Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Little Dresses for Africa 2017 Sew Along Winners!

  Woohoo! Thank you everyone that participated in this years Little Dresses for Africa Sew Along!
You guys are awesome! We made a total of 33 Dresses and 2 pairs of boy shorts! What a wonderful way to celebrate our Freedoms here in America by helping others in need! I am really proud of each and every one of you that participated! And super thankful for our sponsors, Aurifil and Fat Quarter Shop!    They help make this annual sew along sew much fun!

  Let's pick some winners of the fantastic prizes! So we had 4 prizes and 6 participants! I decided to throw in 2 extra prizes from my ETSY shop, so everyone gets a prize! Yeehaw!!!

First I have 2 Charm packs of "Lovey Dovey" by Riley Blake Designs. The 2 winners are:
Donna Medlin and Jan Newman! Woohoo!

Next I have a $25.00 Gift Certificate to my ETSY shop, Featherweight Quilt Company! The winner of the gift certificate is Pam Sterling! Woohoo!

Next we have a beautiful 10 small spool collection of Aurifil 50 wt thread "It's a Girl" !. This is my go to thread for hand and machine piecing.The winner of the "It's a Girl" Aurifil collection is Nancy Davies! Woohoo!

Next we have a $50.00 Gift Certificate to the Fat Quarter shop! I love the Fat Quarter shop for all of their pre-cuts and modern fabrics! The winner of the gift certificate is Elise Jane Stone! Yeehaw!!

And finally we have a 12 large spool collection of Aurifil 40 wt thread "Sand Dune". These threads are beautiful and I am totally jealous Liz Gray because you are the winner of this gorgeous thread collection! Yay!
Woohoo! Congratulations ladies!  Thank you all for your hard work and for helping a child in need! I will be contacting you for your mailing and/or email addresses! And a special THANK YOU to the Fat Quarter Shop and Aurifil for their generosity and support! Be sure to visit both on their facebook pages and let them know how much we appreciate their generosity!
  And remember Little Dresses for Africa accepts dresses and shorts all year around so if you didn't get to participate in this years sew along you can still help a child in need. You can find all the details of their program here!
Thank you everyone!
Happy Stitching!
God Bless America today and everyday!
xo jan

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Little Dresses for Africa 2017 Link Up Party!

 Welcome to the 3rd Annual Little Dresses for Africa Sew 

Along Linky Party at Sew and Sow Farm!

 Each summer I like to choose a project to make for 

charity. In 2013, I came across an organization that

makes and collects simple little dresses to help clothe

 children around the world, Little Dresses for Africa! I 

really enjoyed making those first dresses. So this year, I 

decided to do it again and asked for some help from ya'll!

 I also asked some of my sponsors to give us a little 

incentive to Sew - Along! Aurifil and the Fat Quarter 

Shop didn't hesitate and have offered some very nice

prizes along with a prize from my ETSY shop

 Featherweight Quilt Company!! I have the BEST 

sponsors! They are ALWAYS so generous! I have been 

making a few little dresses and have 6 out of my goal of 

10 completed. 

I also reached out to blog and facebook friends and I have already received 28 dresses!

Woohoo! Aren't these just adorable! Way to go ladies! Thank you so much for your help! 

 This year I plan on mailing the dresses that I receive from you all and the ones that I have made directly to Little Dresses for Africa's Headquarters in Brownstown, Mi. 

Also, if you did not get to participate, Little Dresses for Africa accepts items year around. So it is never too late to help a little boy or girl in need! 
I would like to say a HUGE Thank you to our wonderful sponsors.

  Aurifil for two beautiful thread collection prizes! These are simply gorgeous threads!  

And The Fat Quarter shop for their generous Gift Certificate!

And I am offering a $25.00 Gift Certificate to my ETSY shop , Featherweight Quilt Company, for one lucky participant!

 Having prizes for doing what we love is like the icing on a cupcake! It just makes it all a little sweeter!

It's time to link up those Dresses!

1. You must link to a specific and current blog post or face book post. Not just to your homepage.
2. Please visit at least one person before your link and one person after your link. We want to share our sewing and be sure and leave nice comments! We all love receiving comments and encouragement on our efforts! Plus it's a nice way to make new friends!
3. Please take time to visit Aurifl and the Fat Quarter Shop and let them know how much we appreciate their great prizes! You can tell them all about your dresses and /or shorts or just tell them hi! Tell them I said hi too! They are both fantastic and generous companies with superior products!
4. Share, share , share! Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, twitter, blogs.....The more people we have making dresses and shorts, the more children we can help!
5. Be sure to follow up and get your items in the mail if you haven't done so already! 
6. The link up will only remain open until Monday July 3rd, 11:59 pm EST You must add your link before then to be eligible to win one of the prizes! You must link to at least one completed dress or boy shorts. You can still make more after the link up party !

I really want to say THANK YOU to everyone for participating. It really touches my heart how generous our sewing and crafting community is! 

 So let's get this party started! Follow the Linky below to add your photo and links! (click on the "click here to enter")

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Tips for using the Nancy's Notions Pattern for Little Dresses for Africa

Hi everyone!
 I wanted to share a few tips on using my favorite pattern for making simple dresses for the Little Dresses for Africa Sew along. Nancy's Notions has the easiest pattern! And it's free!
click here for pattern!
  As a quilter I have lots of cotton yardage available so I prefer to use yardage instead of pillowcases. Yardage also makes it easy as you use the selvages for the back seam, so no raw edges to worry about!

You can find a full tutorial on the blog here: LDFA Tutorial. But here are a few tips that will speed things along!

On the Nancy's notions pattern you will find the armhole templates as pictured below.  Cut out these templates on the outer most ( XL) line.

Using a piece of thin cardboard, cardstock or plastic, trace around the outside edge of the XL size. Then trim down the pattern to the Large size and trace, then trim down to the Medium and trace and finally trim down to the Small and trace!

Now you have 4 armhole templates!

Find the cutting and sizing information on the pattern:

Write this information along with the elastic lengths and bias tape lengths on each of the 4 templates. Be sure to mark the fold line on the templates also. You can flip over the template for the opposite armhole so no need to make 2 templates of each size :

Now you have all the information handy on each template for each size dress! This really saves lots of time!

 The patterns calls for making a casing for the elastic for the front and back of the dress. I simply cut the length of elastic the required length according to the pattern and using a large or diaper pin I start threading it into the casing. When I get the end of the elastic even with the edge of the casing on the right, I go ahead and stay stitch it so it will not pull all the way through! (see where it is stitched on the right side) Then you can continue to pull the elastic all the way through the casing without the end of the elastic getting lost inside of the casing. Leave the gathers in the middle of the bodice, remove the safety pin and stay stitch the left side. REMEMBER : Leave the gathers in the middle of the bodice until AFTER you finish off the armholes with bias tape.

See how the gathers are away from the armhole making it easier to attach the bias tape.

I use my favorite Aurifil 40wt thread on the bias tape with a decorative stitch! It makes a really fun and cute addition to the simple dresses!

After you have attached the bias tape to both armholes you can evenly distribute the elastic with a gentle tug. Woohoo! Sew simple and fun!

Four down and 6 to go if I reach my goal of 10 Little Dresses! Wish me luck! I hope you will join in the fun and link up with a photo of  your little dresses July 1 thru 3rd!
Happy Stitching!
xo Jan

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Update on Little Dresses for Africa Sew Along!

    Hi everyone! I hope you are gearing up and getting ready for our Little Dresses for Africa Sew Along!. You can find all the details for  this years sew along HERE! 
  I am running a little behind this year but just completed my first Dress for this year!
  I just adore this fabric and try to use some each year. This year I have it in gray and some in Navy. I love the green bias tape ties with the gray! 

 This year we have some amazing prizes being offered by our very generous sponsors Aurifil and Fat Quarter Shop! and I wanted to share a photo of the prizes!
 Aurifil sent two fantastic prizes! First a large 12 spool box of 40 weight Designer collection of "Sand Dune" by Kathy Engle! 

Aren't those colors just gorgeous?? I love Aurifil's 40 wt for both machine piecing and free motion quilting! 
 And Aurifil also sent a a 50 wt 10 small spool collection of "It's A Girl" !
These colors are fantastic! Their 50wt is my favorite machine and hand piecing thread! 
Thank you so much Aurifil for your generous donation!

  We also have 2 Gift Certificates available! Woot! Woot!
First the Fat Quarter Shop is offering a $50.00 Gift Certificate to be used in their fabulous online shop! 

Woohoo! Shopping spree! Thank you Fat Quarter shop for your generousity! 

And I am also offering a $25.00 Gift Certificate to my ETSY shop Featherweight Quilt Company

If you have ever wanted to learn English Paper Piecing this would definitely get you started on that journey! 

 So just to recap - you will have 4 chances to win one of the prizes just by linking up one or more of your home made little dress or boy short. Here are a few of the details regarding the linky party and sew along!

 Below are the patterns for :
1. Pillowcase Dresses from yardage- Please make sure fabric is good quality and not see through. This is the pattern I use. I also pre-washed my fabrics. These dresses have to last and hold up to alot of wearing and washing.Please make sure that all inside raw edges are finished. You can also do a French Seam and enclose raw edges.

2.. Pillow case Dresses from Pillow cases.
4. Boy Shorts - made from T Shirts ( or any drawstring type of shorts will work) 
      Will you sew along with me?  You can make one or ten or more! Any help is greatly appreciated!!
 The link up party will run right here on this blog July 1st through July 3rd, 2017. The winners will be announced on or after July 4th, 2017!! So gather your friends and fabrics and have a great time stitching! Please note to be eligible for the drawings your entries must be made between July 1st 2017 and July 3rd 2017. All dresses and items must be mailed directly to Featherweight Quilt Company at P.O. Box 1715 Chatsworth Georgia 30705 and should be received by July 4th. BE SURE TO PHOTOGRAPH YOUR DRESSES ETC BEFORE MAILING THEM SO THAT YOU WILL HAVE A PHOTO TO LINK UP!  ALL PRIZES WILL BE MAILED/EMAILED ONCE YOUR ITEMS ARE RECEIVED!!!! ALL ITEMS WILL EITHER BE SENT WITH A LOCAL MISSIONARY GROUP OR I WILL MAIL THEM DIRECTLY TO LDFA.


Friday, May 12, 2017

God's Love from A diaper Bag and Mother's Day!

  I received the best email ever today from my dear friend Pastor Bill Barker from Appalachian Regional Ministries in West Virginia. Mr. Bill was writing to share some photo's of Mom's and Grandmother's learning to sew on the sewing machines that I donated last year. The machines, fabric and supplies went to a ministry in Kentucky that serves new mothers " God's Love from a Diaper Bag".  Several of my super generous and kindhearted friends donated fabric and other sewing supplies to go along with the machines to get the group started.  

It looks like a full class! And they have really set up a nice classroom too! I love those full aprons!

God's Love from a Diaper Bag serves a huge community including new moms on a daily basis with everything from diapers to clothes, formula, blankets etc... 
Below is a list of just some of their current needs if you would like to help out:

List of current needs: 
1. Diapers and Baby items
2. New toys for Christmas this year.
3. Emergency Food.
4. Baby Clothes and Children's Clothes.
5. School Supplies.
6. Hygiene Products.
7. Janitorial Supplies.
8. Tennis shoes in all sizes.
9. Dental Supplies
10. Lice treatments

   I am really happy to see that the machines are being used to teach sewing and quilting and so excited to be a small part in that endeavor! 
Here is the link to God's Love from a Diaper bag and Appalachian Regional Ministries!
You may be familar with Appalchian Regional Ministries through your church and the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering and Christmas Backpacks program. 


I also wanted to tell you about a great sale that Craftsy is offering until May 14th for Mother's Day!  Any class for $19.99! I love Craftsy classes. I am a Craftsy affiliate and I only endorse products that I have used and enjoyed. One of the many things that I enjoy about a Craftsy class is that once you purchase a class you can view it as many times as you like. You can also stop, start and rewind or replay any portion that you need. The teachers in the classes are also available to help and answer questions through online emails and chats! This is a great way to learn new techniques such as English Paper Piecing, Quilting, needle turn applique and even Cake decorating! You can also gift classes! Offers end May 14th!
 Click on this link for all the details and included classes and fabric sales! 


   We had Mother's Day last weekend , so this weekend I am planning on planting a few garden beds with the plants I received from my daughter! We just don't have time for a full garden any longer so I have switched to a few raised beds and that has worked great in the past. 
 Whatever your plans for the weekend, I hope you have a fantastic , fun filled Mother's Day!
 xo Jan

Sunday, April 30, 2017

2017 Little Dresses for Africa Sew Along!

  In 2013 I heard about a not for profit organization called "Little Dresses for Africa". Below is a little information about this organization from their website:

About LDfA

Little Dresses for Africa, founded in 2008 by  Rachel O’Neill is a registered  non-profit 501c3 Christian organization. Our mission is to provide relief to vulnerable children throughout the Continent of Africa and beyond.  Volunteers from all over the world join together to make little dresses out of pillow cases or other simple patterns. Some sew. Some donate. Some go to Africa, and some send others. Little Dresses for Africa sends the donated dresses through misions teams, mails them directly to verified communities and takes them personally with their short term teams.   Your donations are distributed through orphanages, churches, and schools.  Together, we can make a difference.
How We Make a Difference-
Because of the widespread AIDS pandemic, and other disease, little girls are often left to be the primary care givers of their young siblings. The road is especially tough for little girls and women. It is our hope that in delivering dresses to these young girls, that a seed will be planted in their hearts, in the name of Jesus, that they are worthy.  We plant the seeds; God sends the harvest.
It’s more than just a dress! 
Although clothing is needed, these  little dresses are so much more.  They go as little Ambassadors into the homes and villages where we are able to teach simple lessons clean water, and sanitation and to promote good  health and family skills knowledge. As relationships are formed we are able to identify other needs that can be met through your generosity.
Who Is Making the Difference?
Simply stated… you are! We believe that most people want to help others less fortunate than themselves. They just need to know how!  Lives are changed here and across the ocean as we join together to help others.  Whether you sew or not, this ministry has something for you!  You can sew independently or form a group to sew.
    After reading more about the organization AND seeing all the beautiful photos of the children , I knew it was something I had to participate in. In 2013 I made my first 10 little pillowcase dresses. I so enjoyed making those little dresses. It is a great Charity project and now I really enjoy hosting a linky party every year with prizes to encourage people to make a few dresses and link up! Below are photos of some of the previous Dresses I have made. I am very excited to announce I am once again hosting a Little Dresses for Africa Linky Party for 2017!!.

I love using decorative stitching on the bias tape ties.
  Boy shorts and Sanitary pads are also desperately needed.
 Did you know that the girls cannot attend school during their monthly periods because they do not have sanitary pads!!!  

 Below are the patterns for :
1. Pillowcase Dresses from yardage- Please make sure fabric is good quality and not see through. This is the pattern I use. I also pre-washed my fabrics. These dresses have to last and hold up to alot of wearing and washing.Please make sure that all inside raw edges are finished. You can also do a French Seam and enclose raw edges.

2.. Pillow case Dresses from Pillow cases.
4. Boy Shorts - made from T Shirts ( or any drawstring type of shorts will work) 
      Will you sew along with me?  You can make one or ten or more! Any help is greatly appreciated!!
   AND once again the generous folks at Fat Quarter Shop and Aurifil Threads are sponsoring the LDFA Sew Along with prizes for linking up! 
Woohoo!  A $50.00 Gift Certificate from the Fat Quarter Shop for one lucky participant! Someone will have a great time spending that!! 
  I haven't received the threads yet from Aurifil but I will post a photo once I receive their contribution! 
I will also be offering a Gift Certificate to my ETSY shop!
  Please help spread the word through your blog, facebook, twitter, instagram and with your sewing friends and groups. 
Feel free to copy this image to help spread the word!

I am so excited about getting started on this years Dresses. A new to me online fabric store sent me a few yards of my favorite "Carousel" fabric in 2 colorways to use for dresses: Thank you so much to Tonia and the great folks at Fashionable Fabrics in Alta Loma, Ca for their generous donation. They have a large selection of adorable and up to date fabric collections! Tonia also works with her church group on making little dresses! 

  I mentioned above that I like using the decorative stitches on my machine with  Aurifil thread on the bias tape. I think it looks really cute and maybe all the extra stitching will help the bias tape ties endure many, many washings! 

Please let me know if you have any questions! I can't wait to see the paradof Little dresses and Shorts . 

   The sew along begins now and will run until the link up party July 1st through July 3rd, 2017. The winners will be announced on or after July 4th, 2017!! So gather your friends and fabrics and have a great time stitching! Please note to be eligible for the drawings your entries must be made between April 30th 2017 and July 3rd 2017. 

  There may be another missionary group going to Africa this fall so you may have the opportunity to send your items to go with this missionary group or you may be sending directly to LDFA headquarters. More on that later. 

  I love the Little Dresses for Africas' motto: "

"We're not just sending dresses, We're sending Hope!

Thank you for stopping by everyone! I hope to see ya'll linking up those adorable dresses, pads and shorts in July! Watch this blog for more information!

Happy Stitching!
Thank you for stopping by!
xo Jan