Friday, August 20, 2010

Pillowcase dress tutorial- Style 2: "Party Girl"

Like "The Classic," this dress was made from a pillowcase, and for less than $2! The big side bow at the neck is perfect for a party princess.

You will need:
- a pillowcase
- coordinating fabric for the bow and hem band (1/3 yard)
- coordinating thread
- safety pin

1. Measure your little girl from her armpit to about the knee (I usually go a bit longer because I try to make it to last 2 summers!).
2. Fold your pillowcase lengthwise, and cut a j-shaped section from the top (closed) end, with the bottom of the j starting at the distance you just measured from the bottom (open) end of the pillowcase. This will be the armhole. The j should extend about 3-4" into the fabric horizontally, then continue up to the top vertically (see first photo below).
3. Cut a diagonal line along the non-folded side, starting about 2" into j shape of armpit and extending towards hem (open end of pillowcase). This helps give the dress some taper along the sides, otherwise I found it to be too boxy. 4. Cut 6 inch band of coordinating fabric to width of fabric. Fold over long raw edges 1/4 inch. Press. Fold in half. Press. Align along bottom hem of dress, and stitch into place near top of band. Trim excess. (Sorry! I must have forgotten to take a picture of this step!)
5.Sew side seems of dress with a straight stitch. Reinforce with a zig zag for good measure.
6. Fold the armhole area over 1/4 inch. Press. Fold 1/4 inch again, press again. 7. Sew along folded edge to finish armhole. Repeat for other side. 8. Fold the top edge (neck) of the dress over 1/4 inch. Press. Fold over again 2 inches and press. Sew, staying close to edge, leaving ends open. This will be the channel for your bow fabric. Repeat for other side. 9. Cut a 4.5 inch strip of your coordinating fabric, length the width of fabric.
10. Fold fabric in half, right sides facing. Press. Sew length to close strip using 1/4 seam allowance. 11. Use safety pin to invert strip tube you have just made, using fingers to work the safety pin out the other side. Press. 12. Tuck ends of strip in. Press.
13. Sew ends closed, and sew along all edges so that all of strip has a nice stitched edge as shown.
14. Attach safety pin to strip and use fingers to work it through the front channel until it emerges on other end. Continue through the back channel so that the 2 strip ends end up on the same side of the neck.

15. Measure 15 inches from end of each strip, then sew strip to dress as shown to secure. 17. Evenly distribute ruffles of neck. At other end of neck, sew dress to strip, arranging so that top part is shorter than the bottom, as shown. This will help the dress to sit flat on the neck.

Put it on your little princess and tie a big bow! You are finished! Congratulations! I hope you have enjoyed the Pillowcase Dress Tutorial series. I would love to see a picture of your finished creations in my Flickr group. Have fun!


Alison said...

Where's the messenger bag post gone?! Shows up in my Google Reader but not when I click through to your blog.

Anonymous said...

So cute!!

Unknown said...

This is beautiful! Thank you for the instructions (which I'm borrowing to make one for my daughter). She will love it.

Gretta Hewson
Veritable Lodges Southeast Alaska