Britches for Boys

Nancy Zieman Sewing With Nancy Little Dresses and Britches for Africa

Britches for Boys

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Nancy Zieman Sewing With Nancy Little Dresses and Britches for Africa

To better understand the purpose of Britches for Boys in Africa you first need to know about the Little Dresses for Africa. Little Dresses for Africa is a nonprofit organization providing relief to orphaned children in the remote villages of Africa. The girl orphans are the most devalued and abused in the culture, and Rachel O’Neill founded Little Dresses for Africa to give these little girls hope and let them know that they are “worthy.” The simple dresses are made from a pillowcase, using a FREE downloadable pattern. The dresses are distributed through missionaries, who take them to orphanages, churches, and schools in Africa. The response has been overwhelming! To date 1.5 million dresses have been donated; Nancy’s Notions alone has sent over 108,000 dresses to Africa.

The question “What about the boys?” has come up often, and The Lutheran Quilting Group from Necedah, Wisconsin has developed a pattern to utilize T-shirts to make shorts for boys. These shorts are earmarked “Britches for Boys,” for little orphaned African boys. All sizes are welcomed. They do not have to be solid colors. The pattern states to cut open each side of the t-shirt from hem to underarm. These two pieces are the legs of the shorts. This technique is especially good for shirts with logos as they will remain intact on the sides of the finished shorts.

One new or “like-new” T-shirt, 1 yard of drawcord elastic, and a spool of thread are the only materials needed to complete a pair of shorts in addition to your general sewing supplies. Download the FREE Britches for Boys pattern and complete a pair of shorts in only 60 minutes that will become a prized possession of some small boy in desperate need of clothing. The shorts, as well as the dresses, are not only sent to Africa, but other countries such as Cambodia, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, and the Philippines. Many are also utilized right here in the United States in the Appalachian Mountains and South Dakota.

Ship your completed shorts to Nancy’s Notions and they will send them to a child in need. The address is:

Britches for Boys, c/o Nancy’s Notions
333 Beichl Avenue
Beaver Dam, WI  53916-0683

For additional information go to

Bye for now,

Nancy Zieman The Blog

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  • mj
    July 9, 2013

    Thankyou for caring for the oorphan s & children of the world. I went to Africa on a missionary journey& that gifls are undervalued is so true. God bless you!

  • Carol Parsons
    July 9, 2013

    This is an awesome Idea. I reposted onto my Facebook page for crafters. Thanks so much for all you do Nancy. I love watching you on TV and reading your blog post. You are such a wonderful person to offer these thing for all of us that may not know how they can help. I know I am always trying to find ways to help and this is great to know.

  • Maryjoan
    July 9, 2013

    Is there an address in Canada?

  • Linda Cianciolo
    July 10, 2013

    Greetings from AZ. Last weekend I hosted a sewathon at Hancock Fabrics in Tucson with my sewing students. We are making back to school clothing for the children in OK again on 7/20. These patterns will be put to good use in the USA! If you are interested in participating, here is the link:

    Nancy, thanks for posting these wonderful patterns.

  • Kathleen Tagge
    March 28, 2022

    I have many pieces of cotton knits my sons no longer want for shirts. Can these flat pieces of fabric be used to sew britches for boys?

  • Crystal Brown
    October 10, 2023

    Do you still accept Britches for Boys? What is the exact mailing address. Our church had 2 boxes of them returned to us with “wrong address”. I have a feeling it happened because we did not put C/O Nancy’s Notions on the shipping label. Please advise as we do not want to ship them again and get them back. Thank you!!!! 10-10-2023

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