Due to a temporary medical condition, I will be limiting my “open” hours for a few months. Please check my “Hours” page for the current hours and any unscheduled “closed” days! Thank you!
Both “A Thimble Change” and “Sewing for Smiles” are now located at:
211 South Third Street
St. Charles, IL 60174
(Next to NAPA Auto Supply)
Phone and email remain the same.
With the move, I have expanded my hours to better serve you:
Monday, Wednesday, Friday - 10:00 – 5:00
Saturday – 10:00 – 1:00
Also, I will be living at the same location. Therefore, I will have to be stricter about sticking to my closed hours. Being there does not mean I am working so please be respectful of posted times or call for an appointment in advance to come in during a time when I am closed. Thank you!
Two 6 inch pieces of 1/2 inch elastic
Two 30 inch pieces of double fold bias tape
(Wide easier, narrow looks better & ties better.)
Optional – any desired trim – lace, ric rac, buttons, etc.
Cut off top, folded edge of pillowcase straight across. How much you cut off determines how long the dress will be, thus what size you want to make. They have been made anywhere from small enough for a baby to big enoung for a pre-teen.
Cut two armholes the shape of a letter “J” – one on each side of the pillowcase with the top of the “J” at the cut off edge and the bottom, curved part of the “J” at the sides. For a smaller dress, make the “J” about 3″ tall. For a larger dress, make the “J” about 4″ tall.
Fold the top edges down about 1/4″, then another about 3/4″. Measurements do not need to be exact. Sew close to the first fold forming a tunnel or casing. Do the other side the same way. Thread elastic (1/2″ wide – 6″ long) through casing on each side with a large safty pin. Secure ends of elastic at armhole edges.
Armhole edges and ties:
Take a 30″ long piece of double fold bias tape and fold in half. Pin the halfway point to the underarm point on the dress. Sew from that point up, catching the armhole inbetween the two sides of the bias tape. Continue through the ends of the bias tape beyond where the top of the dress ends to form the ties. Repeat until both armholes are incased in the bias tape and the ties have been made. Note: one side of the double fold bias tape is a little wider than the other. Put the widest side on the underside from where you are sewing. That way, when you sew on the edge of the top side, you know the underside is being caught in the stitching.
The dress is now finished, unless you choose to embellish or decorate it in some manner!
Yesterday was the final day to turn in completed dresses for this year’s shipment which are going to India this week in Christmas packages for needy little girls. Our goal was to make 300 dresses between The beginning of September and now. We achieved 523!!! The outpouring of donations, sewing volunteers, and love has been extraordinary! With such an awesome response, we decided to continue sewing the dresses all year, although our big push will begin again next September. Between now and then, we will be sending them wherever the need and means to get them delivered arises. In January a batch of them will be going to Haiti. A huge thank you for all who have contribued supplies, money, or sewing time. Bless you all!
I’m at the St Charles Scarecrow Festival this weekend, come see me!
We have begun a new ministry at my church that I am so excited about! We are making dresses for needy little girls out of used or new pillowcases. I need help!! I am looking for volunteers to sew and also for donations of slightly used or new pillowcases, double fold bias tape, and 1/2″ elastic. My goal is to have over 1,000 dresses done and ready to ship out by Thanksgiving. The dresses will be going to needy little girls around the world. They are fun and easy to make – can be done in 20 minutes each! I have packets made up with all the supplies needed to make a dress packaged together along with instructions. All is cut and ready to assemble! Packets can be picked up either at my shop or at Hosanna! Lutheran Church, Randall & Red Gate, St. Charles. I am eternally grateful for all the help and support received for this project. All completed dresses need to be in to me by November 13. Watch for upcoming sewing marathon! We will be doing a last minute push to get as many dresses completed as possible. We will need non sewers as well as sewers to meet for a few hours to do a production line of dresses. Date, time, and more information will be posted later.
I’m going to be having a scarecrow in the upcoming town festival. It will be in the business category. My artist son, Joe (artbyjoseph.com) is going to be making it with me. I’m closing the shop on Friday and Saturday (October 8 & 9) to be there greeting current and future clients. Stop by and vote for us or just to say hello! Joe also will have an entry in the whimisical category and another in the mechanical category. A lot of people look forward to seeing what Joe will come up with next as he’s known for creating some pretty amazing scarecrows.
For four days I worked as Wardrobe Mistress at a televised fashion show at Navy Pier. I did alterations, last minute changes to designs, dressed 45 models, and recreated some of the gowns. Some of the designs I brought home with me to change. I also took my sewing machine with me to Chicago every day to be prepared for last minute changes. It was exciting and fun to have the priveledge of working with a designer from Washington, DC.
Damsel Beauty Lounge in St. Charles asked me turn a table into a vanity by creating a skirt for it. The split up the front gives them easy access to storage underneath.