Sewing machines hum and amusement sprinkles the air in the Sykesville home of Patricia Mattoon on the third Wednesday of anniversary ages as a baby accumulation of ladies alter material, adaptable and bent binding. They accumulate to stitch dresses for girls in charge about the world.
Mattoon said a chat at a chief aerobics chic at the North Carroll Chief and Community Center in June 2012 started it all. The woman she chatted with able dress kits for the Chance to Dance Princess Pillowcase Project, a nonprofit run by June Renner in Hampstead that makes dresses for beggared accouchement in developing countries.
Mattoon said she capital to help. A few weeks afterwards she was bond dresses for Renner.
In July of that year Mattoon abstruse that Eric Crisp, the pastor at Keymar Evangelical Wesleyan Abbey area she is a member, was activity to Anse-a-Galets, Haiti. Mattoon got 20 dresses from Renner and stitched addition 17 on her own. The pastor delivered the dresses to an abode on the island of LaGonave in Haiti.
"It was so alarming on the streets there that the accouchement alone got outdoors already a ages aback they were taken to [the] medical dispensary admixture for play," Mattoon said. "Since again a new abode has been congenital and there is an amid courtyard for the children. Dresses I beatific to that abode [at a afterwards date] were the alone ability those girls accustomed for Christmas of 2014."
KEN KOONS/STAFF PHOTO / Carroll County Times
Let's Dress the Girls members, from left, Jolacy Robuck, Janice McDonald, Judi Glass, Sandy Kendrick and Diane Kirk array dresses for aircraft at the home of Patricia Mattoon, in Sykesville, Dec. 22.
Let's Dress the Girls members, from left, Jolacy Robuck, Janice McDonald, Judi Glass, Sandy Kendrick and Diane Kirk array dresses for aircraft at the home of Patricia Mattoon, in Sykesville, Dec. 22. (KEN KOONS/STAFF PHOTO / Carroll County Times)
With advice from her 16-year-old granddaughter, Jessica Wheatley, Mattoon connected to sew, abacus shorts for little boys. Word spread. Soon requests for dresses were advancing anon to her.
"As continued as I had fabric, adaptable and trim, I kept authoritative the dresses. A few times I ran out of adaptable but God consistently provided in amazing ways. The afflatus to abide came from alive that I could do a bit of acceptable for girls who bare clothes. I adulation to sew and this was a way of application that amusement to accomplish a aberration in the world," Mattoon said.
Mattoon said every babe should accept at atomic one nice dress, but there is addition added important acumen to accumulate sewing: Accouchement in some countries accept no appropriate accouterment and animal corruption of adolescent girls frequently occurs, she said.
In the summer of 2014, Mattoon's friend, Deanna Mikesell, of Littlestown, Pennsylvania, asked if a accumulation of their alternate accompany could accommodated at Mattoon's home to apprentice how to accomplish the dresses. They met in October of that year and by May 2015, a approved accumulation of 10 to 15 ladies were affair to sew dresses.
John Kendrick, bedmate of actor Sandy Kendrick, absitively the accumulation bare a website, but that meant they bare a name, so Let's Dress the Girls was born. The accumulation is one of several agnate organizations beyond the United States with the ambition of accouterment accouterment to individuals in charge throughout the world.
Group associates not alone sew; they additionally accomplish up kits with all bare food and instructions for others to sew dresses at home. Instructions are online at www.letsdressthegirls.org and on Facebook and Pinterest pages called afterwards the group.
Group associates sew on bed-making machines called afterwards their donors. Anniversary affiliate has collapsed into a bare role.
Jolacy Roebuck, of Eldersburg, makes bent trim and ties for all the dresses from donated bedding on a donated machine.
"I cut the bedding into strips, sew them calm and again they go through a little apparatus with an iron," Roebuck said.
The job is an important one.
"If Jo didn't accomplish the bent we wouldn't accept dresses because we would never be able to allow to buy the binding," Sandy said.
Sandy makes up fliers and places ads to accost bare materials. She said she's been to added than 70 homes to aces up donated bolt and trim, appliance to abundance bed-making supplies, and acclimated bed-making machines. Back she started advancing to the accumulation in May, she has fabricated added than 350 dresses.
Judi Glass, of Sykesville, additionally solicits donations, but she does it with handwritten belletrist to companies beyond the United States. Through her outreach, she's begin the accumulation a abiding accumulation of elastic.
"Two companies abundantly accommodate us with aloof about all of our elastic," Glass said — Dyno Merchandising in Florida and the South Carolina Adaptable Company.
Glass said donations are important because the accumulation operates absolutely on donations.
"We accept no agency of assets and we don't advertise any of our dresses," Glass said. "It is out of our pockets or the hearts of bodies who accept like we do — that one dress could change a girl's life."
The accumulation purchases panties to go in the pockets of the dresses. Older girls get accord bracelets fabricated by Joyce Bowden and Kelly Colson, both of Mount Airy. Babies and toddlers of childhood age don't get panties but they do get headbands with their dresses.
"This has about afflicted my activity because it is so satisfying," Glass said, abacus that her bedmate is involved, too. "He takes me everywhere to aces up donations."
Janice McDonald, of Sykesville, said she was abashed she would not be able to accomplish them, but now she loves bed-making the dresses.
"I got the adhere of it and now I've been accomplishing absolutely well," she said.
Roebuck said she encourages her abbey accompany at Accord Baptist Abbey in Sykesville to help.
"We accept six or eight ladies in the abbey who sew dresses for us and accompany them back," she said, acquainted that seamstresses are of all ages. "I accord them about 10 [dresses] at a time."
Mattoon said the assignment they are accomplishing is bushing a charge in developing countries.
"[Missionaries who bear the dresses] consistently address how beggared the accouchement are and what a appropriate a time it is aback they duke out the dresses," Mattoon said. "One Haitian missionary appear that she took dresses to a apple that had absent aggregate out to sea in a hurricane. Huts were agilely built, but the girls could not leave the huts because they had no clothes. Those dresses and panties were so important to that little village."
The accumulation banned donations to 150 per year to anniversary mission that requests dresses. But Mattoon said the charge is so abundant in South Sudan that they beatific 200 dresses and 200 pairs of shorts to them in September.
Let's Dress the Girls seeks donations of blurred 100 percent affection fabric, bedding and pillow cases. They are consistently attractive for volunteers to accomplish dresses.
Mattoon said that back May 2015 they accept beatific added than 1,000 dresses to girls — from breed to adolescent adults — allowance those in charge in Central and South America, Haiti, the Tohono O'odham Nation of Native Americans in the United States, and as far abroad as Africa.