Seamstresses fight poverty, 1 dress at a time

BREVARD, FL -- Just go ahead and try and find an uncooperative, unpleasant seamstress. Lifelong sewer Nancy Vaiskauckas will tell you: they’re really not the norm.

“Sewing is just kind of one of those things — if you like it, you do it,” said Vaiskauckas, 59, of Cape Canaveral. “And sewers tend to be very really sweet people. Easy to get along with, always wanting to help, not competitive in nature.”

Well, maybe they can be a little competitive. (As in, I can sew 12 dresses in the time it takes you to make six.) And that’s the kind of boost nimble fingers need when churning out dresses for impoverished girls around the world.

Meet a group of Space Coast seamstresses who meet twice a month to do just that, an arm of the Orlando-based nonprofit Dressed in Hope. Merritt Island resident Marianne Bailey has brought Vaiskauckas and other likeminded ladies together from 2 to 4 p.m. on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month at Sew Central, 353 E. Merritt Island Causeway, Merritt Island.

Here, they craft dresses for poor girls in third-world countries — many who would be unable to attend school without such appropriate garb — in the name of the nonprofit.  DIH is the Florida representative for Dress a Girl Around the World, a campaign run by Hope 4 Women International, a nondenominational independent Christian organization that focuses on bringing dignity to women worldwide


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