One of the easiest ways to make a quick dress for my girls is to put together a pillowcase dress. The whole project from cutting to wearing takes less than 30 minutes, since it requires only 2 basic seams, 2 elastic casings, and 2 straps/sleeve casings. While pillowcase dress tutorials are everywhere, I thought I’d share my favorite method.
|Size||Main Fabric||Bottom Fabric||Trim/Straps Fabric||½” Wide Elastic|
|12 months||½ yard 44” wide
|¼ yard 44” wide||¼ yard 44” wide||⅓ yard|
|4T||⅔ yard 44” wide|
|7||¾ yard 44” wide|
|8||1 yard 44” wide|
|Size||Main Fabric||Bottom Fabric||Trim/Straps Fabric||Elastic|
|12 months||1 strip 14×42”||1 strip 9×42”||1 strip 2.5×42”
2 strips 3×40”
|2 strips 6” long|
|2T||1 strip 16×42”|
|3T||1 strip 18×42”|
|4T||1 strip 20×42”|
|5||1 strip 22×42”||2 strips 7” long|
|6||1 strip 24×42”|
|7||1 strip 26×42”|
|8||1 strip 28×42”|
|9||1 strip 30×42”|
|10||1 strip 32×42”|
- Fold the 2.5” wide strip of trim in half lengthwise and press.
- Fold the 9” wide strip of bottom fabric in half lengthwise and press.
- Layer raw edges of two folded strips together. Lay strip of main fabric over the top, so the trim strip is sandwiched between the bottom fabric and the top fabric. Sew together, leaving a ½” seam allowance. Zig-zag or overlock (serge) the raw edges to prevent fraying.
- Press seam, with allowance pressed toward the top of the dress.
- Fold dress in half with right sides together. Align raw edges of all three fabrics, being sure to align trim and bottom fabrics evenly. Pin, then sew the back seam, leaving a ½” seam allowance. Zig-zag or overlock the raw edges. Press seam open.
- Center seam in the back of dress and lay the dress on a flat surface. Place the armhole pattern piece over each top side and cut armholes.
- Fold down fabric ¼” from the top front to the inside and press in place. Fold down 1” from previous fold to the inside and press in place.
- Sew fold down, using a ⅞” seam allowance. Sew again, this time using a ¼” seam allowance to make elastic casing.
- Thread elastic through casing and tack in place on either side.
- Repeat steps 7-9 for back of dress.
- Fold each of the short ends of the 3” strips of fabric under ¼” and press.
- Fold each of the 3” strips of fabric in half lengthwise and press.
- Open fold just made and fold each raw edge into the crease.
- Re-fold the strip in half along the crease and press. (You have just made the casing/ties for the top of the dress)
- Find the center of 1 casing strip and align the center of the strip over the center bottom of the armhole. Tuck raw edges of the armhole inside the casing and pin in place. Pin casing securely around armhole.
- Using a 5/8” allowance, stitch end of tie/casing closed, pivoting at the corner of the tie. Stitch the tie closed to the armhole, then continue stitch across armhole and to opposite end of casing.
- Repeat steps 15-16 for opposite side.
- Give the dress a final press and enjoy!
To download a PDF version of this pattern with the templates for cutting the arm curves, click here: 317-pretty-pillowcase-dress