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Lutheran Women's Missionary League


Changing lives one little dress at a time...

Little Dresses for Africa is a non-profit 501c3, Christian organization, which provides relief to the children of Africa. Simple dresses are made out of pillow cases, and distributed through the orphanages, churches and schools in Africa to plant in the hearts of little girls that they are worthy!

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Type of Fabric Prewashed cotton fabric
Size of Fabric 5/8 to 1 1/8 yard
Shoulder Ties 2 1/2 yard double fold bias tape

12-16 inches of 1/4" elastic

These dresses will be sent to Africa for girls who have little to wear.

  Dress Directions

  1. Cut a fabric rectangle the width of the fabric and the length indicated on the chart below.

  2. Fold the fabric in half, meeting selvage edges. Stitch or serge the seam. Press seam open or to one side. Center seam on the stitched tube of fabric. (This will be the center back of the dress.)

  3. Cut out armholes on upper side edges using the appropriate Armhole Template Pattern at side. The XL armhole is 6" long and 2 1/4" wide. The large armhole is 5 3/8" long and 2" wide. The medium armhole is 4 3/4" long and 1 3/4" wide. The small armhole is 4" long and 1 1/2" wide.

  4. Fold under casings at the front and back top edges (the edges containing the armholes). Fold edge under 1/4:, then 1/2" to make each casing. Edgestitch casings.

  5. Cut elastic into two equal lengths (6" for size small, 7" for size medium, 8" for size large, and 9" for size X-large). Insert one length into each casing. Thread elastic through the casing; stitch elastic ends to the outer edges of the casing to prevent them from pulling out. This gathers the front and back edges.

  6. Cut two 38" lengths of double fold bias tape. Open tape and turn under 1/4" on each end to finish the ends of the tape. Refold tape and encase armhole, allowing equal tape extenstions at each end of the armhole so the dress can be tied at the shoulders. Edgestitch tape.

  7. Hem the lower edge by turning under 1/4", then 2". Edgestitch.

Dress Sizes
Size Size of Cut Rectangle Finished Dress Length
Small (2-4) 19"-26" L x 42" W 16"-23" long
Medium (5-7) 27"-32" L x 42" W 24"-29" long
Large (8-10) 33"-37" L x 42" W 30"-34" long
X-Large (11 and above) 38" L or more x 42" W 35" or more long