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Bellville lady makes Barbie dresses for underprivileged children

By Shiloh Synergy

With beautiful materials and lots of bling, Hannelie Lourens from Bellville Cape Town designs and makes exceptional Barbie clothes, which she then sells to raise money for Shiloh Synergy, a non-profit organization in Brackenfell.

With this unique hobby, she contributes to making a difference in the lives of disadvantaged children in Cape Town North.

Shiloh Synergy

Hannelie is one of Shiloh's friends who helps raise funds in a unique way to make a difference in the lives of less privileged children.

We had the privilege of getting to know Hannelie a few years ago, when she visited us at our head office in Brackenfell. Her sacrifice and dedication is truly an example which was born from a heart of compassion for children.

She designs and makes Barbie clothes and sells them. With all the bling and beautiful materials, she makes the most beautiful outfits. These are then sold and the funds are given to Shiloh Synergy a Non-Profit Organization. Needless to say, we are not only grateful, but admire her dedication and perseverance. She is truly an example for those who want to make a difference in the lives of others.

Shiloh's field of ministry is among the less fortunate. Make a difference and feel free to visit our website to see our projects, maybe there is a place or opportunity for you to help make a difference.

Delene Kleyn for Shiloh Synergy:

Hannelie writes - I started sewing at the age of 10 when I got my 1st Barbie doll. I started making clothes for myself when I was 20 and made most of my own clothes after that.

When I retired in 2016, I decided to use my talent for sewing for other people's benefit. At first I made children's clothes and gave them to Shiloh, but that didn't really interest me. In 2019 I made my sister's little girl Barbie clothes as a gift and then the bug bit me. I knew that was exactly what I wanted to fill my days with from now on. I then just had to find a way to make Barbie clothes and still serve my fellow man. After thinking the matter over, I decided to sell the clothes and donate the proceeds to Shiloh.

As a librarian, I make an intensive study of everything that interests me. I studied information about Barbie clothes on the Internet and came across the realistic style in which many people dress their dolls. On Barbie's scale, dressing and styling the doll like a human is an art form. I was able to live out my creativity, while it challenged me to hone my skills. The fact that I could already make clothes helped me a lot with pattern design and construction, but knowledge of human clothing is not enough for Barbie's scale. I joined Facebook groups and learned the techniques of making Barbie clothes.

I was already interested in the latest fashions as a child and made scrapbooks to capture the fashions through the years. I would have liked to study fashion design, but back then, in the 70s there were not as many institutions offering full-time intensive courses in fashion design as there are now, so I went in an academic direction. However, I can now finally make a living as a fashion designer at 1/6 scale. Each outfit has its own challenges, so I keep learning and therefore never get bored.

The proceeds from my sales go to Shiloh's Back to School project. Every set of clothes sold gives a child a better prospect for the future.


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