Required disclosure: I am a paid Brother Ambassador. Not required: I absolutely love Brother Machines.
Several readers have written asking if they may participate in the Garments for Ghana project. Others asked how our project operated so they might do a similar event in their own community. When I mentioned in response to a comment on this topic that I might write this post, at least one promised that she (sweet Sandee) would not find these details boring. I hope she is not the only one because I am going ahead with this.
Before I began, I was given some direction from the mission team leaders. The request was for bright colors, since the landscape there is pretty bleak. We did that. Check.
Second, there must be no buttons or closures that might break or need replacement. Such replacement is not an option for mothers in these areas. Check. Elastic at the neckline was the only closure notion. I know elastic gives out after a couple of years, but I expect these garments will be worn out long before the elastic is.
Third, in many African nations and apparently in Ghana, bare shoulders for girls and perhaps adult females, is taboo. So we needed some sort of sleeve. Check. I did notice early on that many photos of pillowcase dresses for Little Dresses for Africa showed the girls wearing a tee shirt under their dresses. Now I see that the site offers a free pattern that has a sleeve, much like the pattern I used.
Fourth, each garment must be marked with its size. I had a bag of labels for sizes 1-5 and for the others I embroidered sizes on grosgrain ribbon in the hoop. Ladies who worked from home used a sharpie to write on ribbon, which like the others, was tucked into the elastic casing at the back. Continue reading