Pretty Dresses


Take a look at these cute dresses that will be making the trip to Haiti with us this spring. How incredible is it to have the opportunity to meet the Haitian boys and girls who will be receiving clothes from us this year 🙂 As long as we don’t run out of space, any dresses and/or shorts that you get to us by the end of this month will make the trip too.

We are looking for any style of sundresses and shorts from size 3 to size 14.

Haiti dress2

The above dress is a variation of the t-shirt dress pattern  (using at tank-top) you can find here.

Haiti dress3

Super Simple Shorts Tutorial

Step 1

My mom made this super duper simple pattern for shorts to send to Haiti. We love receiving dresses for the girls, but it would be awesome to get more shorts for the boys too. This is a great pattern for beginners. Maybe you have a daughter who wants to try her hand at sewing. This is a great place to start.

Step 1 –  Fold your fabric, so you have a double layer and cut two identical pieces at the same time. These size 6 red shorts are on a rotary board with inch markings so you can see how big to cut your pieces.

19 1/2” across the bottom (approx)

7 1/4” up front leg with a gradual curve of about ¾”

7 ¼” up back leg seam with a gradual curve of about 1 ¼”

8 ¾” up the front body portion of the shorts with a tighter inner curve of about 2”

9 ½” up the back body portion with an inner curve of about 3 ½”

14 ½” across the top (approx)

This should be simple if you have a rotary cutting board. If you are interested in a pattern piece instead, please contact me at, and I’d be happy to send you the pattern free of charge (as long as you are planning to donate at least one pair of shorts to 500 Dresses.)

Step 2

Step 2

Sew zig-zag up the front and back side seams with a 5/8” seam allowance. (right sides facing each other)

Step 3

Step 3

Sew zig-zag inseam with a 5/8”  seam allowance.

Step 4

Step 4

Press the waist edge 1 1/4”  and sew a zig-zag stitch close to the edge and leaving an open spot as shown forming a casing for the elastic

Step 5

Step 5+

Step 5

Using ¾” wide elastic, cut a 18 1/2″  piece. Attach a safety pin to one end and pin the other end to the shorts. Work the elastic through the casing.

Step 6

Step 6+

Step 6

Pin the two ends of the elastic together and sew them back and forth several times with a zig-zag stitch.

Step 7

Step 8

Step 7

Add a size tag, and sew up the open part of the casing. Optional – Sew a straight stitch on the seam line of the center front and back seam through all layers to keep the elastic from twisting.

Step 8

Press a 1” leg hem. Sew around each leg, close to the upper edge of the pressed hem.


Completed Shorts!

See, wasn’t that easy? I am not a great seamstress, and I can whip up a pair of these pretty quickly.

These directions are  meant for use with knit or athletic shorts type of fabric. If you are using cotton fabric, you can use a straight stitch instead of a zig-zag. You will also need to turn under the waist and the hem ¼” of an inch and then turn under again the amount specified in these instructions to keep the fabric from unraveling once the shorts are completed.

Sewing for Haiti Day Sampling

Sewing Day Sampling

It was a pretty small crew, but we completed seven dresses and four pairs of shorts start to finish on Saturday.

 We also finished some things that had previously been started and started some things that still need to be finished.

Our current tally of completed items is 48 dresses and 19 pairs of shorts.

Sewing Day 2013 2

Thanks so much to everyone who helped and all who have offered to take a pattern and some fabric to work on dresses and shorts at home. As special thanks to Giovy. She was a very productive young helper 🙂

Sewing Day 2013 3

Dress Day thanks copy

T-Shirt Dress Success


I underestimated the simplicity of creating a gathered edge and had to call my mom for advice, but after I fought with it for a while I finally won.

This was a pretty simple dress to make, but will be the only one I make unless I hunt down some girl shirts. I had to dig deep through the boy clothes to find this gender-neutral one.

P.S. Don’t tell Lewis I turned his red t-shirt into a dress 😉

Sewing Party Invite

Sewing invite copy

You don’t have to know how to sew to help out. There will be cutting, ironing, sewing and some dress labeling to do.

The awesome thing about the dresses and shorts we will be working on is that Corey and I will be able to personally deliver them when we go to Haiti in April!!

Your daughters and/or friends who want to join us are welcome.

Bring a rotary cutter or a good fabric scissors if you have one.

Snacks and drinks will be provided.