Thursday, May 22, 2008

Simple Pillowcase Dress

Pillow case dresses are cute and comfy and can be worn year round by adding a shirt underneath during colder months and even adding some tights or leggings! Very versatile as well because size is easily adjusted between 3T - 5T by either gathering the dress tighter at the ribbon ties to make it a little smaller or loosening it up to make the dress a little bigger.
A pillow case dress is easy to make and the possibilities for personalizing are endless. You can use fabric of your choice or even an actual pillowcase :)

You need:
7/8 yd of 45" cotton fabric
thread to match
3 yd of 7/8" ribbon
sewing machine and basic skills

Measures appx. 20" at chest from side seam to side seam (40" total) and 25" length; fits 3T-5T

1. wash and iron fabric then fold in half and cut along fold
2. create a pattern for arm holes from scrap fabric or paper appx. 4.5" across top and 7" down straight side

3. with right sides together, pin pattern in place and cut arm holes at upper corners, curve to the inside straight edges of pattern and fabric matching (you should have two identical pieces after you cut)
4. place right side of fabric to ironing board and fold the arm holes 1/4" over, press. fold over again and press to from a clean edge, pin in place. Do this for all 4 arm hole sections

5. Sew along the edge of the fold. Iron flat as needed since the fabric will tend to curl after sewing

6. Match front and back with right sides together, matching arm holes. Pin and sew side seams with appx 1/2" seam allowance.

7. Turn right side out. Now it's time to add the ribbon. Cut 2 pieces 45" long
8. Fold the top edge of the dress 1/4" wrong sides together and press

9. Place the ribbon across the dress and fold over the top edge again, encasing the ribbon leaving a little "gap" to prevent the ribbon from being caught in the seam. Repeat for the other side. (We'll stitch it later, but right now you need the finished top to measure the length for the hem)

10. To finish the hem turn dress inside out and measure 25" from the top edge mark with a pin or tailor's chalk

11. Fold the bottom up to the mark with wrong sides together and press the entire hem making sure both sides are even and iron. Fold again to form a finished edge and pin in place

12. Sew all the way around at the top edge of the fold, careful not to to catch any other parts of the dress in the seam! (It's easy to do when sewing the hem.)

13. Now it is time to do the ribbon. Sew across the top as shown in the photo. Make sure you do not sew any of the ribbon. Repeat for the other side. Make sure your ribbon can slide easily back and forth. Fold the top as shown in photo, making sure the ribbon is even. Mark the middle with a straight pin and sew up and down (top to bottom) Just a little stitch back and forth to hold the ribbon in place.

14. Turn your dress right side out and iron. Cut off any dangling threads. Time to seal the ribbon ends. I like to use a lighter as fray check is always messy for me and can stain. Take a lighter (on low flame) and whisk it swiftly back and forth on your ribbon ends. This makes a clear seal. Practice on a scrap piece of ribbon first til you get the hang of it.

Congratulations. You have just made a pillowcase dress.


Christine said...

Thank you so much for the instructions on how to make the dress without an actual pillowcase. I have been searching online for this for quite sometime. You said the instructions you have a for 3T-5T, do you have any suggestions for making this for a very skinny 2T?

groovinmama said...

These are FABULOUS instructions ... but for a skinny 2T, like mine, make sure to cut the armholes much smaller, and perhaps take off two inches on the sides. This laid out to match the existing dress we have, but when completed, the armholes were nearly down to her bellybutton. It fits ME perfectly as a shirt, though! (I'm 5' tall.)

evie said...

i've been looking for directions for a pillowcase dress made with fabric (rather than from an actual pillowcase) too. thanks so much!