Making 1000 dresses- The Little Dress: A Journey of Hope

Little dressI am very privileged to share with you a cause that is close to my heart –sewing for charity.  We've written about this topic in the past and most recently in our article called Sewing for Charity, Anyone?, but we've just been made aware of a story that is truly inspiring.  We're glad to be able to share this journey of hope with you all.

Some people sew and others feel the need to tell the story.  The latter is the case with Vicki Vasilopoulos, an independent film maker whose first film “Men of the Cloth” is an acclaimed portrait of three Italian master tailors in the twilight of their career.  The film was partly funded through PayPal contributions and crowd funding and has gone onto premiere at the largest documentary festival in America and been seen all over the world.  Vicki's latest work tells the story of an exceptional woman from Iowa, Lillian Weber, who at the age of almost 101, has given her time to sew 1,000 dresses for needy girls in Africa.

Theodore Roosevelt once said: “Never throughout history has a man who lived a life of ease left a name worth remembering.”  These words can not be more fitting than describing Lilian.  Her amazing and inspiring story will be told as a documentary entitled “The Little Dress: A Journey of Hope”.  The documentary will culminate with the filming of Lilian's 1,000th dresses being delivered to girls in need in Malawi by Rachel O'Neill, the founder of the non-profit, Little Dresses for Africa

In typical indie film fashion, the early production of the film has been self-funded and now needs a bit of our support.  Vicki has launch a campaign through Indiegogo and her target is currently only 56% achieved.  We now have a chance to take a small part in changing little girls dreams and hopes by saying we care and by supporting a story worth telling of a life well-lived by a woman whose name deserves to be remembered.

I hope you will find her video inspiring:

Please donate to this wonderful cause, the campaign ends on May 9thhttps://igg.Me/at/thelittledress.  The campaign is also accessible by going to and searching for The Little Dress, or by visiting

For our part, So Sew Easy will be contributing $100 to this worthy cause.

We were fortunate enough to be able to interview Vicky before her departure to Africa.  Here's what she said:

Mayra from So Sew Easy:  Where did you get your passion for what you call “the ancient art of sewing”?

Vicki: “I come from a long line of sewers. My mom is from Greece and she was extremely accomplished on her sewing machine. She also embroidered, knitted and crocheted entire tablecloths that are works of art.” I always admired her handiwork and talent. There are many craftsmen in my family as well. I have a deep and abiding love for things made by hand because they're imbued with the essence of the individual who created them.”

(I think that many of us can relate to her words.  Hence when Vicki noticed the lady in Iowa behind more than a 1,000 dresses for a charity, she felt the need to tell the story.)

Mayra: What kind of sewing do you do yourself?

Vicki:  “I consider myself a beginning sewer. I can hem and make pillowcases, curtains, and simple craft projects… I hope to get better with time! But I always get a little thrill after creating something with my own two hands!”

Mayra: What do you think the reaction will be when you arrive in Malawi with the dresses?

Vicki: “I'm sure that when the volunteers for Little Dresses for Africa distribute the dresses in the villages of Malawi, they will be greeted with gratitude and enthusiasm. I can hardly wait to see the reaction on the children's faces. I'm sure it will be a very moving experience!”

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Lillian Weber with Vicki Vasilopoulos

For those who want to know more about Vicki's work or to see her last film, here's some details on a showing in California:

  • San Francisco, California Premiere of Men of the Cloth,
  • Friday May 6, 2016
  • 6:30 -8:30 PM De Young Museum (Golden Gate Park) – Koret Auditorium
  • Free event /Doors open at 5:45 PM. Q&A with director Vicki Vasilopoulos and special guests, including former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown.Little dress
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4 Responses to Making 1000 dresses- The Little Dress: A Journey of Hope

  1. Diana Gildner says:

    I have made over 100 dresses for Little Dresses for Africa with the bias tape ties.
    I would love to have a pattern for the dresses with sleeves. Can you tell me where I can get one?

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Hi Diana, I do not make kids cloths, although it would be super easy to make one, I think if you get in touch with Lillian Weber I am sure she will be able to share the pattern with you!

  2. sjwnana1 says:

    i have sewed little dress from pillow cases and sent them to nancy’s nothions in WI
    for years now but i love this story…. i am 73 and hoope to be sewing the dresses for many more years now…. how i would love to go see the little ones get the dresses

  3. What a wonderful story and wonderful women.

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