Friday, May 16, 2008

make a pillowcase dress

I have wanted to make a pillowcase dress for my girls since they were babies. They are now almost four and six. Obviously, I'm a better dreamer than doer.

Recently I found some really cute pillowcases for a quarter each at a thrift shop, and that was motivation enough, finally. I used the handy tutorial at Rostitchery to do the dress. However, making a pillowcase dress for a tall almost-6 yr old presents certain issues.

Lessons learned:
1) You should restitch the side seam to reinforce it at the bottom, especially if it is a vintage pillowcase. When the child is older like mine, there is not as much room to swing their legs in the pillowcase. This can cause a lot of strain on that seam.

2) I was initially happy that one of the cases was a king size, because my oldest girl is tall and I love the look of a long dress. However, after learning point 1), I will be hemming it up to a knee length because the longer the dress, the less room for leg swing. Alternately, you could fashion slits in the sides using more bias tape. Or, you could always make a pillowcase tunic or shirt instead of a dress.

3) when using this tutorial for a kid older than a toddler, you will possibly need to add depth to the armscye and possibly more width to the elastic. (I used a 4" armscye and increased the elastic to 6.5 inches). Also you will need a bit more bias tape than she has listed.

4) and lastly, kids that are older will look a little bare in a vintage pillowcase if it is thin and white like the ones I have. You can clearly see her underwear through the cloth. So, I will be adding a built in lining to cut down on the peekaboo factor.

So much for this easy and quick dress. But, it is still adorable, and comfy.


  1. That would be fun for night gowns, too. (Gretchen's new favorite clothing.)-Jess

  2. Jess (Kevin), yes, that is a wonderful idea!


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