Saturday, December 19, 2009

RE: Pillowcase Dresses

I have received a couple of questions in the past week about these pillow case dresses..  one from a newly out-of-the-closet blogstalker.  HI CAMI! ;)
So for those questions, here's the original post, re-posted.  Now at the bottom, it says, "Let me know if you have any questions or need any help!"..  and I am serious..  I will help.

There are some who are interested, and I will personally teach (I taught two yesterday...) how to make a darling Pillow Case Dress. But here are the instructions for those who like to self-teach.
I am not taking credit for this much loved, often used pattern/idea, just sharing the tips I found useful...
45 inch wide fabric; the yardage depends on how long you want it to be. I suggest measuring the intended wearer, from shoulder to where you want it to fall, and add 2 inches (or more if you want to lengthen later, or plan on doing a wide hem) . Make sure that your print will look good the way it will be cut off the bolt. You don't want a print with a cute scalloped edge cut incorrectly, so the scallop ends up on the side of your dress, or vertical stripes end up horizontal stripes... in that case, you would want a yard and a third. Peyton's dress I cut at 16 inches.
thread to match your fabric
trim(s), 1 1/3 yards (trim is always optional :)...)
ribbon, I would suggest at least 2 yards
bias tape, at least 1/2 inch wide, but I prefer to make my own, it's easier to work with
Or you can use a pillow case, cutting off the top, sealed edge... and you can skip to step 4.

sewing machine
scissors (a rotary cutter and mat are very helpful too.)
straight pins
device with which to measure...

Here goes!

Step 1: Cut the selvage off the side of your fabric. Measure and cut your fabric to fit you darling girl. Do an overcast stitch along all four sides of your fabric. You don't have to do this step, but I prefer to, as I am a perfectionist, and Grandma would do it that way... I also hate it when a project unravels when it is washed because the raw edges are exposed... I wished I would have done an overcast stitch on Lynn's Halloween costume...
Step 2: If you are attaching trim, as in a ruffle, pin it and sew it now. If you are hemming it, pin it and sew it now. If you are attaching any other kind of trim, pin it and sew it now. Trust me. I learned the hard way...
Sew it...
Step 3: After you have sewed and hemmed, sew the sides, which ever two sides that don't have trim or aren't hemmed, right sides together. I use my presser foot as my classic guide, I don't really measure seams... I just used the edge of my presser foot.
While it is still inside out, press open the seam that you just sewed.
Step 4: Turn the dress-to-be right side out, make sure that the seam you just pressed, is in the center and back. Cut a "J" shaped arm hole (should measure 5 inches, from top of "J" to the bottom) on the folds of the fabric, this should make a "U" shaped cut piece. I like to save these, sometimes I use them to make pockets :). Overcast stitch on those fresh cut areas, if you'd like.
Step 5: Now is the time to make bias tape, if you wish or to attach your pre-made bias tape.
I like to make mine by cutting a strip of fabric 12 inches (for this project) by 2 inches. I press it, not quite in half, so there is just a little lip on one side.
Step 6: Pin the right side of the bias tape to the wrong side of the arm hole. This picture shows double fold bias tape, that works too. That kind just sandwiches the fabric between the two folds of the bias tape. If using double fold, you need not follow the next step.
Step 7: Flip the bias tape over to the right side of the fabric, press and pin..
Step 8: Sew with a straight stitch, to attach the bias tape to the top side of your fabric. You want to sew as close to the edge as you can.
Step 9: At the top of the dress, fold down a quarter of an inch, and press.
Turn down an additional inch, press and pin.
Step 10: Straight stitch again, as close to the edge so you catch both folds, all along to make a pocket for your ties. (Repeat for the other side.)
Step 11: Cut your ribbon, and seal the edges so it won't fray... cut it so it extends about six inches past the top of each arm.Step 12: I like to use Grandma's crow hook, but you can use what ever works best for you, to feed your ribbon through the little sleeves. Make sure they are pulled evenly so there is equal amounts of ribbon on both sides.
Step 13: Tack your ribbon ties, and both layers of fabric with a quick "x" stitch. Tie it in a square knot. This helps so your ribbons won't come out in the wash, and when you ties it on you cutie, one side's bow won't be obviously larger than the other side's...
Let me know if you have any questions or need any help!


Rachael said...

Thank you so much for re-posting this. I was really in a crunch and needed to get the dress done. So, yes have already made it. Mostly just from looking at the dress you gave me for Kimmy.

Now after reading this I can make it even better the next time I need another dress. Which probably wont be too far done the line.

kdance10 said...

Mindy, i really want to come have another lesson you kinda did all the work for me:) Thanks!! I want to make one for my niece

Cami said...

I agree. Thank you so much for re-posting this! You are superb!!! I guess now that I am out of the closet I can safely comment more often! Haha!