Monday, August 9, 2010

Grams Made A Pillowcase Dress

Grams has made a couple of these dresses for Our Little Princess. They are super simple and very lightweight and cool.

The white dress, pictured at right, is the first one I made. I used one of my mother's old pillowcases that has a white-on-white embroidery detail. I used a blue striped grosgrain ribbon for the ties. I was really pleased with how this dress came out. This pillowcase is old and soft. It made the dress look vintage and delicate. It was perfect for a romp in the Texas Hill Country bluebonnets last spring.

The blue-print dress is made from a border-print fabric, not from a pillowcase. The "flower" that is pinned to the shoulder of this dress is a barrette that I bought at a local craft store. I'm planning to make some of these and I'll share the directions as soon as I figure them out.

Today, I'm sharing the instructions for the pillowcase dress just in case you have a little princess of your own. You can actually buy a pattern for a pillowcase dress, but it's so easy you really don't need to spend that money.

You'll need a pillowcase*, scissors, thread, and one yard of ribbon cut into two equal pieces.

The first step is to measure your child from the shoulder to where you want the hem to reach and add one inch. 

Second, using the measurement you took, measure up from the hemmed edge of the pillowcase and cut straight across removing the closed edge of the pillowcase. This will be the top of your dress.

Now fold the pillowcase in half vertically so that the sides of the dress are touching. Make armholes by cutting a "J" shape on the top of the pillowcase. Cut through both sides at the same time so the armholes will be identical. For a small child, make the cuts 1 1/2 inches wide and 3 inches deep. For a larger child, make the cuts 2 inches wide and 4 inches deep. (This step really worried Grams when I made my first dress, but rest assured, it's not an exact science and the size of the cut doesn't make too much difference.)

Unfold and sew a rolled edge for each armhole creating a finished edge around the armhole.

Make a double fold in the top straight-edge of the dress, iron it in place, and sew to create a casing for the ribbon. Thread one piece of ribbon through each casing. Shirr fabric to create gathers and tie the ends of the ribbon together in a bow on each shoulder.

Put the dress on your own little princess and snap a picture. I promise they'll look cute and comfy and you'll feel a real sense of accomplishment at making such a beautiful dress.

*If you don't have a pillowcase, use a piece of fabric approximately the same size as a pillowcase.  Seam up one edge to form a tube. Then hem one end, leaving the other end open.

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