Sunday, July 09, 2006

Pillowcase Dress

LOVED the post on Rosestichery about making a pillowcase dress. I've had a pillowcase in mind to use for a dress, but other methods seemed to make the body too big when my now 5 year old daughter was younger. She's growing so quickly, though, that I knew that I couldn't put this off forever.

Here's the stitching on the pillowcase that I fell in love with (check out the pretty hemstitching):

I started by measuring my daughter's shoulder to desired length. It turned out to be 30", about 1/4" short of the length of the pillowcase, so I snipped of the seamed end.

I then cut the armhole using the 4" depth recommended. If I do this again, I would cut a 5" depth for my little person and make the "J" shape lean in a little more to make the armholes fit a little looser.

I turned down the top edge, using my grandmother's metal ruler. It is just a stock Dritz from a fabric store, but she etched her initials in the back ("JM" for Josephine Manthey). She was a champion sewer and crafter and I think I got my interest in all things textile from her. It makes me happy to think that she's watching her things be enjoyed.

Next, the top cut edge was folded down to create a casing for the elastic.

The elastic was threaded through and I remembered to sew the opposite edge down before I pulled it all the way through!

The seam binding was applied to the arm holes, with the extra length creating ties on top. I cut a 30" (instead of the recommended 23") length of binding to make sure I had bigger ties for a bigger girl. Sewing down the binding was a breeze with the tip about sewing with the narrow side up, to insure catching both edges in the seam.

I added a little label for my sweetie and all was done!

Here she is sporting her dress by the purple cone flowers in our garden. I think the dress came out a bit longer than I planned, but she loves it.

Now she's all ready to go to a birthday party this afternoon!


At 3:29 PM, Blogger Robin said...

Boy this brings back memories! My grandmother used to make these! I have some of her embroidered pillowcases but don't have the heart to cut them!
I hope your daughter treasures hers! You did a great job!

At 10:02 PM, Blogger Mary said...

Oh, that's adorable! And if it's a tad long now, that just means she'll get another summer or two's use out of it -- bonus!

This is a great way to use those pretty embroidered pillowcases one finds in flea markets and the like.

At 3:42 PM, Blogger Melissa said...

That is gorgeous!! She looks so pretty!

At 10:39 PM, Blogger kelli ann said...

lovely dress. and yes- if i were close to VA, i definitely would stop by the market. hope things cool off soon!

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