There are only 3 days left until our fundrasier ends and we need your help! Dresses for Haiti is raising money to provide 200 uniforms for students at 5 schools in Anse-a-Pitre, Haiti. Find out more here: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/support-education-and-economic-sustainability-in-haiti While we are … Continue reading
Who says that Haitian art always has to be traditional?
That notion is changing by the minute with each visit of the vibrant Haitian Heritage Museum in Miami. This week, artists as well as fans came in flocks to the museum. The huge jump in visitors are a result of the largely popular Art Basel Festival.
The festival which is held from December 6-9, features works by over 2,000 artists from all over the world. What connected the festival with the museum; the festival featured works from artists representing the 20th and 21st centuries.
Serge Rodriguez, the director of operations at the museum, talked with our friends at the Caribbean Journal and explains that the new generation of contemporary artists out of Haiti need to be celebrated.
“With Haitian art, the community at large is used to mostly the traditional Haitian art, the ‘naive’ style, the ‘primitive’ style, the scene with the lady with the basket on her head,” said Serge Rodriguez, director of operations at the Museum. “But there’s actually a movement of contemporary artists that are coming out of Haiti. So we decided that, with this exhibition, we wanted to focus on that.”
Thursday the museum opened a new exhibition titled, Les Jacmeliens: Contemporary Haiti 2012. The exhibition adds a slight twist on different works.
Rodriguez goes on to say that more than 300 people came out for the VIP opening event. Even Rodriguez himself admits to the influence of the Art Basel Festival. No matter how or what way the museum increased its traffic, the works are no doubt a must see for any art lover.
The push for contemporary work is a breath of fresh air when it comes to Haiti the country. Haiti is known for its traditional values as well as image. It is indeed necessary to show and prove that when it comes to art, Haitian artists can be unique and different on a positive way.
Here’s to the recent success of the Haitian Heritage Museum and its new exhibition. Hopefully the success will carry over after the Art Basel Festival is over. We will see what happens in the next coming weeks. With visitors such as Beyoncé, Demi Moore and Lenny Kravitz, the buzz should be very high for this exciting and innovative Museum.
It is always a joy to witness how people come together for a great cause, especially if fashion can some how squeeze through. St. Mary’s Academy in Portland Oregon will be hosting a fashion show and auction on December 22 the. The Catholic Sentinel reports that the fashion show will be hosted by St. Mary’s alumna Charmika Schuster. All proceed of the show will go towards medical supplies for victims of the 2010 earthquake as well as hurricane Sandy.
Schuster is currently a nurse practitioner at Oregon Health and Science University. She has already made numerous trips and spent countless hours providing relief for victims of the earthquake. Her last visit was at the beginning of 2012. She admitted that after witnessing the situation on the ground, it’s difficult to imagine anyone could make a difference at a glance. It seem that is exactly what compelled Schuster to take the challenge.
In 2011, Schuster started Global Mustard Seeds Missions, a non-profit that provides mobile medical care services within economically impoverished regions affected by local catastrophic events. Teams are jump started by volunteers, but sustained by local clinicians after the withdrawal or decline of first response emergency organizations.(http://www.globalmustardseeds.com/index.html)
Schuster added that due to the aftermath of hurricane Sandy, the amount of need has increased. She will be making another trip to Haiti at the beginning of January to help with further relief efforts. Her hopes are pretty simple; get medical supplies to local clinics and doctors.
We’re not sure what is going to be showcased at the fashion show, but it will be amazing if they can have a significant turnout. Schuster’s fashion show will be held at the St. Mary’s Academy auditorium. For any additional information, contact Charmika Schuster at email@example.com or (202) 329-7212. Also, check out Schuster’s own Global Mustard Seeds Inc. here.
Click on any picture for the PDF version of the tutorial or click here
Fashion Week 2012: A Short Overview
During November 8th-11th, The Republic of Haiti will host its inaugural Fashion Week! This glamorous event will take place at the five-star Karibe Hotel in Port Au Prince. Opportunities for tourism and learning about Haitian Outreach are available all day until 6 PM, at which time the designers will show off their stunning new collections.
Fashion Week will be comprised primarily of Caribbean clothing lines and aspiring native-Haitians in the apparel industry, as well as a few globally-acclaimed style icons. Many of the designers are also strong advocates for charity and outreach in Haiti. Haiti Fashion Week is a great opportunity for international and local designers to exhibit their upcoming collections, help expand Haiti’s young, growing apparel industry, and promote awareness about the plight of their country’s 2010 earthquake victims.
Earlier this year, Donna Karan, founder of Urban Zen, partnered with local Haitians in the industry to collaborate on apparel designs, promote their lines, and broaden her outreach network. Among these was Michel Chataigne, an upcoming Haitian clothing designer. Chataigne truly expresses Haitian cultural themes in his line through breezy fabrics, intricate artisan detailing, and bold color palettes. Although Chataigne is well-known internationally through London Fashion Week, he has not heavily marketed his line to the USA. Fashion Week will be a great chance for Americans to see his unique creations.
Some of Chataigne’s amazing garments:
Since 1999, Maëlle Figaro David has been both a savvy entrepreneur and apparel designer in Port Au Prince, Haiti. Her company is prominent in both the Haitian fashion and business industries. Maëlle styles and produces an extremely wide range of clothing, including schoolgirl uniforms, dance costumes, carnival attire, and even wedding gowns from couture.
With her unique draping techniques, geometrically shaped ruffles, and subtly detailed patterns, Maëlle Figaro David truly makes each of her creations as if it was an individual, custom-made piece of art. The Maëlle collection is available to both local and international buyers on www.maellecreations.com.
Maëlle Figaro David:
Some of Maëlle’s beautiful designs:
Additionally, some US designers will participate in Haiti Fashion Week, including Dayanne Danier. Owner of the label “Bien Abye,” which translates to “Well Dressed” in French Creole, Danier creates sleek and modern clothing while mixing vibrant, Amazon-inspired themes in her collection. She describes her target audience as “… a woman who wants to put her best self forward. Her wardrobe is an investment, it’s constantly evolving, she likes to work and enjoy different activities…she’s chic, classic and attractive.” (New York CaribNews)
Some of Danier’s stunning outfits:
The complete lineup of designers at Haiti Fashion Week is available at http://www.haitifashionweek2012.com/#!designers/c1qvi/. Many of these the apparel lines debuting at Haiti Fashion week are characterized by contemporary high-fashion juxtaposed with Haitian artistic inspiration. If you would like to learn more about some of the designers or want ideas on fashion styling, please let us know!
Fashion Week will bring publicity to Haiti on several levels. Not only will the designers be able to promote their fashion lines internationally, but the Republic of Haiti will have a chance to boost the apparel sector in its national economy. Just a few years ago, Haitian clothing exports to the U.S. alone totaled around 500 million dollars, and experts predict that this statistic will grow steadily. The fashion industry can create many new jobs and improve infrastructure overall. Fashion Week could be the local aspiring designers’ and artists’ big chance to break out into the global apparel industry and expand their boutiques into large companies. (Huffington Post)
For more details on Haiti Fashion Week, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 954-393-9077 (USA).
Do you have any favorite Haitian designers who you would like us to feature in an upcoming article? Leave a comment below, or email email@example.com. I would love to hear your feedback!
Until next time,
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the country is in an utter disarray, especially the Northeast. If there was ever a need for organizations such as the American Red Cross to inherit the ability to extend its already global outreach, it has finally come. This coming Thursday, Facebook will begin offering a new charitable donations section titled Facebook Gifts. This move should prove to be very significant for non-profits all over the world.
The new gifts section will be available Thursday and includes about a dozen charities including the American Red Cross, Livestrong, Blue Star Families, Boys & Girls Club of America, DonorsChoose.org, Kiva, Oxfam America, Girls Inc., St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, Water.org, and RAINN.
In a recent blog post Facebook explained
With each charitable contribution on Facebook, you can choose which nonprofit you would like to support. Or if you don’t know which organization to choose, you can let your friend make the choice.
Not only will many of these organizations gain the ability to raise more funds, it will also increase the exposure and raise awareness of each. The ability to learn about thousands of non-profit organizations all over the globe are right at your fingertips with this new feature. Facebook product manager Jared Morgenstern led the project himself, he added
Using Facebook to give the gift of a charitable contribution means you can introduce your friends and family to a specific nonprofit organization you care about, or to a larger world of nonprofits, Facebook Gifts will act as a platform where people can learn about nonprofits, discover how easy it is to contribute to their work, and then share that with their friends.
Hurricane Sandy (while not an ideal situation for the country) will be a potentially affective indicator of whether or not the Facebook Gifts feature will really be successful. Morgenstern also mentioned that the feature is still in the testing stages.
What an amazing opportunity for all fellow non-profits around the world. Hopefully the new feature gains some much anticipated momentum so that there may one day be an opportunity for our own organization to join. Everyday we endlessly strive for more exposure in order to increase our own global outreach.
The only downside to the Gifts feature is that not everyone has the luxury of using it right now. Only those that have the Gifts feature activated on their accounts can currently use it. For those looking to donate to Hurricane Sandy relief, eBay and iTunes offer alternative online sections.
We are extremely excited and interested to see how far the feature goes.
We absolutely love to cover charities that help improve the lives of disaster victims, specifically in Haiti. We want to take the time and highlight European Disaster Volunteers (EDV) is a volunteer based charity focused on helping environmentally ravaged communities to a speedy and effective recovery. EDV has a very large global outreach, but the work they do in Haiti has become a staple in their long list of credentials.
The charity’s founder, Andy Chaggar has personally put in tons of work some 18 months after the 2010 earthquake. Even more incredible, since the earthquake, EDV has raise over $400,000. Their particular efforts in Port-au-Prince led to the acquisition of over 1,00 donors. With the help of 190 volunteers from 18 different countries, the EDV managed to complete 20 projects that directly helped over 3,000 survivors. They have a complete End of Haiti Deployment Report to show their exact accomplishments.
Andy is a survivor of a disaster himself; the tsunami in Asia led to him attaining a Master’s Degree in social policy and development with a focus on disasters. Andy along with additional co-founders adopted a list of goals that the charity would focus on:
- Committing to long-term sustainable recovery
- Filling the gaps that are often left behind when more traditional groups withdraw
- Working in close partnership with survivors and local NGOS
- Charging volunteers a low fee which would keep volunteering accessible without burdening donors
- Raising awareness about how the actions we take at home every day affect disaster survivors around the world.
In what began as a small charity, the EDV has become one of the biggest success stories of any charity of that scale. Andy is very proud to have reached this success,
We passed the landmark last week. I am very proud and also grateful to the many, many people who have helped along the way.
He even mentions that he really wishes to have a reserve of cash readily available whenever a natural disaster may occur. That would be one of the greatest achievements if something like that were ever available to any active charity.
We hope that we may be able to shine a light on more charities with similar success stories such as Andy and the European Disaster Volunteers soon.
When you travel to a new place, what do you first notice? Does the warm, clean, island air lift your spirits? Do you smell exotic, spicy dishes cooking at the restaurant a few blocks down? What have you heard about this place and what do you think you’ll see? How is it different from your hometown? What aspect of this place intrigues you most?
Personally, I notice the clothing differences whenever I go on foreign vacations. I am fascinated by their apparel designs and how they tie into their culture. Today, I have compiled some ideas for Fall Fashion inspired by Haiti’s unique heritage, landscapes, and art.
- Big, bright florals.
- Haiti’s beautiful flora and fauna remain in full bloom throughout the autumn months. Colorful trees and plants line the beaches of Haiti. The Hibiscus, the national flower, is especially prominent in the tropical Haitian landscape.
- Get the look: Whether or not you live in a perpetually warm region, you can always sport beautiful, summery flower-prints. For instance, I carry this floral-print Juicy Couture tote during all four seasons of the year. I really like how tropical themes and images were painted into an abstract design on the fabric. The textile almost resembles one of my favorite Haitian art pieces, shown above.
2.Artistic tribal prints and embellishments
- I am particularly fascinated by Haiti’s unique blend of African and Western culture in their food preferences, architecture, and artwork. Many of Haiti’s artists strive to represent their lifestyles and heritage through a wide variety of mediums. I included two of my favorite paintings below:
Toussaint Auguste’s “Birds in Nests,” Andre Normil – “Noah’s Ark”
- Get the look: I encourage you to incorporate the beautiful, one-of-a-kind Haitian artwork in your everyday clothing. Seek nature themed and native-printed sweaters, fringed ponchos, and breezy. Pacsun is a great mainstream destination for artisan-bohemian winter wear. I also recommend Modcloth.com, and these looks in particular for inspiration:
3. Daring, yet feminine cocktail dresses.
- Haitian women are true leaders in their modern society. Over the recent years, they have really taken a stand for themselves in their country and pushed for their rights. For instance, after the devastating earthquake struck in 2010, a group of mothers took it upon themselves to establish a new school for the children in their village. Despite the hardships they face, these moms continue to educate many of these same kids today.
- Get the look: Just as the women in Haiti have empowered themselves over the years, you can express your boldness through your personal style. For instance, you can easily dress up a simple, elegant black dress with a bold, sequined shrug. Look for traditional designs with one or two unique things about it – for example, ruffles in contrasting colors, animal prints with floral embellishments, or glitter and gold on a ballerina-style dress.
- American designers are becoming increasingly aware of the rough situation in Haiti. Many are inspired to reach out to the earthquake victims and promote charity in their fashion lines. For instance, Donna Karan has introduced a Haitian-inspired collection with neutral-colored, tribal-printed textile designs that symbolize Haitian artwork.
- Get the look: Seek out loose, comfortable sweaters and shirts with asymmetrical necklines. For a more business-friendly look, spice up only one piece of your outfit. Don a printed pencil skirt or mix a funky blouse with sleek black slacks and a blazer.
5. Fashion for charity
- Finally, you know we couldn’t talk about fashion without mentioning fashion that helps Haiti! Last week we told you about an amazing charity called Haitian Creations. Not only do they have amazing bags and jewelry you can purchase but they also promote sustainability with the community and Haitian women.
- Get the look: Go to http://www.haitiancreations.com/ and support this amazing charity!
If you have any questions or need advice on fashion styling, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time,
We want to take the time to recognize an awesome representation of Haitian art at its best. From October 20th, 2013 until January 6th, 2013 a beautiful exhibition filled with Haitian history and culture will be available for all to … Continue reading
Every year, Dresses for Haiti donates unique, handcrafted shirred dresses to victims of the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti. This tutorial is for those who would like to help our mission and make dresses for young girls in Haiti. While you make yourself or a loved one a gorgeous new dress, consider making one or a few for young girls in Haiti. This fun, versatile tube-dress is extremely easy to make and can be styled in many different ways. Make a bold statement with bright polka dots, go girly with pink floral print, or stay classy-chic with some breezy white cotton. We’d love for you to join our effort and follow us in this simple tutorial as you create a stunning, one-of-a-kind sundress for a Haitian girl!
You can also check out the tutorial on PDF HERE
Step 1: Materials
1) Fabric: Lightweight, non-stretch cotton
- Do not use stretch fabric!
- I don’t recommend silk, satin, brocade, or anything slippery unless you feel comfortable working with these fabrics.
- Use any print you would like.
- Keep in mind that matching seams can be difficult with certain prints (plaid, stripes, etc.) so take this into consideration when picking your fabric.
2) Sewing Machine
- All sewing machines are not created equal. Our settings simply serve as guidelines; please experiment with your own machine
3) Serger (optional)
If you do not have a serger, no problem! You will replace marrowed seams and edges with French seams (Figure A) and double folded hems (Figure B)
4) Thread to match your fabric
5) Elastic Thread (Figure C)
6) Fabric Scissors
7) Seam gauge /ruler
8) Colored pencil/fabric marker
Step 2: Sizing
The following chart gives a rough guide for sizing and fabric needed. It’s okay if your measurements aren’t exact; we don’t know who we will be giving the dresses to yet so we will be able to utilize any sizes.
Ages 3 months to 36 months
|Recommended fabric length||13-14||14-15||15-16||16-17||17-18||18-19|
|Recommended fabric width||36||37||39||40||42||44|
Ages 2-6 years old
|Recommended fabric length||19-20||20-21||21-22||23-24|
|Recommended fabric width||44||45||48||50|
Ages 7-14 Years old
|U.S. Standard Girl Sizes (7-14 years)|
|Height (Inches)||51 – 52||53 – 54||55 – 57||58 – 59||60 – 62||63 – 64|
|Recommended Fabric Length||27-28||28-29||29-30||30-31||31-32||32-33|
|Recommended Fabric Width||53||55||58||61||64||67|
If you want to make the dress for yourself, follow these guidelines:
Width: Measure your chest, just under your arms and multiply that number by 2.
Example: 30 inch bust…30 x 2 = 60 inch width
Length: Measure from the underarms down to the desired length, and then add 2 inches.
Example: Desired Length = 28 inches…28 + 2 = 30 inch length
Step 3: Lets Start Sewing!
1) Overcast or zigzag stitch around all four edges of the fabric. (Or use a serger.)
- On the sewing machine: set both your stitch length and zigzag width at about 4.
- Adjust this according to your machine and/or your preferred stitch widths and lengths
- If your machine cannot zigzag stitch and you do not have a serger, do a double folded hem on the raw edges. Now you can either do this hem on the the top and bottom only or you can do it on all four edges. Either way is fine just remember which one for step 5 (See figure B: How to do a double edge hem).
Step 4: Elastic Shirring
Now we are moving on the elastic shirring!
A) Begin to loosely hand-wind the bobbin with elastic thread. Depending on the machine you have, you may be able to machine wind the elastic thread, but some machines may not be able to feed stretched-out elastic thread through the plates. Experiment with your bobbins and the thread.
B) Load the bobbin normally. Make sure you do not stretch the elastic thread while winding/loading,
***IMPORTANT***For Brother Sewing Machines only: Brother sewing machines are notorious for NOT shirring with elastic thread. Keep in mind that not all machines have the same capabilities, and Brother is the one machine that really requires a deal of experimenting and tampering. (I use the longest stitch length along with a tension of 6.) After much searching, I found a great video on a neat trick for shirring that doesn’t require tampering with the machine. Check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcELEGN9Rrk
C) With the right side of your fabric facing up, begin measuring 5/8 inch down from the top end of the fabric. Take your pencil/washable marker and mark a line 5/8 inch down—parallel to the top edge of the fabric.
- Start from where your first line is drawn, and keep spacing lines 5/8 inches apart from each other all the way down. You can also use smaller or larger spacing or even a combination of spacing (ie 1.4, 1/2, 1/4, 1/2 etc) for style.
- I recommend drawing in at least 8 5/8-inch-wide lines, but you can use more/fewer depending on your size.
*If you feel comfortable sewing without the marker lines, feel free to skip that step. Proceed to the step D, with a 5/8 seam, using a 5/8 seam allowance.
D) Put the both the stitch length and machine tension on the settings that work best for your machine (usually medium tension and the longest stitch length.)
Important: Experiment on a scrap piece of fabric before beginning stitching on the dress!
E) With the right side of the fabric facing up, slowly stitch across each of the lines.
Step 5: Finishing up!
At this point, you should have a piece of fabric with finished edges and the desired amount of shirred rows. (See below)
* This is a one seam dress. Therefore, there are multiple ways to finish construction, depending on your sewing machine’s capabilities and supplies available.
IF YOU SERGED (ZIGZAG OR MARROW) OR DOUBLED HEMMED (All four sides)
1) Fold the fabric in half (along the width, hamburger style) with the right sides of your fabric together and the wrong side
facing you. (see figure on right)
2) Match the top, bottom, and shirring-lines together. Sew down from top to bottom with a 5/8 inch seam allowance.
3) Press the seam open with an iron.
1) Fold the fabric in half (along the width) with the wrong sides of your fabric together and the right side of the fabric facing you (opposite of figure on the right)
2) Sew a straight line from top to bottom, with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
3) Trim the seam allowance in half to 1/8 inch width.2) Sew a straight line from top to bottom, with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
4) Once the seam allowance is trimmed, you will once again fold the fabric along the seam and sew down
Step 6: Shoulder Straps
Shoulder Straps are optional, but they really help secure the dress in place. Here we have a few different ways that you can create the straps. Also, the straps can be made with different material. You also can use trims/ribbon instead of fabric.
Option 1: Halter Style
1) Cut 2 pieces of fabric with the following dimensions:
- Length of strips = length of dress
- Width of strip = 2.5 inches
- Example: Length of dress = 24 inches…cut two 24 in. X 2.5 in. strips
2) Hem the short sides of the strips with a 1/4 inch hem.
- Note: Zigzag stitching and/or double hemming is not necessary.
3) Fold the strips in half, right sides together. Stitch along the long side with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Turn the tubes inside out.
4) Measure the front top edge of the dress, and divide this number by 3. Divide the dress vertically into thirds, and mark the edge.
- Example: Width = 15…draw a dot on the top edge of the fabric at the 5-in. mark and the 10-in. mark.
- These dots indicate where the straps will go. Hand stitch them in place.
Option 2: Spaghetti Straps
1) Follow steps 1-3 in Option 1.
- However, your straps will be half the length of the dress.
- Example: Length = 24…cut two pieces of 12 in. X 2.5 in. fabric
2) Follow Step 4 in Option 1. Repeat this step with the back of the dress.
Option 3: Shoulder Ties
1) Follow steps 1-3 in Option 1.
- However, you will need four pieces of fabric instead of two. Your dimensions will remain the same.
- Example: Length = 24…cut four pieces of 12 in. X 2.5 in. fabric
2) Follow Step 4 in Option 2. Sew a strap at each of the four dots.
Step 7: You’re Finished!
- If desired, add your own trims, embellishments, fringes, or shoulder straps.
- Go to dresses-for-haiti.tumblr.com and submit a picture of the dress you made – we will be featuring some of your amazing outfits on our Tumblr!
- If you would like to donate the dresses you just sewed to a young girl in Haiti, send an email to email@example.com detailing how many dresses you will be donating. We will email you some information, regarding the next steps.