Pillowcase Dress

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)….

imagePillow-case Dress Poppysews.com

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…)


I pencil marked the seam….


and marked the armholes using a paper armhole template prepared in advance….









I first cut out the arm holes, and then sewed the side seam…

Next I sewed the casing for the elastic into the top of the dress, at both the front and back of the dress:


Note: the front and back of the dress will look the same…

…..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.

I used the same method for the applique as described in my Applique Baby Bodysuits post. Or a great beginners guide to applique is at ourhomemadeeasy.com.

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!

Pillow-case Dress Poppysews.com



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