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)!

20130610-205238.jpg

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”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s