Sunday, July 7, 2013

Pillowcase Tops and Dresses


Creating darling dresses for little girls from pillowcases is a southern homemaker's secret.
These simple-to-make dresses are perfect for the intense, southern summer heat.
The traditional pillowcase dress is made out of a standard, cotton pillowcase with just a couple simple cuts, seams, and threading of grosgrain ribbon.

For the dresses and tops posted, I made my own "pillowcase" forms (basic rectangle shape, double layered) from fabric I found on sale at the local fabric shop.  Instead of grosgrain ribbon, I simply made the shoulder strap from fabric.  

I love the look of contrasting or coordinating fabrics.  It doesn't add to the overall cost of the garment; it just takes a couple extra steps in the production.  The end result is well worth the extra effort.

Follow the same steps to create a "pillowcase" top by simply cutting it shorter.  
Pair it with bloomers to create an adorable play set.  The shoulder strap shown above is made from seam binding tape.

For the bloomers I used McCall's pattern # 6345.  This pattern is my new favorite!  It is so easy and it comes with many options in both sizing and design.  
I scored this awesome pattern at an amazing sale at JoAnnn's Fabrics - all McCall's patterns $1 - limit 10 per customer!   

Once you get the basic steps down, you can play with your designs.  For this baby play set I made the seam binding, shoulder strap, and bottom band from a coordinating fabric. 

And because I wasn't sure of the sizing, I opted to leave about 2/3 of the back open.

Embellish your designs with yo-yos, fabric flowers, bows, and more.

Now, if you're at all like me, right about now you're thinking, "Man, I wish they made these for grownups!"
It can be done!  Perhaps the bloomers aren't such a good idea, but the "pillowcase" tops and dresses certainly are.  

In fact, since I wanted to make a dress for an upcoming family luau.  This was one of the patterns I purchased at the JoAnn's sale.  Look familiar?  It's basically a longer version of a pillowcase dress, and it's for adults! 

This dress took less than an hour to make.  Truly the only, even somewhat, difficult part was finding a table large enough to lay the fabric and pattern out.  I ended up using the floor.  

If you're interested in creating your own pillowcase dresses and tops, you can find simple patterns for both children and adults at your nearby fabric store, or search the Internet for simple directions using a standard pillowcase.

I will be posting directions for the above children's dresses and tops soon.  
Until then, check out my post on how to create similar tops from men's dress shirts!

All photographs taken by Paulette Rodriguez.

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