Archive for January 2nd, 2018


18 Dresses for 2018

January 2, 2018

Happy New Year

I hope that your holiday was wonderful and that your 2018 is off to a great start. Some people reflect at this time of year – looking back and considering the past year and some people look ahead and consider what changes or resolutions might be put into action. Starting a new year can be exciting!

Me? I do a little of both – professionally and personally. On the personal level, the last three days of 2017, I sewed 18 dresses to send to Malawi. Many of the Maine Arts Education blog readers know that I traveled to Malawi with Lindsay Pinchbeck, founder and director of Sweet Trees Arts and Sweetland School in Hope. In July of 2016 we provided professional development for teachers in arts integration Mpamila Village as part of the Go! Malawi program.

Last summer I met a woman while walking to the Ogunquit Museum of Art who told me about her volunteer work with Dress a Girl Around the World. Not to long after that she sent us dresses to send to Malawi in 2017. Since September we have been meeting monthly at Sweet Tree Arts and are making more dresses for the girls in the school. In addition we will be making shorts for the boys.

When I considered how to start the new year off I decided to create something and I thought why not spend the end of the year sewing dresses – 18 to mark the new year?! In addition to creating I had plenty of time to think about the last year – where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing.

We have almost 75 dresses completed, including the 13 that students at Sweetland School are making. We’ll start the shorts later this month. If you are interested in helping, here are some suggestions:

  • If you live close by Hope, join us for sewing monthly
  • If you have small stuffed animals, like Beanie Babies that you no longer want (and they are in great condition), let me know since each dress and shorts will have one in a pocket
  • If you’d like to make a donation of undershirts or underpants, each one will have those as well included for the children.

Today, we just received donations of Beanie Babies – 74 in total. (see photos). Please let me know if you have any questions or if you’d like to help!

In addition, we are looking for teachers who’d like to travel to Malawi in July to continue the teacher workshops. More information is on the Go! Malawi site about the program. Please contact me at and I’d be glad to email you an application.

Do you have any plans to create in 2018?


74 Beanie Babies – 76 more needed

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