dress

This is another facebook posting made by Free to Shine a non-profit organization whose focus of charity work is in Cambodia. A cute Cambodian girl loving the dress she received last year which was made by Wendy Yates.
And with a big smile on her makes you inspired and happy that you had made a difference to the life of this kid. Just imagine how many more kids around the world feel the same way she does after getting to own one nice small dress. For some of us we take owning a new dress for granted but for these kids it is a treasure to own and keep. Thank you to Wendy for making the dress and this picture possible. And thank you to Free to Shine for sharing this picture.

To know more about the work of Free to Shine in Cambodia, please click here. And check out their facebook page here.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

FY14 Charity Drive - Arts & Craft & School Supplies Donation #6 - Diecuts from Carolyn

Love it when it is for the children and more when the outcome benefits the children. A bunch of diecuts from Carolyn Walker who used to work as a Creative Memories Consultant. She wrote me an email asking if they can be of use since I do collect arts and school supplies which I give away to schools in need. These diecuts are in different shapes cut from card stock and are about 4" in size. Stars, trees, birthday cakes, balloons and others.
These diecuts will be in very good hands as it will be donated to the School for Life Foundation in Uganda through Annabelle Chauncy the founding director of the school. The kids could even use it to make special packs of greeting cards which they can sell as a fundraiser for the school. Will be sending these packs next week when I get the chance to pack them up together with a bunch of exercise books.

Thank you to Carolyn for making this donation possible to the School for Life Foundation. Much appreciated.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Please feel free to donate dresses anytime.

Recently I have been receiving emails asking if I am still accepting dresses. Am not really sure where the idea came from or who started this rumor that I am no longer accepting dresses and that what I am doing is kind of a one-off thing when all I am blogging about are dresses that I received and dresses that I have sent or sending, feedbacks on dress distributions, number of dresses I have made so far and fabrics that I buy or t-shirts that I hoard including sizes that are most needed.

So once and for all, I would like everyone to know that if you want to donate dresses, please feel free to send them to my postal address anytime. This campaign is not a one-off but an on-going charity work to make a difference to the lives of the less fortunate children around the world. Sometimes there will be days when I am not available (i.e. away on holidays) and there might be delays in the articles I am posting in my blog such as donation acknowledgements but I think that is normal as this is a volunteer work which I do on my spare time and that my daytime job is still a priority from Monday to Friday and that on weekends when personal errands need to be addressed, those errands take priority over the sorting and packing tasks I have to do. I will continue this charity work for as long as I can perhaps even when nobody wants to donate anymore. With the materials that I have I probably would still be able to make hundreds of dresses and please note that even with the amount of fabrics I  own I still am unstoppable when it comes to fabric shopping. 

There are no drop-off locations except for my postal address in Sydney and I have no plans of setting up drop-off locations as I am not able to provide financial assistance on the cost of sending parcels to Sydney. For those who are asking for postal information of individuals, groups or groups of individualswho are asking for dress donations and making their own distributions, unfortunately I cannot be of assistance on this matter as I am not aware nor do I know of the existence of such individuals, groups or groups of individuals. If they do exists, I dont really know them or which location in Australia they are coming from so my advise is to ask those people who have provided you with such information or contact the facebook page administrators.

For all donations, please feel free to send them to Dress A Girl Australia P.O. Box 240 Casula Mall Casula NSW 2170. Thank you.

Today is Earth Day

Today is Earth Day and feeling wonderful loving our earth. Happy Earth Day!

Feedback on Dress Distribution from Kenya (Widows of Africa)

Here are a few pictures of the children in Kenya wearing their new dresses and pairs of shorts from the distribution made by Pastor Joshua of the Widows of Africa, Kenya
and an email describing how the children were very happy with their new clothes -
Thank you to everyone who contributed dresses and made this distribution possible in Kenya.

For individual and larger images of the distributions, please click here.

A Craft Calling

The things you are passionate about are not random. 
They are your calling.
                     — Fabienne Frederickson

A matching set for 2 bound for Eastern Samar

Well, you did read about my being a t-shirt hoarder. In early April I received 2 skirt donations. I was thinking of allocating the 2 skirts for a parcel I am filling up for the Eastern Samar community in the Philippines but was not really happy with the idea of just sending the skirts. The clothing in the parcels are going to be distributed to the children victims of the Typhoon Haiyan that hit the community last year and the last thing I wanted was for them to spend to buy matching shirts so they could wear the skirts so it was either I hold on to the skirts and wait for a future allocation someplace else or find matching t-shirts. I was not sure if I still had some small t-shirts left as I know most of the small ones I have already given away. Luckily I found 2 but with long-sleeves - so here they are - the last from my t-shirt hoard collection
 and now I am happy again to include the skirts in the parcel allocation -
for 2 lucky little girl recipients in the community of Eastern Samar Philippines. And I think this is what makes Dress A Girl Australia different from others. I always think and care about the things I give, the items that I put in a parcel and also think and care of the kids who will become the owners of the things I give away making sure that they are able to wear and enjoy wearing their new dresses for as long as they can....time, money and effort very well spent. 

I can still remember this dress

This poster was posted in Free to Shine's facebook page that I follow and amazingly after all the thousands of dresses I have packed and sent last year I could still remember this dress. This is one of the t-shirt dresses I made early last year (2013) when I was attempting to do 'one dress a day' campaign and was given to one of the schoolkids being educated by the Free to Shine non-profit organization in Cambodia.
The skirt fabric material was donated by Louise Wright of Tasmania and the t-shirt came from my collection. Every now and then when I see t-shirts on sale I would make a purchase as I know that one day I can put it to good use. Am not only a cotton fabric hoarder but also a t-shirt hoarder (LOL!). Seeing the dress again on this poster made my day.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Dull and serious moments...scribbling

This is what I normally do when am bored even when am at work. I scribble. I write down what I can remember from books I have read. And here are some of my scribblings on my phone in one of my dull and serious moments about 2 weeks ago. I was not 'procraftinating'....a new word I made up that means am lost in my small craft world space sewing and/or crafting when I should be cleaning or doing household chores.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Sharing their love with the less fortunate children around the world

They say to 'Love life and it will return the favor'. And here is a great example of Ladies loving life and sharing their love with the less fortunate children around the world. From a Group of staff from Dromana Secondary College, Victoria in their first sewing bee. 
Picture sent by Barbara Kerby. Thank heaps, ladies!

It's Easter Time !

It is Easter Time once again ! Three years ago I made a dozen of decoupaged eggs and when I saw this bunny with an egg seater on the side I thought I would recycle one of those decoupaged eggs to adorn this bunny.
Hope everyone will have a happy Easter!

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Labels and Patterns

Here is an update on requested labels and patterns :

1) All requests for labels and patterns since the week of 24-March until yesterday 11-Apr have been posted today. 

2) Starting today, requests will be processed only every two weeks so any requests received between today until the end of this month the 30th will be processed, filled and posted on the last day of the month. Requests received from the 1st of the month to the 15th will be processed, filled and posted on the 15th of the month and so forth and so on. These changes are being made based on the experiences I went through last year and hopefully will be more organized on time. Going to the postoffice to post requests will be more aligned with pickup of parcels and avoid minor injuries and/or inconveniences. Parcel pickups will still be every Saturday mornings.

3) Will resume donation acknowledgements received towards the end of this month when am back in Sydney.

To those intending to make and donate dresses, please be guided with this schedule so no one would wonder whether I have received requests. Thank you.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Parcel Feedback from Widows of Africa Kenya (c/o Pastor Joshua)

Whenever I send a parcel, I normally would note that down in my phone calendar and depending on the location and how the parcel(s) was sent, I would create a notification to be sent to myself after a specific period of time (number of weeks past) reminding me or giving me a heads up that perhaps the parcel(s) is about to reach its destination. This notification allows me to get ready to make a follow-up and/or enquiry with the postoffice just in case I dont receive any feedback from the recipient(s) that the parcel has been received. And because some locations takes between 8-12 weeks for parcels to arrive I really need this reminder. :-)

Anyway, just about 10 minutes ago, I received an email from Pastor Joshua of the Widows of Africa in Kenya letting me know that the package has been received.
Whew! Now I dont have to make a follow-up with the postoffice. And see, I am doing my job, making an extra effort of making sure that the parcels reached its destination and that the dresses you donate are about to find owners. I do not relax and make myself comfortable until I am sure that everything is ok and that each one of you have really made a difference to the lives of these kids through the dresses you make and donate.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Thank you to Natascha and Make and Learn

This errand is so long overdue and finally I managed to pick up a bag full of dresses kindly made and donated by a group of ladies who attended a charity sewing event organized by Natascha Wettmarshausen of Make and Learn last December and February of this year. The proceeds earned from the attendees of the sewing workshop was also donated to help in covering the cost of postage and distribution of the dresses to the different countries.
The formal donation acknowledgement of dresses will be done when I get back to Sydney next weekend but would like to take this opportunity to express my wholehearted thank you to the ladies who were involved in this charity sewing event and my heartfelt thanks to Natascha for organizing the event.

If you want the creative you shine through or want to tap into those hidden creative skills you've got, check out Make and Learn or click on the image below for its craft activities and events. Thank you.

These guys are coming!!

These guys are coming soon and will try to help Dress A Girl Australia 'shake for a better world'.
An exciting opportunity to help make a difference to the lives of the disadvantaged children around the world. out for it !!

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Donation Acknowledgement FY14/#36 to #39 - From Jayne, Heather and the Golden Girls 2 Kay, Betty, Pauline & Julie

I kind of overslept last night coming back from a full day of marketing (was totally over awake at midnight) I decided to open the parcels I picked up at the postoffice last Thursday and took pictures of the donations. It took me only about 45 minutes to do the task including putting them in plastic bags and decided to spend another hour taking pictures of the remaining items that did not sell at the market so I could post them in my online shop. By the time I wanted to post this article I felt sleepy again and decided to continue today. 

I have just finished posting the items for sale and other stuff and are now available for purchase in my online shop so now it is time to acknowledge the donations. Again, one article with 5 separate batches of donations of dresses, winter set for the winter appeal for South Africa and a few dress accessories and undies. Here they are -

1) Donation #36 is a parcel of 8 dresses from Heather Harris -
2) Donation #37 is a parcel of 13 t-shirt dresses from Jayne Hogan -
3) Donation #38 is a parcel of 21 dresses, 2 sets of tops and shorts and 2 skirts from the Golden Girls 2 namely Kay, Betty, Pauline and Julie -
and here are the Golden Girls 2 Kay, Betty, Pauline and Julie who are having a great time sewing dresses for the disadvantaged kiddies -
4) Donation #39 are dress accessories and undies from the Golden Girls 2 and Jayne Hogan -

The next donation (and last for this batch 3-Apr-2014) is for the Winter Appeal for South Africa Batch #5 from Jayne Hogan. It arrived just in time before I had to close off the last parcel of winter clothes for South Africa.
A wholehearted thank you to the Golden Girls 2 Kay, Betty, Pauline and Julie, to Heather Harris and Jayne Hogan for the wonderful donations. Thank you for your kindness and generosity and unwavering support of Dress A Girl Australia's campaign of making sure that every girl in this world gets to own at least one dress, not just a dream but a reality. It may not be for the entire world but at least a portion of it. We can proudly feel and say that at least we got the chance to provide dresses to a few of them. Thank you.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Market Day and Products for Sale

It was a very long day as today was market day for the quarter.  A very good and happy day but tiring. Woke up at 4am after going to bed at midnight and arrived back home at 5pm. Fell asleep and just woke up. Now cant go to sleep so I might as well take pictures of dresses and acknowledge donations until I feel sleepy again. 

Sharing with you some products I had at Dreamers Markets today. Creating these items are what I consider my 'Days of Happiness' especially when the end result is making happy the disadvantaged children around the world. I enjoyed making each one of them.
A few of these items are still available and will be posted in my online shop today. Shown above are - (Update : Now available in my on-line shop. Just click on the hyperlinks)

(1) Bucket 1 of 2 of the dammit dolls. Only 2 are left but will be making more and be made available soon. $15.00 each.
(2) Easter Bunny pins. Only 5 are left and when they are gone, they really are gone. $10.00 each.
(3) Easter Lavender Bunnies. Only 7 are left but can make more if needed. $5.00 each
(4) Easter Lavender Packs. A few are left but will be making more if needed. $5.00 each and comes with a card/envelope for easy gift giving.
(5) Happy Easter Buttons. Easily done if needed and available all year round in my creativity with buttons shop. They come in size 38mm (1-1/2") and 57mm (2-1/4"). Size 38mm is on sale at $1.00 each and size 57mm also on sale at $2.00 each.
(6) 'A is for Apple' Magnetic Blocks in a tin for kiddies to enjoy learning the alphabets, numbers 0 to 9, a few shapes and animals. They are about 5cms x 5cms  in size and full-sized magnet at the back. Selling them at $19.95 each.
(7) Last but not the least is my favourite and an original - 'Mama's Fabric Bust'. Comes with an easel stand for support. Selling at $20.00. Size about 20cms x 15cms (widest and tallest point)

Please check them out and if there is anything you like, please make a purchase as the proceeds are going to a very worthwhile cause. Thank you.

My very special thank you to the organizers of the Dreamers Markets for providing me with a free stall. Next market date is the 9th of August. 

And feel free to sing along with me in this 'Happy' song. *********************************************************
Chorus lines from Pharell Williams' 'Happy' Song 
          Because I’m happy
          Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
          Because I’m happy
         Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
         Because I’m happy
         Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
         Because I’m happy
         Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do

Thursday, 3 April 2014

FY14 Charity Drive - Arts & Craft & School Supplies Donation #5 - From the Ladies of QCWA Willows Branch

This is Donation #5 and the last of the arts & craft supplies for the Indi Kindi project. This parcel was donated by the Ladies of QCWA Willows Branch and sent in by their president Jacqui Piper. 
To all the ladies of QCWA Willows Branch, thank you for the great pack and special thanks to Jacquie for sending the items. Your kindness and generosity is very much appreciated. Thank you.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Winter Appeal for South Africa Drive is now officially closed

In response to all the emails I received the past few days, am sorry but I am no longer accepting winter clothing for South Africa. The boxes are sealed and am just waiting for a time I can spare to bring the parcels to the freight terminal. Due to unexpected circumstances I had to cut short the time frame of the drive and send the parcels earlier than scheduled. Maybe next time but thank you for the thought of trying to help make a difference to the lives of these kids, keep them warmer during their winter season. Thank you.