Pillowcase Dresses for Girls

These little “pillowcase” dresses have been catching my eye for a while. The style is very simple to sew, and the results are so cute! Not to mention that for growing kids, you can’t beat a style that will grow along with them!

Sweet and simple pillowcase dress pattern for little girls | Jewels at Home

For my birthday, Steve and I went to an amazing fabric store in Berkeley, Stone Mountain and Daughter, and among other treasures, I found this cute Japanese-style rabbit print.

Cute Japanese rabbit print. Pillowcase dress tutorial | Jewels at Home

I have a weakness for anything rabbit-themed for my little nieces, who were born in the year of the rabbit. You may remember the custom gift bags and silhouette Christmas ornaments that I made for them.

For the basic pattern, I used this tutorial from the Aesthetic Nest. I did alter the pattern in a couple of ways.

Here’s what you will need to make your own unique designs in size 2T:

  • 1/2 yard of 45″ quilting cotton for the main fabric, if the print has no direction or runs across the width of the fabric. You will need 2/3 of a yard, if the pattern runs the length of the fabric.
  • 1/4 yard of solid fabric for the tie
  • bias binding to match your main fabric
  • thread to match your main fabric and tie fabric

Instructions:

  • Prewash and iron your fabric
  • Fold the main fabric in half and cut into to two pieces that are 18″ wide x 22″ long each. You can see here why they’re called pillowcase dresses. It would be fun to find some pillowcases with a great design for dresses, though the pattern is usually oriented the other direction.
  • Cut armholes from the top corners: 4″ from the top and 2″ from the side, as show below:
Girl's pillowcase dress tutorial.  Sweet and simple design | Jewels at Home

Cut armholes from the top corners of the front and back panels.

Next, join the front and back panels using a French seam:

  • First, with wrong sides together, sew a 1/4 inch seam along the sides of the dress (top left picture below).
  • Iron the seam open, turn the dress inside out, and sew a 3/8″ seam with the wrong sides facing (top right picture below).
  • Turn the dress right side out again, and you can see your dress taking shape (bottom picture below)!

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To finish off the edges, start with adding bias binding to the armholes. I didn’t get good pictures of this with the dresses, so the picture below is from the pillowcase top I made for myself:

  • Open the folded bias binding and line up one edge to the edge of the armhole on the right side. Stitch along the crease nearest the edge.
  • Clip the seam allowance in the curve, to allow it to lie flat. Fold the binding to the wrong side and iron the binding flat.
  • Sew around the armhole to sew down the binding.

For the neck casing:

  • zig-zag the top edges of both panels, unless you were able to line the selvedge up here (top picture below)
  • Fold down 1 3/4″ from the top edge and iron (second picture below)
  • Fold back up 1/4″, so that you have a 1/2″ casing (third picture below)
  • Sew along the bottom edge of the casing and voila (bottom picture below)!

Pillow case dresses for girls.  Tutorial for a sweet and simple design | Jewels at Home

For the bottom hem, fold up 2″ towards the inside of the dress and fold back under 1/4″. Iron and stitch the hem in place.

For the tie, I started with two 3″ thick strips of fabric, each 42″ wide.

  • I joined the strips end to end (top left picture below)
  • I the folded open the joint and sewed the seam allowances down (top right picture below)
  • I finished the tie all the way around by folding under a 1/8″ twice and sewing it down. I didn’t measure this part exactly, but I did put a piece of painter’s tape down on my machine, to make sure I was keeping approximately the same finished width all the way (bottom picture below).

Pillow case dresses for girls.  Tutorial for a sweet and simple design | Jewels at Home

And here are the finished dresses! So cute!

Pillow case dresses for girls.  Tutorial for a sweet and simple design | Jewels at Home

Pillow case dresses for girls.  Tutorial for a sweet and simple design | Jewels at Home

Pillowcase dress tutorial | Jewels at Home

Pretty dress for a pretty girl!

Pillowcase dress tutorial | Jewels at Home

My cutie niece in her birthday dress!

 

Happy 2nd birthday, girls!

Auntie “Jewels”

Decorate Aprons – Gifts for Dad

As I have mentioned before, Steve’s birthday and Father’s day are very close to each other, and most years, he gets a combined Happy-Father’s-Birthday-Day celebration. Last year, we went low-frills when I helped the kids make some creative cards for dad.

This year, we’re making some practical gifts with a personal touch – paint your own mugs and aprons. We did the mugs last weekend, while Steve was out for a long run, and they are cute!

Next up: aprons for our amateur Iron Chef.

Decorate "tie" and "medal" aprons for Father's Day.  Unique gifts for dad from kids | Jewels at Home

To make the aprons, I used:

I prewashed the aprons to shrink them and remove some of the sheen to help the colors stay. I then ironed them and pinned them on cardboard, to make it easier to draw. I made two templates: a “tie” apron and a “medal” apron, the latter because Steve ran the San Francisco Marathon on Father’s Day this year!

Decorate "tie" and "medal" aprons for Father's Day.  Templates to make unique gifts for dad from kids | Jewels at Home

Then, we each added out own embellishments, and I love how unique the creations turned out to be.

Decorate "tie" and "medal" aprons for Father's Day.  Make unique gifts for dad from kids | Jewels at Home

Decorate "tie" and "medal" aprons for Father's Day.  Make unique gifts for dad from kids | Jewels at Home

Decorate "tie" and "medal" aprons for Father's Day.  Make unique gifts for dad from kids | Jewels at Home

Decorate "tie" and "medal" aprons for Father's Day.  Make unique gifts for dad from kids | Jewels at Home

Decorate "tie" and "medal" aprons for Father's Day.  Make unique gifts for dad from kids | Jewels at Home

Happy Father’s Day to a loving, patient, and inspiring guy!  We love you!

“Jewels”

Decorate Ceramic Mugs – Gifts for Dad

Steve’s birthday and Father’s day always fall within the same week, and I am sad to confess that he tends to get short-changed with a combined Happy-Father’s-Birthday-Day celebration. Add to the scheduling issues the fact that we are often traveling around that time of year, and sometimes the best I can do is help the kids make some creative cards for dad.

This year, I am planning ahead just a little more, and we have two separate (gasp!) projects to make. Of course, I love doing something handmade, especially from the kids. But I also wanted to make sure that our gifts were practical and I think our projects- mugs and aprons – are perfect!

Help the kids decorate plain mugs for a Father's Day gift | Jewels at Home

This morning, the boys and I decorated some coffee cups for Father’s Day – or his birthday – I haven’t decided which is which. This is a fitting gift, because a) Steve’s ability to function as a human being is closely tied to caffeine and b) we keep breaking our cups, so we need more. Not glamorous, but true.

Being an avid fan of Pinterest, I have of course seen the posts about decorating mugs with Sharpies. On closer reading of reviews, however, this might not be as durable as I ideally want. I did, however, find recommendations for these Pebeo Vitrea 160 Glossy Markers. They are meant for glass but also work on ceramics. The colors are very bright, and the markers are easy to use. The one thing I would mention is that these are really paint pens, meaning the paint can splatter, so wear a smock or something you don’t mind getting a few spots on. (Yes, I speak from experience. My cream-colored blouse was an unlucky wardrobe choice, but fortunately the spots are very small.)

Long-lasting dishwasher-resistant markers/ paint pens for glass and ceramics | Jewels at Home

We each decorated one of these White Ceramic Mugs and wrote our names and the date on the bottom.

Use ceramic paint pens for vibrant durable art on plain cups.  Father's Day gifts.  Jewels at Home

Use ceramic paint pens for vibrant durable art on plain cups.  Father's Day gifts.  Jewels at Home

I’ll be baking these to set the color when Steve is at work one day, and I look forward to surprising him with them in a couple of weeks!

“Jewels”