Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Pillowcase Dress Tutorial

*** The post below this one was supposed to come before this one, so scroll down and read that one first and then come back up here!

Here is an easy tutorial that we put together to help you create a quick and easy dress! This style of dress has been around for a long time, so we don't want to take credit for it, we just put together an easy step by step guide with pictures for you to follow. Please let me know if you have any questions. Also, leave a comment or email me ( your sewing creations!!!

Easy to make Pillowcase Dress
Supplies Needed:
• Fabric or pillowcase
• Ribbon
• Decorative Trim (optional)

First measure the person you will be making the dress for. You will need to measure across the chest. You will also need to measure the length that you want the dress to be. Add on a few inches to the width, then divide that by two and that will be the width of your front piece, and back piece. This is more of a “free flowing” dress, so your measurements don’t have to be exact. When making something for a child you aren’t able to measure, you can always go to and look at their size charts!

Next you will cut the pillowcase or fabric. When you cut the length, add about an inch for your casing fold (that the ribbon will go through). I used fabric so I am cutting off the excess that I will use for the back of my dress!

Next, cut the arm holes. Make sure to cut them on the edge, NOT on the fold! You will cut a “J” shape to create the arms—like the picture below.

Then you repeat this process for the back piece of the dress.

After both pieces are cut out, you will iron the edge of the arm holes, so that you can sew them without having to pin them. Do this to all four armhole edges.

Next step- Sew the armholes.
Then, you are going to make the casing for your ribbon to go through. Iron over enough to fit your ribbon, and then sew along the bottom edge.

Now you are going to sew your two pieces together. With the right sides of the fabric facing each other, pin around the edge. Start at the bottom of the armhole and sew down the sides.

It’s time to add on the ruffle. Pin the ruffle to the hem of your dress and sew. If you do not want to add some type of trim to the bottom of your dress, simply hem the bottom of the dress.

Almost done!
Pull your ribbon through the casing. This can be easily done by putting a safety pin on the end of your ribbon, and working it through. Make sure to diagonally cut the ends of your ribbons so they don’t fray. Finally, tie your bows!

Then, whallah! Your dress is finished and is so easy and cute!

Here are some other dresses we have made using this same pattern:

On this dress I used a different fabric and put pom poms on the bottom.

This dress was made by sewing strips of various fabrics together-- like a quilt. The bottom is trimmed with ric rac ribbon.


Jessica Dye said...

That's Awesome!! What kind of a sewing machine do you have? Do you like it? We are pregnant and find out in May what we are having. If it's a girl I am going to have to start sewing.....

Matt and Lauren Knierim said...

Emily---that is great work! I recently took a class a The Smocking Bird in Homewood and learned how to make a reversible A line dress. Super easy. Yes, I did it must be easy. If you are interested, I'll shoot you an email with the instructions.

DavidandSteff said...

I love love love the multi-fabric dress-adorable! You need to do a tutorial on something for boys...seriously.

Eric and Emily said...

Jessica- congratulations! Baby #2- exciting your little girl is adorable- I have never seen more beautiful curls! I have just a singer (i'll have to double check the model) I just got it at target- it is nothing fancy but works great for the time being!
Lauren- thanks so much! I was actually thinking about taking that class- did you really like it? I was also interested in the smocking (beg) class- have you heard anything about it? I would love instructions on the dress!!
Steph- I'll be thinking up something for you!!!

Matt and Kristen said...

These little dresses are adorable!! Love them!!