Sunday, 8 September 2013

Story to tell...coming soon

I think I have a story to tell. A story of a creative journey that started with just one dress about 30 months ago and has now made a difference to the lives of about  2500 girls and 600 boys from the less fortunate locations around the world and more to come. A journey that has generated big smiles from the kiddies who probably for the first time in their lives gets to wear a new dress which they could call their own. A journey with no big-brand sponsors but funded by making and selling handmade items, by being a craftivist and surviving well to keep the journey going and very thankful to sewers and hobbyists from the Australian community who find it in their hearts to share whatever blessings they can, their time and effort to make lots and lots of dresses to make this world a better place.  
I cannot say when it will be finished but it will happen and soon. So watch for it.

Arts and craft. The possibilities are endless, limited only by one's imagination. It is the kind of creativity that always comes from the heart.

A short history of my crafting activities : I went to a private school where Arts and Crafts was part of the yearly curriculum from the intermediate years of 5 and 6 up to high school senior year. The subject was called Home Economics. The end of each year was never complete without submitting a project in crochet, sewing, embroidery, origami, decoupage, making poinsettia flowers during the Christmas season etc. The only crafting I never learned how to do is knitting and I still dont know how. 

Crafting became my hobby and when I started to work I used it as my outlet to relax from the pressures at work. I used to walk pass a fabric shop when I go for  a Saturday morning walk so I made it a point that I had money in my pocket just in case I needed to buy something or the shop had something new which I would like to buy. When I was allowed to work from home 2-3 days a week in my previous job, I bought a table where I could have my laptop and sewing machine right next to each other. When I was not replying to emails or code-changing or trouble-shooting problems, I would be doing something on my sewing machine. For almost 5 years of working from home I ended up making more than a dozen landscape quilts most of them my own designs (some I have given away as gifts to my close friends), 
Country Playground
fabric bookmarks -
more than a dozen advent calendars ( still make them now and sell them), 
piles and piles of memory pillows in different shapes and sizes. Everyone's picture was on the pillow. I still have some of them in my chestbox. Finally I got fed up with pillows I made a doll with my niece face on it. :-) 
I did not make dresses as I did not know how and I was not really into making dresses I think. I bought a pattern from the fabric shop and attempted to make one but I ended up making a tote bag out of the fabric. The dress I made when I started Dress A Girl Australia was the very first dress I made and took almost 6 hours to finish and that is the dress worn by the third girl from the left on the picture below taken when I did my very first dress distribution in the Philippines.
First 2 dresses on the right was made by my sister Joan, third dress was made by another sister of mine Monique, the fourth and fifth dress made by me and the yellow dress at the end was made and donated by Deidre Parker in August  2011, the very first donor of Dress A Girl Australia.
These are the first two dresses I ever made in my entire life. Was I so proud when I saw it worn by these 2 girls. I gave away 60 dresses in Sept 2011 of which most of them were made by me and my three sisters and a donor from Tasmania and when I went back to the Phils two months ago to bring 150 more dresses and this time collected from so many donors I was told that the girls are still wearing the dresses but are a little bit shorter now as they have grown a little taller.
After a year of sewing pillowcase dresses I started to be more daring in my sewing and ventured into T-shirt dresses which I sent to India early this year plus other donated dresses. My sister Joan provides me with all the t-shirts I need. There is something about these t-shirt dresses that is so likeable.

I must have made about 500 dresses by this time especially that I am getting lots of fabric donations. I still go to work full-time( no longer work from home) and because of the limited time I can spare I can only sew simple dresses. My heart tells me to make more complicated ones but my body cannot but whatever type of dress I make am sure there is someone out there who will be so willing to wear and proudly call it her own.

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