Monday, January 10, 2011

A Little Something Springy - Pillowcase Dress

Yesterday I finished my very first pillowcase dress! Since we're covered in snow today, I thought I would share this springy little dress.

I was a little apprehensive, but it wasn't nearly as difficult as I thought it would be...and I don't even have a sewing machine!

How-To (for everyone as curious as I was):
1. Wash whichever pillowcase you plan to use to make the dress.
2. Measure the child from shoulder to wherever you want the hem of the dress to be (mid-calfish).
3. Measure the pillowcase from the open end up to the desired length (plus about 1 inch to make the casing for the elastic). Mark the length, and cut straight across making sure not to cut off the open end.
4. For arm holes, I used 1/4 of a 6-inch circle (a "pizza slice" shape 3 inches on each side and rounded on the third side).
5. From the top, measure 1 inch down on each side, fold down (I ironed in a crease for extra ease), and sew straight across. I hand-stitched mine, but even if your stitches aren't perfectly even, once the elastic is in and it has drawn together some, you won't be able to tell.
6. Cut 1/4 inch elastic into 2 even pieces (mine were about 6 inches for an 18 month old).
7. Attach a safety pin to one end of the elastic (just for ease), and thread it through the casing on each side.
8. Then, stitch up the casing making sure to catch the elastic and secure it in place on each end.
9. Although some cover the ragged edges of the arm holes with bias tape, I simply folded down the edges (and ironed in a crease for ease) and stitched over the top all the way around the edges.
Even though I'm a perfectionist, I really don't mind that the stitches are uneven...I think it makes it look handmade (which it is...).
10. Almost done! For the straps, I cut four pieces of ribbon into even pieces (mine were 14 inches), and sewed them in place on the outside edges of the top of the dress on each side.

*I also ironed between pretty much every step. This just made the pillowcase easier to work with.

Viola! A finished dress!

For my next pillowcase dresses, I have some adorable antique pillowcases that will look so sweet!