Open up your linen cupboard and find your loveliest vintage pillowcase. It is the perfect size to refashion into a dress for that special little girl in your life.
The pillowcase dress has become an essential piece of girly goodness in my daughter’s wardrobe. It is so versatile: for cooler weather, simply layer the dress with a long-sleeve t-shirt and tights underneath.
How to Make a Dress from a Pillowcase
by Alyssa Devanny from Refashion
A standard sized pillowcase will fit a girl between the ages of three and seven.
You will need:
- 1 pillowcase (or equivalent amount of fabric stitched into a cylinder)
- fabric scraps for armhole binding and tie (or bias binding and ribbon)
- matching thread
- tape measure
- sewing machine
- dressmaking pins
- safety pin
Cut two ‘J’ shapes from the top of your pillowcase (the end opposite to the opening). Each ‘J’ should measure 13cm x 6cm (5″ x 2 1/2″). Cut open along the fold line at the top of the pillowcase.
You can purchase ready-made bias binding for the armholes, or you can make your own from scraps of fabric. To make your own, cut two diagonal strips from your fabric scraps, each measuring 40cm long x 5cm wide (16″ x 2″).
Press (iron) the strip in half, lengthwise. Press (iron) under the raw edges to meet at the middle.
Open out the binding. Open out the pillowcase. With right sides together, pin the binding around the armhole, lining up raw edges. Stitch along the fold closest to the raw edge.
Fold the binding over to encase the raw edges. Pin in place. On the wrong side, stitch through all layers. Trim off any excess binding. Repeat with the other armhole.
To make the casing for the tie, fold over and press (iron) 1cm (1/2″) along the inside top edges of dress. Fold over again 2.5cm (1″) and stitch in place.
For the tie, you can purchase some wide ribbon, or you can make your own tie from scraps of fabric.
To make your own tie, cut a piece of fabric measuring approximately 150cm long x 5cm wide (63″ x 2″). Press (iron) as per armhole binding.
Topstitch through all layers, turning under each end to hide the raw edges.
Use a safety pin to thread the tie through top casings.
Try the dress on your little girl and mark the desired length of the hem. On older girls you may wish to keep the original hem, in which case, simply topstitch the flap closed.
To make the dress shorter, add a 4cm (1 1/2″) hem allowance and cut the bottom off the pillowcase.
On the wrong side, fold over and press (iron) 1cm (1/2″). Fold over again 2.5cm (1″) and stitch in place.