Friday, July 23, 2010

Pillowcase dress making 101

Y'all know how much I LOVE making pillowcase dresses!!!
They are very forgiving and there is a lot of room for error.
They are very versatile and can be worn for years.
People have been making dresses like this FOREVER, and I am sure if you googled it you would find lots of wonderful directions on how to make them.
I've tried several different ways and found what works best for me.

So with out further ado...
I give you pillowcase dress making 101
(These directions are for making a toddler dress for Sophie (2t),
but are easily adjusted for whatever size you need.)

What you need:
Fabric, or pillowcase

For this dress I used pink seersucker fabric.
I am totally a sucker for anything seersucker! LOL

~ Start with two pieces of fabric cut 2-3 inches wider than a standard pillowcase.
For the length: measure from the chest to knee or mid calf and add about 3 inches.
{For a larger dress (sz 4/5 for "A"-- the fabric should be about 28inches wide and 30 inches long.}

With right sides together, stitch along selvage edge to create side seams.

Your fabric should now look like a pillowcase with an opening at the top and bottom.

~Now fold fabric in half and cut "J"shaped cutouts for armholes at one corner.

For a small child, it should be about 3″ deep, for a larger child make it 4″ deep.

Open back up the dress.

The most important part...


~Iron each arm hole by folding it down 1/4 of and inch (press) and then 1/4 of an inch again (press).

Now stitch along each arm hole.

~ To make your casing...Press front and back top edges down toward the inside of the dress 1/4 inch, then press again at 1" (or wider, depending on your ribbon width).

Now stitch along bottom of casing.

~Hem the dress in the same fashion. Fold over 1/4 inch (press) and then 1/2 inch (press)

Now stitch along edge of hem

~Lastly, add your ribbon in the casing on the front and back of the dress!.

Use a safety pin to help guide the ribbon through the casing.

And there you have it...
PLEASE let me know if you have any questions!

Also, if you make a dress using these directions, let me know!
I'd love to see how it turns out!
Happy Sewing!


Michelle said...

Thank you!!!!! So cute. I've never understood what happens at the neckline and sizing was a mystery, now I see! I'm a pretty new sewer. Looks pretty simple, can't wait to try. I've got some left over fabric from curtains I made for the kids rooms. Only problem when I start a project (I've been bow making) for my girl, my son wants me to make him something. I'm thinking those cute tees you make might be perfect! Do you have to hem your cut out pieces before you sew them on or do you just sew on and let the fabric unravel or does it not unravel?

Ashlee said...

Oh, my!! I'm new at this too and can't wait to try this! Thank you so much for the simple directions that were put in simple terms that I can understand! LOL.

I'll let you know how it turns out.

These Are The Days said...

THanks Jenny, I forgot I wanted to try it after seeing all your cute dresses. I have a sewing machine that needs to be used and I'm a major thanks, my Sophia will LOVE IT.

Jilly said...

I love making these, too, and I am glad to see another set of directions. Thank you! I also love your new family pictures on your sidebar. :)

Haven't made the fabric flowers yet, but it's on the agenda for this week!

Kristin @ Blue Skies said...

I'm so excited you posted the directions! I'm planning in making them (soon hopefully) so they'll be ready when our baby is big enough! They don't look too scary to attempt :)

Kelly said...

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I just got a sewing machine and I cannot wait to make a dress for my little girl!! I'll let you know when I do! :)

Annie said...

Thank you so much for sharing it. Definitely, I'm going to practice when I finish my work I told you.

Enjoy your weekend.

Lexie Loo & Dylan Too said...

Thanks for the tutorial!!! I really want to try this!

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Devin said...

Jenny! This post is totally inspiring. I can't wait until Lola gets a little bigger, so I can make one for her! I have never sewed anything in my life *besides buttons, LOL* but I think you have explained this well enough that I actually may be able to tackle it! Thank you for sharing!

Rachel said...

Thank you so much! I have been wanting to make a pillowcase for some time now, but am.well....not very skilled when it comes to sewing. But I think I can tackle this one and do an alright job! Thanks! Love your blog!