Haitian Girl in DressTwo WPC members will travel to Haiti on a mission trip at the end of March. The Global Missions Committee is supporting their efforts by:

  • Making more pillowcase dresses to send with our travelers on their trip (details below).
  • Organizing a school supply collection for Haiti teachers.
  • Hosting a visit from Pastor Leon D’Orleans of Haiti Outreach Ministries in April.

Dresses for Haiti

Remember all the dresses hanging in the Fellowship Hall last spring? Members of the congregation and friends rallied to produce approximately 200 dresses for girls in Haiti! Can we do it again? Let’s find out! 


How to make a Pillowcase Dress
Dresses can be made from generally a yard or less of fabric, or from new or gently used pillowcases or sheets. You are welcome to make dresses from your own fabric/pillowcases or pick up pre-cut dress kits from the yellow collection bin in the Mission Center.

Dress patterns and instructions are available from the Dress a Girl Around the World Project

Dresses need to be completed and returned to Westminster by Sunday, March 20.

2014 Sewing Bee Sewing Bees
Join us for old-fashioned sewing bees on February 14 and March 7, from 10am-4pm. Bring your sewing machine and/or serger, an extension cord, sewing notions, and help make some dresses. Use your materials or ours. If you do not sew, you can help by cutting and assembling dress kits or by helping prepare lunch.

RSVP for the February 14 and/or March 7 bee.

Dress Making Guidelines
It is very important that that you make sturdy, modest dresses. Backstitch all seams; finish all raw edges by serging, zigzagging, or french seams. Fabric should be opaque enough that you cannot see your hand through it. We prefer that dresses have pockets.

We encourage you to embellish dresses with trim, buttons, companion fabrics, or wherever you creativity takes you, keeping in mind that dresses may end up being washed in a river and beaten on rocks. More tips on making dresses can be found here. 

Alternative Dress Design
We have discovered a slight modification to the "Dress a Girl" design that leaves out the elastic and is a little less expensive to make. The tutorial is available here.

We prefer having ties on each shoulder. Be sure the ribbon or bias tape is tacked in the middle of the casing so it will not come out. If you use ribbon, be sure that it is washable and sturdy. Bias tape lengths specified in the Dress a Girl chart work for this method. A tutorial on how to finish the armhole can be found here.

2014 Sewing Bee DressesPhoto Galleries
Looking for design inspiration? Browse dresses from last year’s project.

And if you’re wondering what a modern-day sewing bee looks like, check out these pictures from last year’s project (pictures from Haiti included!).

How else can I help?
We are also requesting donations of materials use to make dresses: fabric, new or gently used pillowcases or sheets, trim, rick-rack, buttons, or anything else to make dresses pretty.

We also appreciate gift cards to fabric stores. Financial donations are particularly welcome to help offset the cost of purchasing supplies for the project. All donations are tax deductable. Checks should be made payable to Westminster Presbyterian Church with "Haiti Dress Project" in the memo line. Please deliver in-kind donations to:

Westminster Presbyterian Church
3639 Old Chapel Hill Rd
Durham, NC 27707

For more information, contact Helen Harrison (helen.harrison@alumni.duke.edu, 919-489-0345).