Swap-bot Time: July 18, 2018 9:03 pm

Little Dresses for Africa

Launch gallery slideshow

Swap Coordinator:freespirit66 (contact)
Swap categories: Clothing  Sewing  Email 
Number of people in swap:7
Location:Regional - U.S. only
Type:Type 3: Package or craft
Last day to signup/drop:March 8, 2010
Date items must be sent by:April 12, 2010
Number of swap partners:2

For this swap, you will make a pillowcase dress for Little Dresses for Africa - a non-profit organization that distributes dresses to orphan girls in the remote villages in Africa.

Because of the widespread AIDS pandemic, little girls are often left to be the primary care givers of their young siblings. Little Dresses for Africa hopes that in delivering dresses to these young girls, that a seed will be planted in their hearts that they are worthy.

When creating the pillowcase dress, please refer to the instructions provided on LDA's website:


Remember not to use buttons or zippers because these can be difficult to repair or replace in Africa. Instead, sew on decorative trims, ribbons, and other embellishments to make the dress pretty.

Also, pockets are both useful and fun for little girls. Perhaps adding 1 or 2 pockets on the dress would be a nice touch.

When you have completed your pillowcase dress, take a picture of it before measuring it and placing it in a plastic gallon ziplock bag. The instructions for doing this are here:


You will mail the dress directly to:

Little Dresses for Africa 24614 Curtis Drive Brownstown, MI 48134

Little Dresses for Africa will then distribute the dresses to the girls in Africa.

Then, to each of your 2 partners, please E-MAIL the following (note: if you are not able to take digital pictures and attach them to an email, sending a photograph and letter via snail-mail is fine):

  • a picture of the dress you made (if you feel inspired to make more than one dress...that's great!...show everything you created for Little Dresses for Africa)

  • a 1-2 page email/letter about what inspired you to join the swap, what you felt when you were making the dress, and any other thoughts you have as you send this dress that will clothe and comfort a little girl in Africa


Swap Requirements:

  • Swappers must have a 4.95 rating or better, with no unexplained 3s or 1s in the past year.

  • Swappers must have 5 completed swaps.

  • This is a U.S. only swap. If there is enough interest, perhaps another person on Swap-Bot would like to create an international version. (Why only U.S.? Just in case there are swappers who are do not have a digital camera and are unable to upload digital photos, this keeps the postage cost lower for them since they will be mailing their swaps.)


This is a closing thought that I read on another website about a group of women who made dresses for Little Dresses for Africa:

[In doing this project we are] "honoring a special group of moms... who can no longer hold their daughters or provide them clothes. Most died from AIDS or other illnesses and their children were left as orphans.

"We honor those precious moms by putting our hands to work and creating beautiful dresses for their little girls. We may not have changed the world, but for those little girls when they pull those dresses over their tiny heads – their worlds will change."


BeautifulMess 02/28/2010 #

Shame it's USA only, but I think I'm going to do it without the swap myself, Thank you for posting the link... I would do anything for Africa (I'm even going over there to volunteer) =]

slewis234 02/28/2010 #

why don't we do an international version? the dresses would be mailed directly to the non-profit instead of a middle person? i don't mind hosting and/or co-hosting the swap....and it's for a wonderful cause. freespirit66, would you mind if we do an international version?

craftymomme08 02/28/2010 #

wow that's awesome.. i wish i could be a part of it but i can't.

freespirit66 02/28/2010 #

slewis234, that would be fine if you wanted to host an international version.

With things being so tight for some people, I wanted to make sure that those who wanted to participate in the U.S. could do so and concentrate the money they spend on pillowcases and supplies, rather than international postage which can add up.

I may change the shipping so it's done directly to the non-profit instead of sending the dresses to me and me shipping them to Little Dresses for Africa That would allow me to make more dresses as well rather than spend it on shipping. That's a good idea...thanks for suggesting it. Will modify this soon.

TerryF 02/28/2010 #

If anyone does an international version, would you please let me know? Thx!

twobluecrows 02/28/2010 #

This looks like a thing that should be also done for Haiti. So many of the kids there have lost everything.

twobluecrows 02/28/2010 #

An International version would work just as well as a swap if there were different non-profits to send to in and out of the USA--are there any?

That way, since the swap part is all e-mail, it wouldn't make any difference to the swap "mailing"

craftygirl 02/28/2010 #

I only live a couple miles from where you send the dresses to.

LindyLuLu 02/28/2010 #

Thanks for posting this. I posted it to my facebook wall.

doublesided 02/28/2010 #

Im in the UK so can't join - but had to let you know thanks to this swap - Ive actually made one tonight - and Ive never sewn before - go for it ladies its great fun!!

djmom11 03/ 2/2010 #

what a great idea. I may not join the swap but sometime soon I want to make a dress to send.

ittybittykitty 03/ 2/2010 #

WOW what a great idea! Thank you so much Freespirit for making me aware of this charity!! I might not be able to join this swap (I'm, um, at my max now, need to hit the post office! :). But I'll DEFINITELY be making some dresses for this charity. I'm also going to let my folk's church group know about this, some of them are pretty crafty and may want to sew some dresses!!

Thanks again for organizing this!

meganimal 03/ 4/2010 #

I'm heading out of town for two weeks so can't do this as a swap- but thanks so much for posting the link-I'll definitely be working on some to send and I have friends who would love to do this as well-Thanks so much! :)

lcove2000 03/ 4/2010 #

What a great idea for a swap.

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