Tuesday, December 30, 2014


The North Jersey Chapter of the ASDP participated in the annual Make a Difference Day held on October 25, 2014, by sewing garments for the organization, Dress for Success.  Dress for Success is an organization that promotes the financial independence of disadvantaged women by providing them with business attire, support networks and career development skills.  National Make a Difference Day was started by USA Weekend magazine in 1992.  It is a community service event whose goal is to have people do something that can improve the lives of others.  Millions of people have participated since its inception.

We did not have to finish the garments in October.  We just needed to start working on them in October.  They are due at our February meeting so I finally finished mine this past weekend.  February is going to be a busy time for me so I thought I would get it done now while I have some holiday time off.

We decided to create business attire that could be worn to an interview or a new job.   Since these garments are for women who are getting back on their feet after a tough time, the last thing they need is to receive a garment that would create a dry cleaning bill so we were asked to make the garments in machine washable fabrics only.  We were also told that large sizes were hard to find so we decided to focus on making large sizes only.

The pattern I used was Simplicity 1586 in size 28W with a DD cup.  (The size range of this pattern is Size 10 to 28W with cup sizes C, D and DD.)  I liked the style lines because I had the opportunity to do some color blocking by using a black polyester microsuede on the side panels which I believe is visually slimming.  The dress came together quickly.  For those of you interested in this pattern, the instructions were clear and provided much fitting advice.

The fabric in the center panel is a black and white polyester houndstooth.  I am sorry for the lousy photos of the dress.  The photo as taken does show the houndstooth but when I export it to Blogger, the photo gets distorted.    Here are close-ups of the fabric, both of which frayed quite a bit, especially the houndstooth!  Other than the fraying, the fabrics, purchased at JoAnn's Fabrics, were a dream to work with.  They took a press quite nicely and both my sewing machine and serger loved them.  I used a size 90/14 needle.

I finished all of the seams by serging them.  The pattern has a one inch seam allowance on the side seams which allows for future alterations if needed.  I pressed those seams open and serged each seam allowance separately.

The pattern calls for an invisible zipper at the center back and has a kick pleat for ease of walking.  The dress is sagging on the hanger since it needs a body to fill it out of course.  

My ASDP chapter insists we attach labels to our garments to identify our businesses.  However, since I do not have a business, I designed a label with just my initials.  I do think a care label is important though.  The name label I got from  The care labels I have had in my stash but CustomLabels4U has care labels as well.

Most of the sewing I do is for myself and for my immediate family.  However, I was glad to participate in this event.  Sewing for a good cause provides such a sense of satisfaction as well as help for someone in need.  A win-win that's for sure!


  1. What a nice project and way to share your talent.
    Cute name label, combined with the care label it looks totally profesh!

  2. The dress is nicely made, and the cause is good, but I believe the organization is wrong in demanding washable clothes. Polyester doesn't look as nice as real wool and for a person looking for a job little details like that make a difference.

    1. While I understand why they asked us to make machine washable garments, you have certainly made a valid point. Quality fabrics do make a difference in how clothing looks and hangs.

  3. What a great idea for a very worthy cause. Good for you for using your skills to make a difference and to help others. Very inspiring :)

    1. Thank you Carolyn. It was definitely a rewarding project.

  4. What a fabulous idea! how amazing to participate in something like that. :)x