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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

.:Tutorial Tuesday - Pillowcase Dress:.

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Yesterday I promised to share the tutorial on how to make these babies.

They are ridiculously easy - perfect for a beginning seamstress like myself!

What you need:
- fabric
- ribbon
- sewing machine/accessories

I forgot to take pictures of these first few steps, so just imagine it in your mind!

The first thing you need to do is figure out how long you want your dress to be total.

Then, if you are using two fabrics, you'll want to figure out how big you want your strip at the bottom to be.

You will also need to figure out how wide you need your dress to be. A good rule of thumb is about 1.5 times wider than the normal width of your child's shoulders/shirt.

So, for instance, my regular width is 10 inches across. When I cut my fabric, I'm going to make the width be 15 inches.

I want my dress to be 20 inches long total. The strip at the bottom is going to be six inches long. So I would cut two strips of fabric at 15 x 6 1/2 (to allow for seams). I don't worry about adding extra to the width because it is already going to be quite a loose fit.

So if my bottom strip is 6 inches long, then I need my main body piece to be 14 inches long. I need a two inch seam at the top to make a casing for the ribbon, so that puts it up to 16 inches, and then another 1/4-1/2 inch for the seam where it attaches to the bottom strip. So I would cut two pieces at 15 x 16.5 for the main body.

Does that make sense? (Remember, I'm a beginner seamstress, so I may not explain things the best way possible!)

Once you've done this, you'll have four pieces of fabric cut.

Take your two main body pieces. Fold them in half, length wise. You need to cut your arm holes. I go about an inch in and six inches down.

Iron down a quarter inch on each arm hole.

Sew it, using a backstitch.

At the top of your main body fabrics, iron down about 2 inches.

Then sew this down. It will be the casing for the ribbon to go through.

Now take your bottom strips of fabric, pin a quarter inch hem and iron it down.

Then sew it across.

Now take your main body piece and lay it facing right side up on the table. Pin the strip to the bottom with the right sides facing.

Sew the two pieces together.

I like to top stitch on the right side. This helps hold down that flap of fabric underneath.

Once you've done this for all of your pieces, take what is now two pieces, and pin them together, right sides facing. Make sure your lines match up where the top and bottom pieces come together.

Sew them together.

I like to do a zig zag stitch along the unfinished edges. This helps it not to fray as much over time with wash and wear.

Turn it right side out.

Use a safety pin to string your ribbon through the casing. I chose to do one continuous string, but if you wanted bows on each shoulder, you could use two pieces of ribbon.

And done! Cute and easy! Just the way I like it.

These two dresses are going towards this service opportunity. Now that you know how to make them, you should donate too!


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  1. Thanks so much for sharing this! I've been wanting to make one for a while. I can't wait to get started! Yours turned out so cute!!!

  2. That's where I'm sending the ones I'm making too :)

  3. I used to sell these at our local Farmer's Markets....they're fantastic as a top once they're too long...see post (we're too busy with our children to keep it up). Great tutorial! http://charmsdesigns.blogspot.com/2009/10/were-back.html

  4. I hope you don't mind me posting another photo of the pillowcase dress...http://charmsdesigns.blogspot.com/2009/06/june-6th.html

    Soooo easy to make with this tutorial, I think every little girl should have one!


  5. Cute! I've been wanting to make one, too. Your directions are so thorough, I think I could mostly just go off the pictures! Awesome!

  6. Ok, I was so happy when I saw that you were doing a tutorial on these. I've been seeing these online for like a year and couldn't find a tutorail anywhere. I've wanted to make one forever! Thanks Summer!

  7. These are so beyond cute! I need you to have a boy though for your next baby, so that you can start doing darling things that I can copy for my two boys!

  8. So cute! That really doesn't look that hard. I really want to make one. Thanks Summer!


  9. Thanks for sharing this! I've been trying to find easy clear-cut instructions for the pillowcase dress and was happy to see your post! I'm in the process of finishing one up for my daughter for the 4th! Thanks again!

  10. Would love it if you would join me for my 2nd linky party going on right now!!



  11. What a great tutorial! I've also been wanting to make one of these and am definitely a newbie at sewing, so I am excited to try this! I found you on Blue Cricket and I'm glad I did. :) Have a great day!!

    Brooke @ craftingchicks.blogspot.com

  12. Thanks for the tutorial!! Now, I just need some kids!! They look fabulous!!

  13. Absolutely adorable! I love them! I might even have to make a couple myself! Stopping by from Sugar & Spice! :)

  14. Very cute! Thanks for linking @Creative Itch's "Sew Cute Tuesday"!

  15. Such a cute idea and a fabulous tutorial. Thanks for sharing.

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  17. Very cute! I have to try one for my girls! I am a beginner at sewing too. Thanks for sharing!

  18. So cute and just perfect for summer!Love them:-)

  19. Thanks so much for doing this tutorial!! I've been wanting to make one for awhile, but wasn't sure how. :)

  20. I need to get brave and use my sewing machine... this just might get me started! Thanks for linking up!

    Vanessa @ Craft Envy

  21. Great to see you again on Craft Schooling Sunday, even if it did take me all week to stop by! all the best, and hope to see you again soon!


Thanks for leaving a comment! I love reading them! I try to reply to questions the best I can, but you can always email me at sumossweetstuff {at} gmail {dot} com.