Make a difference

Little Dresses for Africa is a nonprofit organization founded by Rachel O'Neill in 2008. Their mission is to distribute dresses to little girls in remote villages of Africa. Nancy's Notions employees are teaming up with this cause, packing donated dresses and sending them off to the Little Dresses for Africa organization. In turn, they're sent to Africa and distributed to the children who need them most. You, too, can help change lives: why not sew a dress for a child in need?

Download the original Little Dresses pattern and instructions. In this short video, Nancy demos the steps for making a simple summer dress for a little girl. Sew two — one for someone special in your life and another for a little girl in Africa.

An updated Little Dresses pattern is now available too. Download Lillian's Little Dresses pattern. This new pattern includes sleeves, a gathered neckline, and a ruffled hem. Send these dresses to Nancy's Notions, too.

Shop for supplies to make the Little Dresses below.

Little Dresses for Africa
Since 2008, Nancy's Notions has received over 163,571 donated dresses from sewing friends all over the world. Volunteers from St. Stephen's Lutheran Church in Beaver Dam carefully sort the dresses by size and package them. Then, they're shipped to the Little Dresses for Africa organization in Michigan. You, too, can help change the lives of these bright-hearted children, with a simple project that whips up in an afternoon.

Little Dresses for Africa
Option 1:
Use your own fabric to make the dresses. There are now two Free patterns. The original pattern had bias ties. Download original pattern. Lillian's Little Dress Pattern is new. Download Lillian's Little Dress Pattern. You're welcome to add personal touches, such as pockets, rickrack trims, etc., to both styles of dresses.

Shop cotton novelty fabrics

Shop trims


Option 2:
Two kits are available to purchase.

Three Little Dresses for Africa Kit
Make three of the original designed dresses with ties. Kit includes instructions with pattern pieces for armholes, over 3 yards of fabric to make 3 dresses in any size (prints and colors vary), plus coordinating bias tape.

Lillian Little Dresses for Africa Kit
Make three of Lillian's dresses with sleeves, an elastic neckline, and ruffled hem. Kit includes instructions, over 3 yards of fabric to make 3 dresses (prints and colors vary), double fold bias tape, and braid elastic.
THREE LITTLE DRESSES FOR AFRICA KIT
# 3LDAK
Yours Today: $24.99
Change lives one little dress at a time. Sew dresses for the little girls living in the remote villages of Africa.
  • Download free project instructions and use fabrics from your stash
  • Buy the kit and sew three dresses with ribbon ties
  • Send your finished dresses to Nancy's Notions for packaging and shipment to Africa
Quantity
LILLIAN LITTLE DRESSES FOR AFRICA KIT
# LLDAKT
Yours Today: $24.99
Change lives one little dress at a time. Sew dresses with sleeves and a ruffle at the hem for the little girls living in the remote villages of Africa.
  • Buy the kit and sew three dresses with sleeves, an elastic neckline and ruffled hem
  • Send your finished dresses to Nancy's Notions for packaging and shipment to Africa
Quantity
PILLOWCASE DRESS PATTERN AND ARMHOLE GET A GRIP TEMPLATE
# GGATPP
Sugg. Retail:$34.99
Yours Today: $29.99
Do more good in less time
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1 INCH BIAS TAPE MAKER
# BTM1
Yours Today: $7.75
Easily make bias binding
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1/2
# W206030
Yours Today: $1.89
Stock up now on this sewing room basic
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FLEX N GLIDE BODKINS
# CL9581
Yours Today: $4.99
Never lose that drawstring or elastic again
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FLEX N GLIDE BODKINS AND ELASTIC LOCK SET
# FGBEL
Sugg. Retail:$10.48
Yours Today: $8.99
Never lose that drawstring or elastic again
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EZY HEM GAUGE
# EHG3
Sugg. Retail:$15.99
Yours Today: $9.99
"Measure twice, cut once." This tool is considered a must-have for garment sewers.
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EDGESTITCHING FOOT LOW SHANK
# 10400
Yours Today: $5.99
Crooked topstitching will be a thing of the past
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