Thursday, May 14, 2009

Pillowcase dress

Last night I made Ella 2 Pillowcase style dresses. I had some cute zebra print fabric and some left over minky fabric from Ella's nap mat. I looked at a couple of different tutorials on making these but ended up pretty much doing my own thing.

Step 1 - Measure your child. First measure the length from her collar bone to her knee then add an inch or two for your hem. I only added one inch because I wanted to add trim at the bottom of both. Second, measure her width and double it.

Step 2 - Cut out your fabric. Ella happened to be 15" long and 9 1/2" wide. So I cut out 2 rectangles 16" X 19".

Step 3 - Right sides together, sew 1/4" seam down both sides of the fabric. Press seam open.

Step 4 - Sew your hem. If your adding trim, pin it to the right side of the fabric with the bottom of the trim pointing toward the collar. It may look like your sewing it on upside down, but once your done, fold the trim to the wrong side of the fabric and press. Starting at a side seam, topstitch all the way around the hem and your done with that part! I'm sure that was about as clear as mud. It's hard to describe some things without pictures.

Step 5 - Cut the arm holes. The next part you just have to be a little creative. I measured down each side 4 inches and over from the top 2 1/2 inches. Ella is wearing size 12 month and it worked great for her, you might have to make it a little smaller or larger for different ages. Then I just cut them out. You will be cutting through two layers of fabric so you better pin it so it doesn't slip. Be sure to curve the cut where the two measurements will meet (It will look like your cutting out a J shape). Turn the fabric under 1/4" under the arms, press, then sew in place.

Step 6 - Fold the Collars down according to what size elastic you have laying around. I had 5/8 so I turned the collars down 1". If you had 1", you would turn it down 1 1/4". Stitch around the bottom. Leaving enough space to slide your elastic through.

Step 7 - Take a safety pin and pin one end of the elastic to help you pull it through. After you pull it through one side, slide your fabric down the elastic until its bunched to a width you like. Cut your elastic and pull it out of the fabric. Cut a second strip of elastic the same length. Pull the elastic back through your fabric.

Step 8 - Attach your ribbon. After you pull you elastic through, cut 4 lengths of ribbon. You may want to practice trying a bow to see how much ribbon you need. I have no recommendation on ribbon width. I used 1" but I thought it was too wide, but others have commented that they liked it. Sew 1 of your ribbons to 1 end of the elastic. Slide the ribbon and elastic into the fabric so that the ends are hidden. Then topstitch the ribbon and elastic so that it won't slide anymore. I sewed over the existing 1/4 seam. Repeat three more times.

I won't be suprised if you can't reproduce this dress based on my tutorial. I don't think I'll get a job writing tutorials. If anyone is interested in it, and has any suggestions, I will be happy to clarify.


  1. So great to see this post. I have plans to go to the fabric store tomorrow to get some material to make Anna a pillowcase dress! Now I don't have to research how to do it - you did the work for me! I will let you know how mine turns out. Hopefully I will get to it this weekend or early next week. Both yours turned out great!!!!

  2. So cute and I was planning on making one for the girls too. I saw a cute one done at the Smocking Bird today. I am busy making outfits for the girls for Disney World. Hopefully I will get to post some pictures of my outfits.