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Fox Chapel Presbyterian Church members hope volunteers will help make dresses for children in Africa

Jan Pakler | The Herald
Project Coordinator Ruby Ralicki makes final touches to a dress display in the Fox Chapel Presbyterian Church. The handmade dresses will be going to Africa.

At a glance

For more information on Little Dresses for Africa, visit

The church will hold a second sewing day on April 12 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For information on the sewing days, call 412-963-8243.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Fox Chapel Presbyterian Church members are hoping for help from the community to brighten the lives of children in Africa.

The church will host a sewing day for Little Dresses for Africa on Saturday, March 22, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The nonprofit organization provides relief for children in Africa.

Participants will make simple dresses that the Presbyterian Women of the Pittsburgh Presbytery will donate. Polly Swanson, a member of the church who helped organize the sewing day, said she first learned about the organization from the American Sewing Guild. The Presbyterian group is making the dresses a spring project, she said.

“When I found out the Presbyterian Women were doing that, I was just so excited,” Swanson said.

The group will collect dresses in April. They will then be distributed to orphanages and schools in Africa.

Participants should bring a sewing machine in good working order, neutral or colored thread and scissors.

Fabric, elastic and trims will be provided. Swanson said people of all sewing experience can participate.

Members of the church have donated materials to be used for the dresses.

“People at our church have donated a lot of fabric so we have all the trim and fabric and elastic that we need,” Swanson said.

Swanson said the girls like to have dresses with pockets so they will include them in their sewing designs. She said she's excited to see how the dresses turn out.

“The little dresses are so cute,” Swanson said.

Tom McGee is an associate editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 1513, or



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