Local teen collecting pillowcases for a good cause

By Victoria Martinez

Nicole Bastanchury plans on using the donated pillowcases to make dresses to a variety of charitable organizations.
Photo contributed

Nicole Bastanchury, an incoming senior at Santa Ynez Valley High School, is organizing a Pillowcase Drive as her first step in her Girl Scout’s Gold Award project, “Back to the Basics”.

Bastanchury will have donation boxes June 2-4 throughout the Valley to collect new or gently used pillowcases and bias tape. The collected materials will be used at a 4-hour workshop in July (date TBD) to teach girls and boys how to do basic sewing. Attendees will work with a number of community volunteers to learn how to hand sew buttons and use a basic stitch on a sewing machine, and then sew dresses from the pillow cases collected. The goal will be to make 150 dresses and donate them to a local homeless shelter and to the Little Dresses for Africa organization.

Bastanchury created “Back to the Basics” after reflecting on an experience she had making the pillowcase dresses at Bethania Lutheran Church community event. She wanted to both create something for those in need and also teach a skill she believes is lacking in today’s youth.

“I think sewing is kind of a lost trade, and I wanted to bring it back,” Bastanchury shared.

Donation bins can be found throughout the weekend at El Rancho Market, Albertsons, Harrison Hardware and the Buellton Library.