give hope

Running water, a bed to sleep in, food on the table, clothes on our backs, and shoes on our feet.  These physical items are easy to spot, and painful when there is a lack there of. We can look in our own homes and in the world around us and see who has more and who is in need. It's the other stuff {value, confidence, hope} that, more often that not, goes unnoticed. All these needed just as much as our basic physical needs. With our GIVE HOPE campaign, we hoped to give not just the physical, but also the emotional. 

Hope pdf pattern

Hope dress VFT

Lola dress VFT

It's been almost 4 months ago since we introduced you to our {GIVE HOPE} Campaign. Never did we expect this campaign to be the success as it has become!!! The timeline was initially set to 2 months, but we extended it, and we are so excited to tell you why! {keep reading} We're so pleased to tell you that we've officially accounted, organized, and now boxed all of the received donations and they are on their way to Casa Guatemala (and to an additional organization...keep reading...more on that, too!!)  

As a quick reminder of the origins, this campaign had a simple concept: Sew up a dress or two and send the finished garments to the VFT Studios.  We would in turn donate all items to Casa Guatemala, a fantastic organization that seeks to provide a loving and nurturing environment to impoverished children. "Casa Guatemala seeks to provide a safe home, love and nurturing, proper health care, and an excellent education to the children of Guatemala who are abused, abandoned, malnourished, or living in extreme poverty."  

Hope dress pdf VFT


Hope dress VFT


Hope dress VFT

For all that felt moved, we gave 2 months to get to work and send in donations.  When we dreamed up this idea, we realized the fabric requirements were relatively hefty, we knew the time involved would be substantial, and we knew there would be also an expense. We hoped to reach our goal, but to be honest, Ericka and I were thinking there might be a chance we'd be sewing quite a few ourselves. Boy, were we wrong!!! This campaign must have really resonated deeply with so many of you! You spent two months of sewing and pouring your love into these precious garments. The dresses just kept coming in! Even far after we reached our goal. You all sent in your beautiful donations, every single one sewn with love, prayers, and hope that each garment would bless a special child. 

Give Hope


typical mail day during the campaign

typical mail day during the GIVE HOPE Campaign

You more than exceeded our dream!!!  You went above and beyond what we could have ever imagined this campaign would be!  We received more than {triple} the garments we needed to send to Casa Guatemala!  We were in awe of all the generosity!  It was more than we had ever imagined for GIVE HOPE.

Can we also mention how many happy tears were shed in this studio? Along with your dresses, many of you sent in incredibly touching notes and letters. Some of you were looking for an outlet to use your sewing talents to help others, and this was just the answer you were looking for. Some of you were looking for a special, meaningful project to share in with your little one. Some of you had special fabric that you had saved for quite a while, and felt touched to use it on this project. The reasons for your involvement were all so touching. When we received handwritten letters from your children, noting their involvement and their hope for happiness for an unknown recipient, we cried. Like, the big, ugly cry that you don't want others to witness. I feel the tears welling as I type this part and I'm willing them back because there is so much more to write!  

give hope

give hope VFT

Lola dress pdf vft

hope dress pdf pattern

Our initial goal was to send 1 Hope dress OR 1 Lola/Evie outfit to each girl living at Casa Guatemala. We had such an outpouring of love that we were able to send each girl a Hope dress AND a Lola/Evie outfit.  Casa Guatemala will ALSO have quite a few extra that they can give an additional Hope dress to each girl OR save for future needs or distribute to the children in the surrounding villages that they also serve.  Even with this huge shipment, we still had dresses needing homes!  We were getting dozens and dozens of dresses EVERY day during the last few weeks of the campaign. Your generosity has allowed us to *also* send dresses to Dress a Girl Around the World!  This amazing organization provides dresses to girls all over the world, including impoverished areas in the United States.

livie & luca

Are you ready for the exciting addition to the Hope dresses and Evie/Lola outfits? You've been given a little hint above... Even with this enormous collective effort, there was something nagging at us. We knew this campaign could be even better. It's no secret around here that Livie and Luca shoes are our preferred pick for nearly every occasion. Our daughters love them because they are the comfiest shoes around. We love them because they are the cutest. Livie & Luca, a brand that prides itself on spreading joy, making a difference, and building community, was the perfect company to ask to join.  

Livie & Luca shoes

"Passing along joy is how we practice our mission of sustainability, because we care about the long-term well being of our community." Livie and Luca is a company who looks to bettering those in the communities around it, bettering the families that work there, and bettering the entire world.  It's not about selling shoes, but about spreading joy and positively affecting others.

Livie & Luca

So, we thought we'd reach out. When we initially emailed, we didn't expect a reply, especially not as quickly as we got one. We emailed way back in December, right before the holidays. Not only did Livie and Luca reply within 15 minutes, but they were so lovely and gracious. We might have shed a few tears of joy in reading their response. There may have also been shouts of joy, and a few jumps up and down.

livie & luca shoes

Livie & Luca shoes stepped up to the huge task of providing a pair of shoes for each and every little girl living at Casa Guatemala!  WOW!!!!!  Now, not only would all these children receive two new outfits, they would also get a brand new pair of shoes! Is your heart leaping for joy, like ours? 

handmade dolls


Livie & Luca helped us to make this dream a reality! Once we got a final count and shoe size for each girl, they have helped to make this campaign really extraordinary by donating shoes for each girl living at the orphanage!!!  We can't imagine the amount of joy they are helping to spread around the world and we feel honored to be partnered with them on this!

shipments ready to go

 And while it is about the outfits and shoes, that's not all it's about.  It's about much, much more.  It's about what the donations represent.  These dresses and shoes represent hope of a better day.  Hope for these children to live a life that they dream about.  Hope that every child who receives an outfit and pair of shoes is blessed and feels how special and important they are.

hope dress pdf

Lola top pdf pattern

hope campaign

hope dress VFT

 We cannot thank LIVIE AND LUCA and YOU, all of our incredibly generous fans, enough for your generosity!  We were blown away with the amount of donations we received!  Every item was unique and special, sewn with an enormous amount of love!  

hope dress campaign VFT

Lola pdf pattern

Hope dress pdf

Hope dress

The time and energy put into each and every garment is unimaginable!  We received so many dresses/outfits we thought they would never stop coming in! Somewhere in the neighborhood of 700. Just think how many donated hours that is! Incredible!! We could feel the outpouring of love from every one of you as we packed up these gorgeous garments to send them off. We thought about the smiling, beaming face of the little one as she was handed these lovingly crafted handmade dresses. 

hope dress

hope dress pdf

Hope dress VFT

Hope dress

hope dress

We were shocked by the amazing details, the way you all went above and beyond.  It may seem trivial.  It's just a little pocket, or a bit of trim and lace, but most of these children have never had clothes like this before.  It's these little details will make every child feel special and know that there is hope for a better day!

Hope dress

Lola and evie outfit VFT

Hope dress

Hope dress VFT

We honestly don't know how to express our gratitude to you.  A simple {Thank You} just does not seem sufficient, but we want you to know how thankful we are!  We could not have done this without you and we are so incredibly grateful for you kindness and support!  We always say we have the most amazing customers and fans, and this just showed us exactly how amazing you all are! With that, we'll conclude this update, leaving you with another, very humble thank you. Ok, maybe just a few more: thank you, thank you, thank you. 


April 22, 2016 by Jessica Herning