I really enjoy sewing and beading, for me they are very relaxing. But over the years sewing has been put on the back burner and I haven’t done much of it at all. So this summer, one of my goals was to start sewing again! While walking around a thrift store the other day, I came across this cute Hawaiian print pillow case and thought this would make the perfect outfit for our Luau themed BBQ. The pillowcase dress is simple to make without a pattern, but if you feel you need a pattern Simplicity makes one. Here is how I made my dress without a pattern.
1 pillow case
1 package double fold bias tape
1 1/2 yard of ribbon
Start by turning the pillow case inside out, and trimming off the shorter of the two inside seams. This will be the top of the dress, and the only side of the pillow case that will be worked on, leave the original hem of the pillow case as this will be the hem of the dress. The amount that you trim off can vary depending on the length of your pillow case and the length you would like the dress to be. My daughter is 42 inches tall and I decided on a 24 inch length and went back and trimmed off a little more. Now your pillow case should be in a tube shape opened on the top and bottom.
Next, cut out the arm holes. Start by making a J shaped yellow line that measures 2 inches from the inseam and down 6 inches. I did this directly on my fabric making a rectangle and then curving out the corner. If you are not comfortable doing this straight onto the fabric you can make a pattern on paper and pin to the inseam of your dress. Once the arm hole is drawn on one side I folded the dress in half, length wise and cut both arm holes out at once.
I used double fold bias tape as a decorative finish for the arm holes. As I mentioned earlier, I have not sewn in a while, and I have never sewn with bias tape so this part seemed very daunting to me. To my surprise, it wasn’t as hard as I was afraid it would be. Starting at the edge of the arm opening, place the raw edge into the middle of the bias tape and pin it into place. Using the steam from an iron to help shape if needed. Now sew in place about 1/8″ from edge of bias tape.
Now that the arms are finished, start making the casing for the ribbon. Fold the dress inside out and iron down the top edge 1/4″ and then again another 3/4″ and pin in place. Place the pins about an inch apart to make sure the fold doesn’t shift, and sew an 1/8″ from the edge. Repeat on other side.
Place a safety-pin on to the end of the ribbon and pull through the casing, once the ribbon is through make sure both sides have the same amount of ribbon on each side. Then scrunch the edge’s of the casing together, making sure to keep the same amount of ribbon on both sides. Then pin and stitch into place using a zigzag stitch to keep the ribbon from moving or falling out. Repeat on other side. Now you have a functional dress! Time to add the little touches of Disney.
A Simplicity pattern was used to make the pockets. I placed bias tape around the edges to give them a more finished look. Keep the stitching at the edge of the bias tape I sewed the pockets on to the dress. And My dress is complete!
I LOVE the way the sweet little dress turn out! It was the perfect outfit for our celebration!