This is it. The final saga. (Catch the first three parts here, here, and here.)
The dresses. Oh, the dresses!
I had mentioned before that my idea of a great birthday party would have been to have 20-30 dresses. Blow that estimate out of the water and that's what we got -- 100 dresses!
This post has been a while in the making simply because I (and my mom) have been slaving away since the party, working on finishing up all of the dresses. At the end of the party there were 38 completed dresses, leaving my mom and I 62 dresses to finish. Most of them just required a finishing step or two, but at least 20 or 30 of them needed help from scratch. Thank goodness for my mom. She's a workhorse, that's for sure, and I would've never gotten them finished by now if it weren't for her.
So here you go. The "stars" of the party -- the beautiful dresses. I am going to do my best to give credit where credit is due, but again, my apologies if I get any of them wrong. I tried to get each guest to mark their dresses with masking tape, but about half of the dresses ended up sans masking tape, and I've had to make my best effort in guessing who their creator was. Remember, you can click on any of the images to see them up close. In fact, I highly encourage you to take the time and click on the pictures. There are so many cute dresses to see!
This group was made by my Aunt Millie, her friends Stephanie and Linda, and my cousin's wife and daughter, Jennifer and Vivian.
These dresses were created by Stephanie and Linda and my Aunt Millie (I think).
Katie's dress is on the left, followed by Cassie (Kristi's friend) for the next two, and my quilting buddy, Sydney for the last three.
The first four dresses are made by me out of pillowcases donated by the world's best preschool director, Melissa (Hola, Melissa!). Seriously, she is the best, and I wish she could have joined us at the party! Then the 2nd to the right is by Erika, and the last one is by Lauren.
Ginnette made the first two dresses, followed by the ever artistic Kristen, and then the last two were sewn up by me out of donated pillowcases from my neighbor, Bernie.
The first two dresses belong to Lindsay (see, Lindsay, we salvaged that first hem, no problem!), the two purple pillowcases were donated by Amber, and the last two striped pillowcases were donated by Tiffany.
Courtney is the creator of this first mod pillowcase, and the next two were done by Christa, who was one of my brave seamstresses. She was pretty creative on one of those in how she tied a bow and sewed it in place. Super cute. The two purple paisley ones are by Brook and her friend, Alexis, and the last one is by Lorrie who was able to get her craft on even with her brand new baby strapped on her front in a sling!
I'm pretty sure most of this group (if not all of it) was done by Kristi's sweet friend, Fallon. I loved how people brought friends -- new people for me to meet, and boy, were they creative! Kristi brought both Cassie and Fallon with her, and let me just tell you, these girls went above and beyond the call of duty by collecting gobs of pillowcases! Kristi also is the beautiful gal that made all of those flower brooches I was telling you about in the first post, many of which you can see sewn to a lot of the dresses. We used every single one of them -- they were a big hit!
These were also done by Fallon, with the exception of maybe one or two that could have been Kristi's? My mom got a big kick out of those black dresses and the cute fabric that Fallon picked out. One of them has the most adorable zebra fabric on it.
I think this group is mostly Kristi's, but with one or two from Fallon. I think. It's all starting to get blurry now. Dresses are floating in my head, haunting my dreams at night...haha. Just kidding.
This is a group of Kristi's. My mom really enjoyed sewing that bright tropical colored one in the middle, and I made a flower brooch to go in the center, a la Kristi. Or at least I tried. And that red and white cutie was a thrift store find (I think) that came with the adorable bow already on it. It made a perfect little dress!
Another Kristi group. The girl found a LOT of pillowcases. There are going to be a lot of happy little African princesses!
The first one is from my mom's stash in her linen closet that I doctored up. I'm telling you what, those vintage pillowcases are the absolute softest and coolest feeling cotton. The rest of the group was contributed by my neighbor Kim, her daughter Katie, and Kim's mother Corinne. It was such a fun surprise opening the door during the party and finding that Kim had invited her mother! Cool, too, that there were three generations represented from next door. Corinne told me that it was one of the most fun parties she's ever been to. That made my heart soar.
This group is all from my mom's linen closet. Again, I cannot emphasize how soft and cool the cotton feels on these little dresses. It was fun picking out the colors and trims to match some of these prints from the 1970s, but I think they turned out adorable!
Most of these are also from my mom's stash with a few thrown in from my own closet. The blue and yellow dresses in the middle were my absolute two favorite dresses I personally sewed. I love the bias tape at the bottom and how crisp and vintage these two feel. I made the appliques just by cutting some bouquets out of a printed fabric I had in my stash and fusing them on. If they were my size I'd wear 'em in a heartbeat!
The first two pillowcases were from my stash and the rest are from my mom's. I don't know if you've noticed, but we've received quite a few king-size pillowcases, and those are so great since the older girls will get to be included.
The last group -- all from my stash. That first dress has pockets that we created from fabric. Several of the girls were our inspiration for the pockets -- Fallon had brought extra fabric to make pockets for several of her dresses, and Ginnette had picked out some of the pieces of pillowcase fabric that had been cut out for armholes and repurposed them as pockets on her two dresses. I told ya' -- I've got some creative friends!
And there you have it. The world's most awesome party, not just because of how fun it was, but because of what a difference it will be making in the lives of 100 girls. 100! I still have trouble wrapping my mind around that number! This coming week I will be sizing them, marking them, stuffing them in Ziploc bags, and then mailing them to the Little Dresses for Africa headquarters.
I know I've already said it, but I just can't say thank you enough. Thank you to all of my friends (old and new!) and family for all of your generosity. I'm so grateful to each of you. And to you, my blog readers, I hope this will spur you on to have your own fun charity party, or even if you don't throw a party, to just find a way, no matter how big or small, to get more involved with doing good in our world. There is no greater feeling than being able to help someone else.
And there's just one last surprise that I'll show you sometime this next week, a fun little thing I stitched up as my own little momento to remember my unforgettable party...