Friday, April 10, 2009

Pillowcase Dress

Ok so I made my son's Easter outfit and vowed that even though it about beat me I would sew another outfit. I had told my sister-in-law that I would make my niece something, so....

Last night about 7 I was looking through patterns and could not fathom creating another outfit this weekend, especially not a dress with gathers or pleats. I put down the patterns and went online. I had seen a little girl in the store with a darling little dress and thought that it might be simple to make but I didn't know what it was called. As always when I go online I was sidetracked by checking emails and postings on my favorite websites. Thanks York County Mommies....without a posting from them I would have never found the pillowcase dress. This simple easy dress was completed in a matter of two and a half hours which part of was contenting with a toddler that really wanted to help.

Here is how to make a pillowcase dress....easy peasy!

If you have a pillowcase that you think is cute or you just want to try go right ahead and use it, if not you can use a piece of fabric that is 36- 40 inches long.

Beginning with fabric
Step 1. fold it in half, right sides together, and stitch up one side.
Step 2. Hem the bottom.

*Move on to step 2 below "beginning with a pillowcase"

Beginning with a pillowcase
Step 1: Cut the pillowcase off, leaving the hemmed end,
Step 2: Now that you have your fabric ready to start measure the desired length using the chart below

6 months - 14 1/4"
12 months - 16 1/4"
18 months - 17 1/4"
2T - 18 1/4"
3T - 19 1/4"
4T - 20 1/4"

Step 3. Then cut a strip from the leftover pillowcase (or fabric) that is 1 1/2" tall.

Step 4. Cut the strip open and then in half, so you have two strips, 1 1/2" tall by about 20" long.

Step 5: Cut out an armhole on each side. (to make this easier I folded the pillowcase in half and cut one armhole so that they would be exactly the same). Use the following measurements:

sizes 2T and below cut 1.5" in and 3" down
sizes 3T and 4T cut 2" in and 4" down

Step 6: Take the 1 1/2" strip and place it on the inside of the armhole, right side of strip to wrong side of dress. Fold down the top of the strip about 1/2". Meet the top of the fold with the top of the dress. Stitch the strip all the way around the armhole (from top front of dress, down armhole, to the top back of the dress). When you get close to the end of the armhole, stop and cut off the extra strip, leaving enough to fold down 1/2". Fold down the 1/2 and finish off the armhole.

Step 7: Fold the strip twice, once so that the raw edge is touching the raw edge of the armhole

Step 8: Fold that piece over to the other side of the armhole, binding the armhole.

Step 9: Fold like that along the entire armhole, pinning as you go. You could also iron.

Step 10: Stitch along the binding. Don't worry about trying to stitch the outside and inside perfectly, I would just concentrate on the outside. The inside is already stitched and it won't show anyway Do the same to the other arm.

Step 11: Fold the top of the front and back, first 1/4" then 5/8" to form a casing with no raw edges showing. Stitch this closed.

Step 12: Thread 1 yd of ribbon through each casing.

Step 13: Tie small knots in the end of the ribbons, gather the front and back, and tie bows on the shoulders.

Now you have constructed a pillowcase dress. I did not make these instructions up on my own. I modified instructions from This site also has great pictures to go along with the instructions. Below are some pictures of my finished dress.

I really enjoyed making this dress, it was simple to create and cute as can be. I plan to make more in the future. If we ever have a little girl this may be all she wears! Enjoy!

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