Saturday, 7 April 2012

More Pillowcase Dresses...


These little pillowcase dresses are just so quick to make!!! Last time, I used pre-loved pillowcases and a strip of curtain material. This time, I've sewn two dresses using fabric from my stash.

The first dress is basically two rectangles: 13" x 36". Instead of side seams, I've sewn one seam at the back and once again, I've made my own binding. I wasn't totally happy with the polka dot and the patterned fabric being the same size, but didn't realise this until I'd sewn it all together. Either I had to shorten the polka dot section or come up with another idea.


It seemed a waste to cut off the polka dot, so I decided on an appliqué, using left over patterned fabric from the top of the dress. For step by step instructions on appliqué, see past projects here and here.

For the second dress, I cut two different sized rectangles: 13" x 36" and 10" x 36". To my eye, this balance was better than the first dress.


When I was making the first set of pillowcase dresses, my sewing machine needle seemed a little blunt when I was sewing the store bought bias binding. Every few inches, the zig zag stitch would miss a zig zag and become a straight stitch for one or two stitches. I'd never seen this before. On changing the needle to a jeans needle, the problem was solved. I only used a jeans needle, as I didn't have any more regular needles.

So, I made a trip to my local quilting store for new needles and got to talking with the store owner. Apparently, she uses jeans needles for just about everything, except stretch fabric and very fine fabrics. She said the needle is sharper than a regular needle, hence it is better to sew with.

What type of needle do you use for sewing clothes and how often do you change the needle? I'd be very interested to hear your answers.

In the past, I have only ever used jeans needles for sewing heavy fabrics, but today, I used a jeans needle for both of these dresses... perfect zig zags.


These two dresses will be heading off to the Australian representative for Dress A Girl Around the World. Head on over to Hopeful Threads for details of Kristy's sew-along to support Dress A Girl Around the World.

Kristy has two giveaways currently running at the moment:

... Pam

Edited to add: I've based my dresses on the measurements from Dress A Girl Around the World.
Also, read the Dress making guidelines from Dress A Girl Around the World.

34 comments:

  1. These are so fun Pam! Love the print and polka dot and your special touches! I can just imagine how these will make some little girls smile!

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  2. What a wonderful idea...your dresses are beautiful. I am sure some little girl will be very happy with them.

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  3. Lovely dresses, Pam and a great cause. I use a variety of needles - when I'm making bags I often use a jeans needle because of the bulk and I change my needle fairly regularly. If my machine is being temperamental, I re-thread everything - if this doesn't work then changing the needle is usually the solution.

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  4. Hi Pam. I found thata blunt needle was my main problem with my buttonholes. With a new needle and good quality thread I have pretty much solved that problem. I haven't tried a denim needle yet but will have to get one to keep onhand for any future denim or thick fabric projects.

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    1. Thanks, Sherry. I probably should change my needle more often.

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  5. Adorable dress. I change my needle very often.

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  6. I love these! I change my needles depending on the thickness of my fabric (usually use a bigger one when sewing bags), but I'm sure I need to put in new ones now since I don't remember when I last changed them!

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  7. I have never changed my needles (yikes) but I haven't sewn that much so maybe I'm still okay. Honestly, this never would have occurred to me. I'll have to check and see if I even have a jeans needle. Thanks for bringing this up. Your dresses are very sweet, love the colours.

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  8. Hmmmm... I should probably change my needles! I can't even recall when the last time was :-/ lol.
    Gorgeous dresses Pam!
    Have a lovely Easter xo

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  9. Lovely dresses Pam - and a great cause! As far as sewing machine needles go, I use a size 14 ball point needle for everything. When things start to stick or go wrong, I can generally change my needle and all is good. I do tend to break lots of needles, because I like to try sewing with all sorts of different fabrics and probably push my machine to do more that it should!!


    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a fabulous week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success
    http://www.jembellish.blogspot.com/

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  10. Oh I love these dresses!!

    I change my needle only when I start having trouble sewing...

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  11. Came here from Made by You Monday! Very nice!!

    Here are the Easter pillowcase dresses I made Bunny, her cousins, and her dolly.

    http://likemamalikedaughter.blogspot.com/2012/04/keep-calm-and-craft-on.html

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  12. Wow! I loved the colours :) The dress with the flowers applied is my favourite. The girls that will receive those dresses will be very happy. I never tried the "appliqué" technique, I have to try it someday cause it makes wonderful things.

    About the needles I always have 3 sizes at home (9, 11 and 14). The 9 is for very thin fabrics, I use the 14 for stronger fabrics like jeans and most of the time I use the 11. But nowadays there are so many kinds of needles, there is still a few sizes and different points that I haven't tried.

    When the stitch is not perfect and machine is skipping some stitches I change it right away. The other day it happened with a regular fabric and I was only able to solve the problem when I changed it to a thinner needle... which made no sense to me, but the machine is always right :)

    Keep up the good work!

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  13. I love the colors, they are really sweet!

    Shannon@SewSweetCottage

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  14. Beautiful dresses! I use a variety of sizes and types of needles. Thanks for sharing!
    Quilting at the River Linky Party Tuesday

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  15. Those dresses are lovely - what great fabrics you chose. I don't have an answer re: needles for sewing clothes - I just leave in the one that I use for quilting which probably isn't the right answer and I know I need to change it more than I do.

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  16. I like your little dresses! I saw them on the link up from Trendy Treehouse. I really want to sew up one of these for my little grandaughters, but I am such a poor seamstress! I can make flat panel curtains and thats about it!

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  17. These are just too cute. I want to make one for my first sewing experience.

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  18. I love the print...what fun they would be for a little girl to wear!

    I would be thrilled it you this with my readers by submitting them on my web site!

    Susan @ Oh My! Creative

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  19. Such beautiful work! They are adorable!! Megan

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  20. I love it, and the colors are fabulous! I'd love for you to link it up to Crafty Cousins!

    http://crafting-cousins.blogspot.com/2012/04/what-i-wore-sunday-week-11.html

    ~Natalie @ Crafty Cousins

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  21. Stopping by from the Link It Up Thursday Party! http://kingofsaving.com

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  22. So cute! Thanks so much for linking up to Terrific Tuesdays.
    Rachel
    adventuresofadiymom.blogspot.com

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  23. I love the fabric! Where dis you find the pillowcases? Are they vintage?

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    1. Thanks! The dresses above are made from fabric in my stash. The dresses in this post (http://threadingmyway.blogspot.com/2012/04/pillowcase-dresses.html) were made from preloved pillowcases found in an opportunity (thrift) shop.

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  24. Pam these are so pretty! I wish I could sew-you are very clever!

    My weekly Say G’day Linky Party is on now and I would be so thrilled if you could join in and link up this great post!

    Best wishes for a fabulous weekend!
    Natasha in Oz

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  25. If I'm sewing on cotton-I hardly ever change the cotton. However, I notice that when I sew w/ satins and silks I have to change it ever few projects, or it puts runs in the fabric.

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    1. that should say I hardly ever change the "needle" and it goes w/ out saying that I hardly ever proofread:)

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  26. Oooo I can't decide which dresses I like the most!! They are all darling!

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  27. They're perfect! I haven't made one of these in a long time...great for Spring and Summer! Hmmm...

    XO, Aimee

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  28. This has been featured today on Serenity Saturday Link Party!
    Natasha xxx

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  29. I'd like to invite you to join me at the Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week! http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/11/clever-chicks-blog-hop-8-and-rural.html

    I hope to see you there!
    Cheers!
    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick

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