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Thank You Thursday: Not Just Any Dress

I don’t mind sewing, but by no means would I say I’m a sewer. And I’ve made a set of pyjamas once and a dress too, but by no  means would I say I’m a dress maker. But one young woman I’ve recently read about is definitely that; a sewer and a dress maker… and an AMAZING one at that!

At the end of 2010 Rachel Burke decided to do some sewing for charity. She decided do give up 20 Saturday nights to make 20 dresses and sell them for charity. That’s a big enough feat as it was, but not for Rachel. She (strangely) wanted more and in April last year kicked off her I make my day campaign in which she decided to make 365 dresses in 365 days to raise funds for sick kids. (Crazy. I know. :-))

Rachel Burke in her studio

21 years young when she first dreamt up her 20 dresses in 20 weeks idea, Rachel is one seriously innovative fundraiser. And even more than innovative she is a risk taker and I love that! It’s something us professional fundraisers need to aspire to. (Not the dress making, but the innovation and risk taking.)

Rachel’s dress making adventure is raising money for Starlight Foundation; she hopes for $10,000, but I’d hope she would be able to do more than that. Such a lot of effort and love has obviously gone into it, but the amount of time is mind blowing. Most dresses take her between 30 minutes and 2.5 hours to make, which by my calculations is between 180-900 hours for the year! And that is on top of her full time job. Rachel was squeezing the additional time in her little design and sewing studio early in the morning before work or late at night before bed.

Where it all began… Dress #1 of 365

So, by May this year Rachel was finished her challenge and had made 365 dresses in 365 days. Of her achievement, she says, ‘Whilst there were times I wondered if I was going to crack under time constraints, or push my sewing machine off the desk in creative frustration, I have come to realise that anything is possible if you just have faith in your ideas and give yourself the chance to strive for a goal.’

Rachel is hosting her very own Prom themed event in Brisbane on Thursday July 5th to celebrate the completion of her year of dress making, sell some of the dresses and help reach her $10,000 target for charity. More info is here.

So congrats on such a wonderful achievement, Rachel. The Fish Chick acknowledges your creativity and generosity this Thank You Thursday.

See you in the pond,

The Fish Chick.


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