SEWING machines are primed and reams of fabric ready – to help dress little girls around the world.
Mother and daughter team, Cathy Farren and her daughter Christina, run The Sewing Bee, a hand-made clothes shop in Emsworth.
They are holding a sew-a-thon to make dresses as part of a campaign called Dress a Girl Around the World.
The project is run by charity Hope 4 Women – which works to improve the quality of life for people living in poverty around the world.
“Every little girl deserves to have a pretty dress,” said Christina.
“We found the charity online and decided to hold an event where the community could join in.”
The charity aims to make and send dresses to young girls who may never have owned a dress – giving them dignity, clothes they love and making them feel cared-for.
The smart dresses also help to deter predatory men taking advantage of young girls.
“It started as an idea among my friends and now we’re taking over the Emsworth Centre for a day to get people involved,” said Christina.
“Most people support charities by running marathons to raise money – which is great – but all we are asking for is time.”
Christina said they are expecting about 16 sewers to turn up on the day with their sewing machines.
“We are inviting anyone who can sew to join in and make dresses,” she said.
The Eternal Maker in Chichester has donated fabric to make dresses and Henry Adams has also bought a pink John Lewis mini sewing machine to be raffled off on the day.
The charity encourages people to make dresses out of old pillowcases as well as upcycling old or unwanted clothes.
Spare buttons, scraps and ribbons will also be useful for sewers on the day.
“There is a pattern people can work to which isn’t very complicated,” said Christina.
The charity has ambassadors all over the world. Louise Horler, who represents the UK, said more than 10,000 dresses had been collected already.
The event is set to take place at the Emsworth Centre on South Street, Emsworth from 10am on Sunday, June 1.