I love pillowcase dresses- and they are sooo easy to make: All you need for a simple pillowcase dress is enough fabric for the dress, some bias binding and some elastic (applique fabric is optional)….
I decided to make one to fit a baby up to around 6 months (but they can also make a pretty ‘top’ if they get too short, but not too tight width-ways….). So I aimed for the following:
- Total fabric width of 82 cm (this is the dress circumference including 1cm for seam allowance);
- Fabric drop/length of 33.5cm (this included the 2cm elastic casing allowance for the top and 1.5 cm hem allowance at the bottom);
- Approximately 130 cm of Bias binding.
A brilliant guide for the sizing of a pillowcase dress can be found at Polkadotchair.com…..I also used this website to create a paper template for the armhole.
First I folded the material from left to right, and then pencil marked (on the fabrics wrong side) where i was going to sew the seam.
I then pencil marked the armholes, using a paper template, which I then cut out before sewing the side seam… (note there will only be a seam on one side of the pillowcase dress…)
Next I sewed the casing for the elastic into the top of the dress, at both the front and back of the dress:
…..and inserted the elastic (in my case I used a length of 12 cm) through the casing by using one safety pin to hold it at one end and another one to feed it through the casing. I then pinned the elastic the other side and sewed it securely into place at each end.
I did this at the front and back of the pillowcase dress…
I then attached the bias binding to the arm holes, ensuring there was enough length to make ties or bows at the top..mine were a little on the short side as I only used 110cm, hence in future I would start with a length of 130cm; 65cm for each side (a good bias binding tutorial is from The Seasoned Homemaker).
Finally I sewed a hem to the bottom of the dress (a double hem), and attached some applique birds to the front of the dress.
Note: My applique didn’t turn out too great I feel..it doesn’t stand out enough on this fabric; I would have been better picking a more solid pink colour for the applique so that it stood out more, or at least a darker thread for the zig-zag stitching… i need some more fabrics I think 🙂
So here is my finished pillowcase dress: I love the blue floral fabric, and thought it went well with the pink and white bias binding..if I had had more bias binding left over I would have done a trim around the bottom of the dress to match the armholes and ties…next time!