Tuesday, June 26, 2012

DIY Pillowcase Dresses

This is my favorite project from when my nieces were visiting, and quite possibly my favorite project ever.  I've had my eye on some pillowcase dress tutorials, but with this project, I was really not that interested in following directions.  Sometimes, I would just rather wing it!

So, we went to Walmart to find some pillowcases and ribbons.  First, we had picked out some really basic gray pillowcases, thinking any ribbon would go well with it.  Then we saw an end-cap display with fun pillowcases, including these polka dotted ones.  SOLD!

Then we went to the ribbon aisle and let the girls pick out whatever ribbon they wanted (within reason).  I think both of their choices were super cute!

So, then we got started!  My sister helped out quite a bit on this project.  We worked after the girls were asleep, and had some pretty awesome sister time while we were working. 

Step 1:  Seam-rip the closed end of the pillow-cases.  NOTE:  depending on the type of fabric you are using, you might need to stitch a little hem after you rip the seam.  This fabric was fraying quite a bit, so I did a quick zigzag stitch to keep it in check.

Step 2:  Cut the armholes.  This is not an exact science.  We used another dress as a guideline.  Then I just made about a 1/4 inch fold and sewed around that, to make a finished edge.  You could also use bias tape.  

Step 3 (optional):  Sew the ribbon around the bottom of the pillowcase.  I just think this adds some extra cuteness and interest to the dress.  In these pictures, we were just making sure the dresses were long enough.  For taller kids, you could probably sew a band of extra fabric around the bottom to get the right length. 

Step 4:  Measure how wide your ribbon is, and fold the top section down so the ribbon will fit through without bunching.  Then sew that on both front and back.

Step 5:  This was the one part the girls got to help with!  Sliding the ribbon into the slots on the front and back.  I have a bodkin, which makes this super easy.  They did a great job!

Matti and me, and my mess of supplies
Delia, with iCarly in the background

Step 6:  Once the ribbon was threaded through, we had to check the fit.  We decided to just have a bow on one shoulder, but I've seen them with bows on both side.  I mostly just made sure the straps would fit right, and that the arm holes weren't too big. 
fitting Matti

Then I sewed the ribbons into place, and took in the sides a little bit, to make it more A-line, and we were good to go!

Now I want to try making a dress like this for me.  Obviously, I won't be able to start with a pillowcase, but it wouldn't be too hard to start from scratch, right?  I'm thinking something like this.

What other easy sewing projects should I try out??

I'm linking up with The Pretty Pinhead today.  Go check out the other bloggers!


  1. Cute cute cute!! What an adorable summer project!

  2. Too cute and clever! Love it and the polka dots!

  3. I love to see craft ideas from other bloggers,always so inspiring!

  4. Andi, I pinned this a while back, but it's basically a pillowcase dress for adults. :)

    I saw this one today too.

    1. Cool, thanks for the links! I think I am going to try it soon!

  5. Thanks for the sweet comments Andi! I have little nieces also and I love doing projects with them when they come over. The dress is adorable and I'm sure they love them!