Pillow Dresses

Recently Benedictine University’s Ministry Peace and Social Justice hosted the event Dresses for Haiti. The event was a time for students to come together to create dresses from pillowcases for the little girls in Haiti who are in need of them. The kickoff date for this event was Thursday November 12th at 6:30 p.m. in the interfaith lounge on the fourth floor of Kindlon at the University.

All students were welcomed to attend and there were plenty of snacks, drinks, and laughter to go around. Students picked out a pillow case pattern, a complimenting fabric pattern for pockets, elastic band,  thread, straps, and got to work. After preparing the pillow case by cutting the top of the pillow case and places for the arms the students made their way to the machines. That’s where the real work started and hilarity ensued. First came sewing with a machine 101 which is harder than it looks. There was much begging and pleading with the machines as they were threaded, bobbins were prepared, and with a quick prayer and hesitant foot, the pedal was pressed. I’d like to say it went without a hitch but as most things there were some hiccups and haltings with the machines but the amazing thing about it was they didn’t really matter because everyone was having fun with it. Everything had a comical hue to it. The students worked and the dresses were being made but it wasn’t all silence with only the whirring of the machines. Music was playing in the background, talk and laughter permeated the air and of course there were some interspersed groans with hints of laughter in them as another machine “hiccupped”.

The elastic was used in the front and back of the neck’s of the dresses. Pockets were added on the front and decorative fabric tape (basically tape made of fabric (with no sticky parts) that you have to sew it on) was used to embellish the pockets and dress in general. Pre-made straps for the dress were sewed along the edges of the arm holes and tied at the top to creat the straps for the dress.

At the end of the night there were two fully completed dresses complete with the decorative tape. It looked like the girls in Haiti will be styling.

Students were welcomed back the next day Wednesday the 13th at 12:00 p.m. Wednesday the 20th at 12:00 p.m. and Thursday the 21st at 7:00p.m.to finish up their dresses or make another one. On each day students came, they made dresses, they talked and hung out with friends but most importantly they helped make a difference “one little dress at a time” and they had a blast doing it.

If you are interested in volunteering or just joining a bunch of really fun-loving and great people check out the Ministry Facebook page or their page on the Benedictine website. Links below.

Facebook page:



Benedictine page:


Here is a picture with a few of the dresses for the little girls in Haiti

Dresses for Haiti

For more photos of the event visit the link below.



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