Creating Pillowcase Dresses

Two styles of pillowcase dresses-elastic neckline and tied ribbon neckline.

Two styles of pillowcase dresses-elastic neckline and tied ribbon neckline.

I hosted a sewing workshop on pillowcase dresses and have been working on perfecting the pillowcase dress.  This is an easy up-cycle.  

There are hundreds of online tutorials.  I have yet to determine the perfect process and style.  So much depends on the type of material and the intended use of the dress.  However, I have learned a few lessons.

  • Use bias tape on the armholes.  It is simple and produces a nice edge.  If you have never used double folded bias tape, you will be pleasantly surprised.
  • French seam the side seams.  This sounds complicated, but once again-easy!  The best way to hide an edge is a French seam.  If you have a serger, that would do the trick, but French seams are so clean and crisp.
  • Angle the cut of the side seams.  Some people keep the straight edge of the pillowcase, only cutting arm and neck holes from the case.  This is very boxy and I prefer to cut an angle to the bodice. 
The back of the pillowcase dresses.  The navy pillowcase had stripes in two spots, which created a fun back.

The back of the pillowcase dresses.  The navy pillowcase had stripes in two spots, which created a fun back.

I am working on a third, double layered, dress that I am excited about.  

I'm happy to be diving into pillowcase dresses, and that sundress weather is soon!

The navy dress is for my favorite little Virginia Cavalier!

Seam binding is easy and perfect for pillowcase dresses

Seam binding is easy and perfect for pillowcase dresses

I have concluded there is no "perfect" style.  The elastic neckline should work well if I want to create nightgowns.  However, I need to come up with a better closure (for safety purposes) than the ties.

I'm sure I will post more pillowcase dresses, as I have been saving pillowcases for years!