Tuesday, February 15, 2011

How To Make a Pillowcase Dress

TJ Maxx is one of my favorite stores because I can always find great deals on quality products. This past weekend, I picked up a twin sheet set made of super-soft cotton for $14.99. However, rather than adorn a bed with it, I used it to adorn my 5 year-old (do you recognize it? I also made my pincushion out of it). 
This flowy little dress is the pillowcase from the set, and was so simple to assemble (mainly because there was very little assembly). Also, it is nice because the pattern can be adjusted to fit many sizes of little girls.

To start, I cut the top (the sewn edge) off, so that the length would fit my daughter.

Then, along my newly cut edge, I notched out "j" shaped cutouts for the armholes. To make the two sides identical, I folded the fabric in half and cut both sides out at the same time. 

Then, I ironed each armhole down twice to form a seam, and sewed.

Along the neckline (front and back), I folded over twice, and ironed down again. Except this time, I made the hemline bigger, so that I could insert 1/2" elastic. 

My daughter typically wears a 5T in clothing, and I used about 8" for each side of the dress, but you might need more or less, depending on your child's size. Sliding the elastic through the channel was made easier by attaching a safety pin to the end. 

Then, I tacked the elastic down on each end, which also closed the holes of the channel. (Am I making any sense??)

Now for my final step! I cut 2 strips of 8"x2" fabric that formed the straps. Once again, measure around your child's shoulder to determine how long yours should be. 

Folding down each edge, I ironed it in place. 

Then, I folded it in half, and stitched it closed. Please ignore my nasty ironing board. I must get a new cover for it this week. Or maybe I'll make this one...

I attached the straps to each corner of the neckline, and I am finished. 

At this point I tried the dress on my skinny little girl, and it looked like a pillowcase with straps. Way too huge and billowy. It was a quick fix, though. I just turned it inside out, and starting from the armhole seam, I took in the sides a few inches, and it looked much better. Still flowy, but not like she was wearing a sack. 

Sheets are such a great source of cheap fabric, so don't count them out for your next project.

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