Dresses and Sewing Supplies for Uganda – The Journey Begins



How many dresses can fit in a suitcase? There are 80 in this one.

In addition we squeezed in 18 pairs of shorts and oodles of sewing supplies – binding/bias tape, zippers, velcro, seam rippers and embroidery thread.

I’m happy to share with you that this package is officially on its first leg of the journey to Uganda. I dropped it off this morning with Amy Koestner of Grimes United Methodist Church. She is blessing us by taking our suitcase with her on a mission trip to Kampala, Uganda. If you want to read the cool back-story on this one, you can check it out here.

We are also wiring a donation of $200 to Faith Power Assembly Church in Iganga, Uganda. $75 will be designated for the purchase of a sewing machine for the vocational school they desire to open and the rest will be used for continuing construction needs in rebuilding their church facility.  Our donation will be combined with that of a donation from Mingo United Methodist Church, and we plan to split the cost of the wire. (This is also a cool story, but I’ll save that for another day.)

Thanks for all who have been so generous to our ministry. I can’t wait to share pictures from Florence after she receives the suitcase 🙂


IMG_3834 IMG_3835





500 Dresses Guest Post at Felicia Alvarez

I am honored to have Felicia Alvarez post a sweet sweet God-story over at her blog today. Some of you know the story, but it’s one I love to share because it was 20 years in the making and such an incredible gift from God on our Haiti trip last year. Reading it may just make you want to sponsor a child (which you can do by clicking on the Mission to Haiti link on the sidebar.)



A Story of Obedience and A Boy

(I met Felicia a couple years ago at a conference in Chicago. She’s a beautiful woman inside and out.)

Sharing About 500 Dresses

500 Dresses Jan and Kim


Yesterday Mom and I had the opportunity to talk about 500 Dresses at the Evangelical Free Church of Britt: the church I grew up in and the church my folks are still involved in. They asked mom to tell the congregation a bit about the ministry, but if you know my mom, you also know that she’d prefer scrubbing a floor with a toothbrush to public speaking.  (A few years ago there’s no way I would have done it either.)

As I tried to figure out what I wanted to say in my little 5-7 minute time frame, I was reminded of just how much God has done, just how big He is, and just how fortunate I am to be along for the ride.

There were a dozen more stories I would have liked to tell, but I refrained. So if you are stopping by our site after hearing from me yesterday, feel free to peruse some of the previous posts. Our God is a big God, and I’ve got some big God stories here that I wasn’t able to share  in detail yesterday.

Here are a few

All Because of a Little Shoebox

 From Iowa to Uganda

A Change of Perspective in Haiti

The Treadle Battle

I also would have loved to tell the story of Jean Jacques. That story will actually be posted at floatingleafpress tomorrow and has previously been posted at A Soothing Voice.

As always, thanks to everyone who as supported this ministry through donating sundresses, shorts, formals gowns, sewing supplies and more. (The more you sew, the less I have to 😉 )


Come and Listen

come and listen copy

This David Crowder song was a part of my wedding 15+ years ago. Still love the simple lyrics. And I still need to be reminded to be still and listen to what He has done for me.  Praise our God for He is good.

Come and Listen (youtube link)

Come and listen, come to the water’s edge, all you who know and fear the Lord.
Come and listen, come to the water’s edge all you who are thirsty, come.

Let me tell you what He has done for me.
Let me tell you what He has done for me,
He has done for you,
He has done for us.

Come and listen,
Come and listen to what He’s done.
Come and listen,
Come and listen to what He’s done.

Praise our God for He is good.
Praise our God for He is good.
Praise our God for He is good.
Praise our God for He is good.

He has done for me,
He has done for you,
He has done for us.

Come and listen,
Come and listen to what He’s done.
Come and listen,
Come and listen to what He’s done.

Faith Power Assembly Church Update – Iganga, Uganda


Florence sent me this photo update of the church reconstruction this week. She said the roof is half complete, but there is still quite a bit to do before it is finished. We plan to wire a donation in conjunction with a church from Mingo in a couple weeks.

I’ll soon have an update about our dresses and sewing supplies shipment that will be heading to Uganda in a couple weeks. Many thanks to Amy from Grimes United Methodist Church who is willing to take an extra piece of luggage along on her trip so our donations can make it to Florence without costing a fortune.

5 Teen and Women’s Summer Sundress and Maxi Skirt Patterns and Tutorials

I rarely wear a dress. In fact, the day I wore a pretty little purple dress to church earlier this spring 5 people made a special effort to mention how surprised they were to see me in one.

I do love the look of maxi skirts though, and I’m contemplating making an attempt at sewing the one I linked below. Or maybe I’ll just be lazy and ask my mom to make me one. Yeah, that’s probably what I’ll do.

Maybe you will want to try making one of these for yourself. Or you could make one to ship to Haiti or Uganda. We get a lot of little girl dresses, but not nearly as many that will fit a teenager. We’ll happily accept your larger dress donations.

womens dress 1

Maxi Skirt Tutorial

@ the winthrop chronicles

womens dress 3

Summer Shift Dress

@ Elle Apparel

womens dress 4

Summer Sack Dress

@ Little Kids Grow

womens dress 5

Color Block Tunic

@ My Growing Home

womens dress 6

Tank Dress

@ A Small Snippet

5 Little Girl Summer Sundress Patterns and Tutorials

I’m pretty sure your little girl would look adorable in any one of the five dresses I’ve linked to.  Or, if you were blessed with 3 handsome boys and 0 girls like me, I’m positive we could find a little girl in Haiti or Uganda who would look beautiful in one.

Some look a little more challenging than others, but there are no zippers or any other crazy things involved like buttons and collars, so I think they are all doable for a mediocre seamstress.

Take a peek at the links, and if you make one, let me know. (Most of the websites have a bunch of other tutorials too, so you might find more patterns to try.)


Two Tee Shirt Summer Dress

(@ Polka Dot Chair)

sundress 1

Easy Breezy Summer Dress

(@ To Sew With Love)


Oops-A-Daisy Dress

(@ Mama Says Sew)


 Tank Top Ruffle Dress

(@ Sew Homegrown)


Boho Maxi Dress

(@ Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom)