Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Kanga Jumper Dress

From this

to this

When Jennie Chancey of Sense & Sensibility Patterns put her first batch of Kangas up for sale, I simply had to purchase some to help out with the sewing guild.  I love that she is putting this effort into assisting women in need, be it widows, single mums or others in difficult situations.

When I purchased the Kangas, I thought they could make some lovely gifts.  After I received them, I realize the quality of the fabrics vary quite a bit.  Some are much more gift worthy and others not as much, but still worthy to have and to make into something special, should one choose to do that.

I chose my first Kanga project to be a jumper dress for a lovely young girl.  This girls has talked about becoming a missionary.  I recently had fun tracing off a simple pattern from one of her favourite jumpers and giving the pattern back to her, sized up, so she could make some jumpers for herself.  This young girl just turned 11 years old this month.  Miss T. has a heart of gold and is very kind and compassionate to many young girls.  I appreciate these qualities in her.  The dress I took the pattern from was of the colour blue.  I thought I remembered her mother saying blue was one of her favoured colours.  With that in mind and my only Kanga in blue, I knew which Kanga would be used for her special dress.

One thing I learned about working with this particular Kanga is that the cotton fabric stretches very easily.  Not only that, the design is printed off grain! :P  Well, I simply had to work with what I had and make it the best I could.

Since the cotton is so light weight, I used some cotton batiste fabric to line the dress.  It is my desire that when Miss. T wears her new dress, or sees it hanging in the closet, she will remember the women who received the funds from the purchase of the fabric, and how these women are learning skills to help support their families.

Each of the Kangas have a saying on them.  This particular saying is translated:  “GOOD WILL IS A COMFORT TO FRIENDS".  Miss T's 'good will' is a comfort to one friend I know. ;)

Here is Miss Olivia checking the fit of the dress for me before we give the gift away.

The lining of the dress:

Here is the information that accompanied the Kanga when we received it so you can read a bit about the project and where the funds are going.

Thank you for your support of Kenyan women in entrepreneurship! All proceeds from the sale of Kanga fabric go to fund the Forever Grace Sewing Guild, which partners with Hosanna Revival Church in Nairobi’s Kibera slum to provide work for widows, single mothers, and other needy women. The ladies who work with Forever Grace receive free instruction in pattern cutting, sewing, and marketing. They are treated as independent contractors and are able to work from home on their own time schedules (no sweat shops!). Over time, we hope to help these ladies develop a line of clothing with a marketing plan for in-country sales and export to the US and other markets. Thanks for helping to launch Forever Grace and enable these ladies to care for their own children while working from home. Be sure to follow Sense & Sensibility Patterns on Facebook, as we’ll post photographs from the sewing guild from time to time and showcase the work these ladies are doing!

More Kangas will be up for sale sometime in the month of March.  I hope to snag a few more. ;)



Janel said...

Cute! I snagged 3. I wouldn't have thought to use them like this. One of mine would make a perfect sheath dress for ME!

Thanks for the inspiration!! : )

By the way, did you prewash and did they shrink much? Thanks!

Carol said...

Hi Janel,

A sheath dress would be lovely! I started a board on Pintrest with Kanga inspirations. :)

Yes, yes, yes! I prewashed all my Kangas and my 100% cotton shrank but most importantly on 4 out of my 6 Kangas, the dye bled. I have heard this is very common, even when precautions are taken for trying to set the dye. One of the Kangas already had dye that was smeared before I ever washed it. My 100% cotton Kangas were also printed off grain. ;) On the one I made into the jumper, in this post, one side was way more off grain than the other.

I wasn't expecting perfect fabric when I received them. I was happy to be supporting the sewing guild. :)

I would love to see what you make with yours....when you have time. :)