Tag Archives for " pillowcase dress "

March 26, 2013

How to make a Pillowcase Dress

I love all the cute dresses there are out there for little girls, but my wallet, does not! I saw the cutest Pillowcase Dress on an Etsy shop that was selling for $35. That is just not something I can budget for right now, so I got my sewing machine out and wanted to see if I could do it myself. Turns out, not only can I do it, but I can do it for about $6 and 45 minuets! This Pillowcase Dress is super cute, and pretty easy to make! If you can sew a strait line on a sewing machine, then you can make this dress!

Here is my Pillowcase Dress:

Pillowcase Dress

Isn’t that Pillowcase Dress sweet? My little girl loves it, and it didn’t cost me an arm and a leg to make. The Fabric is Jellybeans, so it will make a great Easter Dress. To make a toddler sized dress like this one you only need about 1 yard of fabric! This fabric was on sale for $1.50 a yard!

Here is what you will need to make a Pillowcase Dress:

  • 1 yard of whatever fabric you would like! (I would suggest cotton, because it is the easiest to work with)
  • an Iron
  • measuring tape/ruler
  • sewing machine
  • i wide ribbon, and one thin ribbon in matching colors to your fabric
  • safety pin

Directions for making a Pillowcase Dress:

Step 1: Start out by laying your fabric out on a flat surface and iron until completely smooth. You want to make sure there are no ripples or folds in the fabric. Let cool.

Step 2: Measure your model! Measure around the waist for width, and from the collarbone down to wherever you want the dress to hit (above the knee, below the knee, etc) for the length. Before cutting your fabric width wise, add 4 extra inches for seam allowance. ( For example, for this dress I am using my almost 5 year old, who measures 24 inches around, so I cut my fabric to 28 inches.)

Step 3: Cut the piece of fabric in half width wise. If you have trouble cutting a straight line (like I do) fold the fabric in half and iron a crease down the middle to be your guide for cutting.

Step 4: Take all 4 sides of both sides of the fabric and fold over about 1/3 of an inch and iron until smooth. Sew all of the ends folded edges closed.

Step 5: Now it is time to make your casing for the ribbon. The size ribbon you choose will determine how big to make the ribbon casing, I chose a 5/8th” ribbon for my dress, so I sewed about a 1″ casing for my ribbon. You will do this to both sides of the Pillowcase Dress pieces at the top of the fabric.

Step 6: Next you will be cutting the sleeves for your dress. I used a dress that I already had as a guide for cutting the new sleeves. You can use a T-shirt to measure this as well. You will cut both sides of the fabric, near the top of the dress, about 3 inches down from your ribbon casing.

Step 7: Now we are going to turn our attention to the bottom of the dress. This step is not necessary to finish the dress, I just think it makes a cute little accent for the bottom of the dress, and It’s really simple to do. You will use your thicker ribbon for the border of the dress. (I used a 2″ wide silk ribbon) You will cut the ribbon about 1/2″ longer on both sides and pin it to the dress using strait pins. (This will help you keep the ribbon in place while you are sewing) After you have the ribbon pinned in place, simply sew a strait line across the top of the ribbon, securing it to the fabric, and cut off the excess ribbon.

Step 8: Now it’s time to sew your dress together! You will sew your dress “ugly side” out. (Ugly side meaning the side of the fabric that is on the inside of the pattern) You will sew from the bottom of the sleeves, to the bottom of the dress, down both sides. (Make sure you do not sew up the sleeves! I did, and had to rip all the stitches out and it was not fun lol)

Step 9: Once your dress is sewn on both sides, flip the dress inside out and iron, check your seems and make sure they are secure, and even.

Step 10: This is the final step! Cut your ribbon (2 pieces, one for the front, and one for the back) about 6 inches wider then your ribbon casing and attach a safety pin to one side and work through your ribbon casing. You will do this by scrunching the fabric around your safety pin and pulling it through the other side. Do this to both sides and tada! You have made your very own Pillow Case Dress!

To wear the Pillowcase Dress you just slip it on and tie the ribbons together in cute bows on each side! Easy Peasy!

This Pillowcase Dress Project was so fun to make, and cheap! My daughter loved that she got to pick out the exact fabric she wanted her dress made out of, and what ribbon color she wanted. The great thing about Pillow Case Dresses is that they can grow with your child. They start out as a dress, and as your child grows you can wear it with a pair of leggings, and then even wear it as a shirt! I’m always looking for ways to save money, and make fun things for myself and my daughter, so I love being able to have the best of both worlds!


I hope you liked this Pillowcase Dress Tutorial, and if you did, don’t forget to Pin it for me!