Thursday, 5 April 2012

Pillowcase Dresses...


I've chosen to make pillowcase dresses as my first dresses for Hopeful Threads April sew-along: making dresses in support of Dress A Girl Around the World.

Pillowcase dresses are SO easy to make, especially if you have a pillowcase to begin with. The dresses are basically a rectangle, with armholes cut out, casing for the elastic and bias for the armholes and straps.

I began with two, ever so cute, monkey pillowcases. Because I wanted to alter the position of the monkey, I cut a strip off the bottom and sewed it to the top. I varied the width of the strip for the two dresses.


Here's the finished dresses.



The third dress was also made from a preloved pillowcase. All green was too boring, so I added a little ruffle at the neckline and a band at the bottom to brighten it up. The band was once part of a curtain, and I've added orange ric rac.


For the first two dresses, I used store bought bias binding. I didn't have any bias in a suitable colour for the green dress, so I made my own from the original ruffle on the pillowcase.


As the name suggests, bias binding should be cut on the bias, to accomodate curves. I only had one very long rectangle from the ruffle on the pillowcase, so I thought I'd try cutting the binding not on the bias. I was lucky and it worked.
  • Cut two pieces of fabric 2" in width by the length you need. I use the measurements from Dress A Girl Around the World.
  • Fold in half lengthwise and press (make sure you keep your fingers away from the iron and the steam)
  • Open out so you can see the crease
  • Fold each half in to meet the crease and press
  • Fold in half again and press
My own binding was easier to attach than the store bought. This was because I had ironed it and all I had to do was slip it onto the dress, without measuring. When I next use store bought, I think I'll iron it in half first.


Not bad: three little dresses from three pillowcases and a strip of curtain. Thanks Mum, for finding the original items at the opportunity shop... a good find!

If you would like to join me making dresses in support of Dress A Girl Around the World, head on over to Hopeful Threads:
Kristy has lots of links to free pillowcase dress tutorials. If you are new to sewing, 402 Center Street Designs has a pillowcase dress tutorial written for the sewing novice. If using this tutorial, Dress A Girl Around the World gives more specific lengths for the bias binding used for the armholes and ties.

Kristy's goal for the month is: Let's sew 100 dresses together! 

I am thrilled that six Threading My Way readers will be joining in with this very worthwhile project:
Will you join us? Every dress makes a difference...

... Pam

Edited to add: Also joining in

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.

40 comments:

  1. I am joining in - finally got my fat quarters last night, starting sewing this morning. Very excited about this project! Hugs ~ Mary

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  2. Those are smazing! I love those monkeys!!

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  3. They are great!!!! Love what you make, also de refashion stuff!!

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  4. Wonderful! Your dresses are beautiful and your support and enthusiasm for Dress A Girl is such a blessing! Thanks Pam!

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  5. Oh I knew those monkeys would come up well and you haven't disappointed.. They are lovely!
    I love the ruffle on the other dress as well!
    Any little girl would be lucky to wear them!

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  6. I love your pillowcase dresses...the little girls who receive them will be so happy. :)

    I wish I could join in but by the time I go back home, it will be almost the end of the month. :( May be I can join next time on the next project. This one really looks do-able for someone who has never sewn clothes before though. I'm really missing out on a great opportunity.

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  7. they're adorable. i like how you sewed the strips from the bottom onto the top for variety, thats a cool idea. the green is my favorite though, that curtain piece just gives it something extra. great job!

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  8. Those dresses are adorable. Sure to make the little girls happy.

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  9. These dresses are great! I love how you added the strip to the top of the pillowcase... it turns that dress from oh cute, to Oh Wow!!! :)

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  10. This is sucha great project. I love the monkeys!

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  11. Oh wow, these turned out so sweet. I love the monkeys. Okay, I have to get my courage up and give it a shot. :-)

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  12. I just love your Monkey dresses, they are so happy and fun!

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  13. Lovely dresses, i did not read for which country those dresses are intended.There might be countries where girls need at least a short [if not longer] sleeves.
    mirjam

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    1. For countries where sleeves are needed, they put a t-shirt under the dress. I'm also sewing some t-shirt dresses.

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  14. Pam they are awesome. I love that vintage green floral from the old curtain!! I will have to join you I think! I'm have been a bit pressed for time - Lucy has been really unwell lately - but I think I can manage one dress! Either way I'll be sharing this over on my blog and facebook later in the week - see if we can get some more people to sew some dresses!

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  15. Such cute dresses Pam - love the monkeys!


    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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  16. This looks so easy..maybe even a "non-sewer" like me can do it....gonna add it to my list of things to try! Thanks for linking up at Reasons To Skip The Housework! Our regular party, Tuesday Time Out - will be up and running tomorrow so come visit again!

    Smiles,
    Melanie

    Reasons To Skip The Housework {The Blog}
    Tinker B Boutique {The Shop}

    {azparis@me.com}

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  17. Came here from Made by You Monday! Very nice! I especially love the blue with the flower border.

    Here are the Easter 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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  18. These turned out so cute! I look the light teal one! Can't wait to try it out!

    Robin@ garagesalesrus.blogspot.com

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  19. The dresses look great I'm keen to give this ago

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    1. I'd love to see any dresses you make.

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    2. I've just put them up on my blog.

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  20. Hi! I saw you link on Adventures of a DIY Mom. I love pillowcase dresses! They are so easy and cute! I've never heard of Dress A Girl Around The World. I'll have to look into it.

    http://sarahsworld-sarahsworld.blogspot.com/

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  21. Oh these are so sweet! Love the little monkey too. xo p.s. leaving a comment from my other blog today

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  22. I remember my mother made us dresses out of pillowcases but so sad my Mom was not as talented as you. I do love these especially the monkey. I am hopping over from homework:the inspiration board and am now following you on LInky Followers

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  23. What sweet little dresses and I love the way you added the band to the green one! Thanks so much for sharing!
    Quilting at the River Linky Party Tuesday

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  24. Oh my goodness those are adorable! I love the monkeys!! I would love for you to share this (and any other creations) at "Pin It and Win It Wednesday" @ www.cheapcraftymama.com!

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  25. Love the monkeys! Thanks so much for linking up to Terrific Tuesdays.
    Rachel
    adventuresofadiymom.blogspot.com

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  26. These are so cute!! Thanks for linking to Things I've Done Thursday!

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  27. These are so cute! I will have to try this out! Thanks for sharing!

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  28. Adorable-love the monkeys. I think this is such a great idea and I'm sending in 2 dresses myself.

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  29. I always LOVE your projects! Those monkeys are so stinkin' adorable! Thanks for sharing at oopsey daisy! Have a great week!

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  30. the cutest pillowcase dresses ever! thanks so much for sharing on craft schooling Sunday!

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  31. Thanks so much for linking this great post up to my Say G'Day Saturday Party.

    I hope you will be able to join in and link up another fabulous post this weekend!

    Best wishes,
    Natasha in Oz

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  32. Darling dresses, I have been looking everywhere on line for a pattern to make a pillow case dress that ties in the front or back, can anyone help me locate a pattern.

    sincerely
    dana seals

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Dana. I'm only aware of pillowcase dresses that tie at the shoulders...

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