A friend of mine sent me a photo of a beautifully made pillowcase dress for a little girl and asked if I might be able to duplicate the pattern. She’s expecting and, already having three adorable sons, is thinking she may be having a daughter this time around. If so, she’s anxious to adorn her in lovely dresses and bows, as most mothers would. I felt that same sentiment when Noelle was on her way, and remembering back to my years as a dress-despising tomboy, prepared myself for the day that my little sweetheart would reject her pink lace attire to sport ragged denim and cowboy boots…and here we are.
So, when I saw this lovely dress, I thought I’d give it a go, see if I could come up with a workable pattern and possibly, just maybe, convince my daughter that she’d look beautiful wearing it for Easter this year!
I took her with me to the fabric store and let her pick some colorful, coordinating looks. I made a big deal out of pre-washing the fabric, cutting the pieces, and pinning it all together. She was far more impressed with the pincushion, freckled with sharp pins, than the fancy dress we were making.
As I completed the final stitches, I asked her to try it on. Thankfully, a neighbor friend was here because when she objected, her friend happily skipped over and volunteered to model it…and then asked if I would make her one. Well, at least someone appreciated all that hard work, and I can still make a dress for my friends sweet baby – and it may even be a little girl.
These are the “simple” instructions I found online – altered for a more modern pillowcase dress:
1. With a pillowcase in mind, sew a wide hem on the bottom of two rectangles of fabric – this is the bottom of the dress (use length chart below and add 3-4 inches for neckline).
2. Pin right sides of rectangles together and cut armholes – approximately 3 inches deep and in the shape of the letter “J” on the left side and backward “J” on the right. (I use the cutout fabric from the left side to duplicate on the right).
3. Fold neckline on front and back sides and seam each, leaving a tunnel for wide ribbon (the ribbon will tie in large bows over each shoulder).
4. Right sides together, sew sides of the dress and reinforce arm holes and neckline.
5. Trim and turn right side out. Thread ribbon through neckline tunnels, gather fabric to fit along the neck and back and tie bows on each side.
6. Use extra ribbon to make matching hair bows!
This concept can create a very simple dress or, with the addition of fun fabrics and ribbons, a detailed masterpiece. Regardless of how your creation turns out, your child will feel loved knowing that mommy made something special just for her – even if she refuses to wear it!
Sizing Chart (shoulder to hem):
6 mos. – 13″
12 mos. – 15″
18 mos. – 17″
2T – 19″
3T – 21″
4T – 23″
5 – 25″
6 – 27″