Saturday, 31 March 2012

Loving Lalaloopsy!

I couldn't resist the chance for Izzy and Sam to review the new Lalaloopsy movie on DVD 'Adventures in Lalaloopsy Land: The Search for Pillow' which was released this week and to host a competition to give away 3 copies of the new DVD. 

Lalaloopsy are magical ragdolls who come to life when their last stitch is sewn. Each doll has their own individual personality created by the fabrics used to make them. They live in a colourful, whimsical world full of fun and surprises! 

I had never heard of Lalaloopsy before but Izzy knew all about them as apparently lots of girls at school have little Lalaloopsy dolls. She was very excited to be a film reviewer.

Izzy and Sam have now watched the film several times and they both love it. In fact Sam probably even more so than Izzy!! I thought I would ask them what they liked about the film... 

Sam told me he 'liked all of it especially the bus bit where they go up in the sky' and Izzy said 'it was a really nice film about friendship'. She liked the bit where the little girl learnt to do acrobatics'. 

We thought we'd score the film in true Strictly Come Dancing style (using the cards I was given  when I saw the live show)

You can see it was pretty popular in this house!

You can find out more on the Lalaloopsy website. You can also find them on Twitter and facebook and if you want a sneeky peek at the film then have a look here

If you would like to win a copy of the new DVD please leave a comment below telling me who you would give it to and why. I'll pick 3 winners on 13 April (my birthday!) so 3 lucky people will also get a present!

Good luck

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Move over Graham Norton, there's a new girl in town

Fresh from the success of a RT from Graham Norton I thought I would see if I could get some other lovely celeb to help me out. It really has such an impact when it happens and really boosts your spirits so on Friday I gave it a try and this happened

The very lovely Lauren Laverne who presents the 10 O'Clock Live show on Channel 4 (but who I remember from my days working in a record shop when she was in the band Kenickie) not only retweeted a link to my blog but called it 'A lovely thing!'.

It had an immediate impact. My twitter feed went mad for a couple of hours with people retweeting the link, following me and best of all offering to help. Lots of new people have signed up to make dresses so thank you Lauren. I really appreciate it and if you ever want to learn to make a dress - I'm your girl!!

Alison who blogs as Peggys Pickles set herself the challenge of making dresses last year and organised for her dresses to go direct to Kenya. She has very kindly allowed me to share some of the photos. You can see more on her blog here. What gorgeous girls!

Lots more fabulous dresses have been arriving all week.

4 gorgeous dresses from Lynn. So pretty.

Love the little details like the applique hearts and ribbon on the pocket button.

17 more fabulous dresses from the lovely Patricia who has sent lots of of amazing dresses. 

She also made and sent 2 little humanity dolls. They are so sweet.

7 beautiful dresses from Judi from Gothic Wolf Designs

Love this fabric. Its so pretty.

8 dresses from the lovely Lynda from Tutuly. She also very kindly sent a skirt and some vest tops

2 cute little dresses from Susannah of Zero to10 Interiors. So pretty!

The flowery one on the left is reversible too. Look!

3 pairs of boys shorts from Anna . Fabulous! Sam said these were 'Elmer the Elephant' shorts! I have been asked if we could send 170 pairs of shorts with some dresses to Uganda in May. We have about 10 pairs at the moment so if anyone wants to make shorts that would be so helpful!! The age range of the boys is 5 to 14.

2 lovely dresses from Jane at Bagsocharm. So sweet.

and finally another 30 dresses from the 'Dress A Girl' legend that is Jo (see last post). Jo and her sister Annie have made 401 dresses between them! 

Thanks guys. These all have homes to go to and over the next few months will be off to Uganda, India and Ghana.

Huge thanks to Mary too who held a 'Dress a Girl' sewing evening and made 13 gorgeous dresses. Mary has a lovely sewing blog which I really recommend and has been making dresses for the charity for much longer than my involvement. You can read more about the evening here

Total number of dresses to date is 1161

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

1000 dresses!!

I am so proud today because we have exceeded our target of 1000 dresses!!  A HUGE thanks to everyone who has made and sent dresses or donated fabric or sent money to cover postage costs. What an amazing achievement. 620 dresses have been distributed so far (in fact some are being given out in India right now!) and the rest all have homes allocated and will be going to various developing countries over the next few months. We don't want to stop now though. The next target is 2000 dresses!!

I've received lots of lovely dresses over the past week or so which I want to share. The first parcel of dresses and the ones to take us over 1000 dresses were from Jo and Annie, two sisters who have been instrumental in helping me reach the target. To date they have made 371 dresses between them!! These were their latest 32 although I am reliably informed that there are more on the way!

You can see from Jo and Annies dresses and the speed at which they make them that they are experienced seamstresses. I was curious to find out more about their sewing background and their motivation to get involved with 'Dress a Girl' which they very kindly agreed to share on the blog. This is what they told me....

We really have loved making the little frocks for the "Dress a girl around the world scheme". It started as just a litttle something that we thought we could do with some of our own fabric stash but then snowballed into a slightly bigger project when our blog friends and customers etc gave us their spare pillow cases and duvets. Everyone has been so pleased to join in and we have loved seeing the most plain and ordinary fabrics transformed into pretty little frocks.  We also made a few pairs of shorts from recycled T shirts for the boys and think that might be something we might continue with this year. 
  • We both have a life long love of sewing - we think we inherited the gene from our Grandma who was a wonderful needlewoman all of her life and lived to be 100!!
  • We both had a brilliant needlework teacher, Mrs Woodroffe at the Priory Girls School Shrewsbury. She taught us all we needed to know and certainly gave us opportunity to develop our dressmaking skills.
  • Over the years we have made our own wedding dresses and outfits for Mum, Grandma and elderly aunts and of course - many for our children and Annie's grandchildren
  • We both love a wide variety of crafts including kniting, crochet, needlefelting, bobbin lace making. We make puppets, dolls, soft toys, patchwork, applique - well anything really!
  • Annie runs a full time sewing business (alterations & repairs). She tackles anything from bridal gowns to biker gear including repairing accessories for hot air ballons, boats, tents & caravans!! The only things she really hates are curtains so she calls on my help for cutting and measuring. We make a great team.
I also wanted to put faces to the names so here are the lovely Annie (Wipso) and Jo (Twiglet) in action. Thank you lovely ladies!

Another gorgeous parcel arrived from the lovely people at the Kinsley and Fitzwilliam Craft Group. They sent me a fabulous 13 dresses.

All so pretty

They also included 5 pairs of shorts. These will be off to Uganda in June.

Wait - theres more! 

Gorgeous purses

Fabulous little bags. Each included a dress or pair of shorts. Imagine how excited a child will be receiving one of these!

AND some beautiful hair bands

Modelled by my friends daughter Amelia. Thank you so much. What an amazing parcel of goodies. 

Two different lots of dresses on the washing line here. On the top we have another parcel of dresses from the lovely Patricia who sent 8 more gorgeous dresses (one is not in the photo but I do have it!!). The bottom dresses are from a lovely sewing group called The Bath Short and Sharp Sewing Gang who sent 6 pretty dresses. You can see more photos of their makers Jane, Sarah, Rebecca, Wai, Lola and Kerry here.

and last but not least another 21 gorgeous dresses from the very kind Pamela who I know is busy making shorts as we speak. Have a look here for inspiration. 

I am, as ever, quite overwhelmed with peoples generosity and kindness (and dress making skills!). The total as of today is 1078 dresses and I still have 2 parcels I haven't opened yet! I managed to break my toe yesterday which has kind of made doing anything difficult!

If you have made a dress please remember you can take a blog badge to put on your blogs and/or websites (see my side bar for the code). These show you have contributed to 'Dress A  Girl' and will also link back to the information page on my blog if people click on them. Please can you blog, tweet, facebook about Dress a Girl and reaching 1000 dresses so we can encourage new people to join in and help us meet our next target.

Well done everyone!!

Monday, 12 March 2012

Graham Norton I love you!

I am fascinated by social media and what can be achieved using Twitter and facebook. This week in particular it has been invaluable in helping me raise the profile of the 'Dress a Girl' project in lots of different ways. On the advice of a Twitter friend I tweeted Graham Norton about the dresses with a link to my blog. He only went and retweeted it to his 60,000 plus followers!! What a nice man. I have had lots of people contact me on Twitter following the retweet asking how they could help. It was a fantastic way of reaching a much wider audience and just shows the power of the celeb!!  I am now on a celebrity stalking twitter mission (that means you Kirsty Allsop!!). I have heard that Graham Norton regularly retweets charity requests. How kind of him. I hope he realises how useful this is to a charity project and how much it can lift your spirits when it happens. Graham Norton you are lovely and WAY better than Jonathan Ross on a Friday night!!

I am also amazed at the power of facebook. This week I made a great contact with someone visiting a school in Uganda In June. They wanted to take a dress for each of the girls in the school and we talked about how nice it would be for the boys to also receive something. I put out a little request on facebook and twitter and before the day was out I had lots of people offering to make shorts. The lovely Pam had made 3 pairs and put up a photograph for me to see by the end of the day! You can see it here. How amazing is it that within minutes I can link up with like minded people who will respond without thinking to a request to help some of the poorest children in the world. People I have never met before. What a marvelous thing the internet and social networking can be!

If anyone fancies making some shorts, we are looking for shorts to fit boys between the ages of 5 and early teens. They can be any colour and most of the boys are slim build. They will be taken out to Uganda in June along with 150 dresses and delivered to a school. You can find out more about the project here.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Bird Cages and Dinosaur Feet

I didn't expect to come home with dinosaur feet and a bird cage when I went to the shops this morning. I was only going for hay for the guinea pigs but I ended up with these little beauties...

One very happy boy and only £1.99 in the sale. The only thing is I appear to have promised to make a dinosaur costume to go with the feet! There has been a lot of dinosaur stomping and roaring today.

I also bought this bird cage. Obviously its not a real one but it just looked so pretty. It was £8 so I couldn't resist. I was thinking I could make some little fabric birds to go inside maybe? Better go and have a look on Pinterest! Izzy loves this and has already borrowed it for her bedroom.

The shop also had these cute little boxes for £1.99. So pretty that I bought one for Izzy and one for me!

I also really loved this little suitcase also £1.99. These are really useful of displaying things at craft fairs. I fill them with purses or little things and they look really cute. I'm very pleased with my purchases!

I finally got round to making another dress! Mainly because I am running a little dress workshop at the week-end for some of my #Pinaddicts team and I wasn't sure I could remember how to do it! The fabric was very kindly donated by Allyson

I finished off the ties with some beads. I might have to make another one tomorrow.

I also received a lovely dress from Ellie who contacted me through facebook. A lovely dress made with colourful heart fabric. So pretty! Thanks Ellie.

Total is now 998!

This months Pinterest Challenge continues to go really well with 35 entries so far. Pop over to Melksham Mums blog to have a look. Its not too late to join in. You have until Monday to make something and link it up. This months prize is a £50 Experience Days voucher so its well worth giving it a go. The winner is picked at random. You can see some of the #Pinaddict teams 'makes' below.

Kerry at Life, as I Know It made some gorgeous chocolate spoon things. Perfect for dipping in hot milk!

and Mum2BabyInsomniac made the most gorgeous fabric covered box. Love it!

I had a fantastic response to my button post so I know a lot of you are as addicted to buttons as me! NoodleBubble is running a fab button swap on her blog which I've just signed up to. Pop over and have a look!

 Click here

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Just stuff

The March Pinterest Challenge is going really well. I thought I would show you some of the #Pinaddicts Team 'makes' this week. The first one is by Viv who blogs as Melksham Mum. Viv is hosting the Challenge this month and you can find her blog and link up here. She made some amazing t shirt flowers which are gorgeous and very handy for hair bands, hair clips etc.

I received some lovely photos from a sewing group from Bath last night who call themselves Short & Sharp. They have each made a gorgeous pillowcase dress for 'Dress a Girl'. So thank you very much Jane, Sarah, Rebecca, Wai, Lola and Kerry. Gorgeous photos and I can't wait to see the dresses which are on their way!

Another 8 dresses arrived from the very kind Patricia. All gorgeous as ever.

A beautiful dress from Anna Giles with the cutest butterfly pocket. I have not been able to find contact details for Anna so if you are reading this please get in touch so I can say thank you!

and 5 lovely dresses from Libby

All soo pretty and taking our total to 996 dresses.

Alison who blogs as Peggys Pickles set herself the challenge of making lots of dresses last year. She also found homes for most of them and has very kindly shared a photo from Ghana of the first of her dresses being distributed. You can read more on her blog.