I’ve noticed the dresses recently made seem to be longer than the old ones. Why?
We depend heavily on the feedback from the Parish Workers and volunteers in the field in Tanzania who work on a daily basis with the orphans and widows. We have been asked to revise our dress sizes to better reflect the needs of the orphans. Here are the reasons given to make the dresses longer: The culture in this region is very different from what we are used to here in the United States, they are more modest and prefer a shin or ankle length hemline and the longer length allows the growing children to wear them longer.
Why are the instructions so picky about good quality fabric, reinforcing arm holes, raw seam allowances, etc.? Aren’t they happy to just get a new dress?
Yes, these girls are indeed overjoyed to receive a new dress. The odds are this might be the only new dress they ever receive so it is vital that the quality of the sewing be as good as it can be to increase the lifespan of this dress. How sad it would be if it “fell apart” after just a short time. Remember, too, these dresses will probably be “washed” on a rock in a dirty puddle using harsh, handmade soap.
Do the dresses have to have a pocket?
No, the dresses do not have to have a pocket but it sure is nice to have one! A pocket really adds character to the dress and it might just come in handy for the little girl, too. If you are able to add a pocket, we suggest it be approximately 5”-6” and securely sewn.