When Paul and I were planning our wedding last year it was really important to me to include a charitable element. Weddings, even budget and handmade ones, can still cost a lot of money and so I really wanted to make sure we gave something back.
I love to wear dresses and as a bride I knew I was going to wear the most beautiful dress in the world. I think every girl, no matter their colour, background, religion or circumstance should be able to own a pretty dress and so I knew Dress A Girl Around the World was a perfect fit for what I wanted to do.
Having previously made dresses for the charity with a former WI, I knew what I had to do, the general idea is making a pillowcase into a pretty dress, simple. There are quite a few standards that have to be met, no white dresses or anything too sheer but a little girl having a pretty dress shows they are being cared for and are dignified so are less likely to be approached by predators or be abused.
The plan was to challenge myself to make one dress for every guest invited to the wedding, whether they could attend or not I would make a dress, that meant I had to make 115 dresses. ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTEEN!!! Paul was on board with my idea and so we asked guests to each bring a pillowcase and we had a basket and a sign at the wedding to collect them.
We were really pleased that on the wedding day we received 42 pillowcases and have received more subsequently as some guests wanted to donate extra. I have also trawled charity shops and bought some myself, family have raided their linen closets and I have even received contributions from both Cath Kidston and Hobbycraft for ribbons, elastic and embellishments (but hey, if you have any spare pillowcases or duvets and you want a good home for them, let me know and I’ll take them off your hands!)
I haven’t started making the dresses just yet as I have been collecting all of the materials I need but am going to make a start at emptying these boxes soon and will update on here with my progress! I wonder how long it will take me.