The Stuff of Life

500 Dresses (Almost)

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Do you ever have little ideas float through your head and think, “It’d be cool if someone did…” or “I should try…” or “It would be awesome if…” And then you push those ideas aside and go throw another load of clothes in the wash. I do that a lot. But for some reason, this dress thing lodged itself somewhere in my brain, and I’m so glad I followed through.

There is one thing I especially love about God’s ideas. He never does things halfway. And sometimes, all you have to do is say yes and  go along for the ride, because He has already prepared people to do the work behind the idea He put in your head. That’s what happened with these dresses and shorts, now rolled up and packed away in two boxes weighing 40 pounds each. (Those are my handsome kiddos sitting on the boxes. Actually, Carter is in the process of pushing Lewis off the box, but hey, at least they’re all in the picture.)

The original goal was 500 Dresses. We didn’t reach it, and that’s okay. We got very close and ended up with 3 times the amount of clothes I sent last year.



Dresses – 331        Shorts – 105

It has been an awesome couple months of buying fabric, practicing my sewing skills, collecting dresses from you guys out there, doing a group sewing day at my house, working assembly-line style cutting, sewing  and ironing  with my Sunday School class, and watching my engineer husband come up with ideas to streamline the operation. Seriously – he cut dress forms out of wood which we clamp to a cutting board on a special table top thing he built and then cut the fabric with rotary blades.  It’s really pretty sweet. Take a look below.

Rotary Cutter in Action (not my husband 🙂 )

Assembly Line (my husband 🙂 )

It’s time to take a little break from the dress campaign, but in the meantime we’re going to sort through the logistics of making 500 Dresses an ongoing service to Mission to Haiti. Corey just figured out this streamlining idea, my brother has a start-up business,, from which he plans to donate a portion of his proceeds for dresses and I have had a fair amount of interest from people who want to participate in more dressmaking. I’m not sure what it’s going to look like, but I am pretty confident that this dress thing is not done.

Thanks so much to the 50+ people who helped with this project by donating money for fabric, donating money for shipping, donating fabric, loaning out sewing machines, cutting, sewing, ironing…

If you want to check out the organization that will be hand-delivering the dresses go to


Author: Kim Harms

I am a contributor at CT Women (previously known as Today's Christian Woman where I was a regular contributor as well). I blog monthly at and have freelanced for a variety of publications including Chicken Soup for the Soul, Guideposts, Thriving Family and Creation Illustrated. Cancer made an unwelcome visit in my breast in January 2016, and I am now working on a book about breast reconstruction after having gone through the insane process myself. My incredible husband of 18 years, Corey, is my biggest writing cheerleader and together we are having a ball raising our three growing boys; Carter 15, Owen 14 and Lewis 10.

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