Photos courtesy of Charlene Benbrook Tammy Larsen (L) and Michelle Covington sewing dress parts together

July 2, 2022

Over 20 women gathered on June 15th at what looked like a pop-up dress making factory in a church gym in Lee’s Summit. Michelle Covington, activity chair for the Relief Society of the Lee’s Summit First Ward, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been organizing assembly lines for costume production at Lee’s Summit North High School for years, and was the driving force behind the project.

She also uses her skills to sew for charitable organizations each summer. This summer, she contacted the Dress A Girl Foundation, and got an assignment to make 30 dresses for girls in Uganda.

Charlene Benbrook said the effort was very organized. “Michelle had clear instructions and materials for six different sewing and ironing stations.” About 25 women worked for two hours and fully completed one dress that night, with the rest nearly finished. “Michelle and Deb Howdeshell took the rest home and finished hems for us. I just wish we had a little more time,” Benbrook reflected. Patty Ward, one of the women working on the project said, “It was such a great activity. We get better attendance at activities when we are doing service projects, and this one was very well done.”