Wednesday, May 2, 2012

How to Make Modern Pillowcase Dresses Part 2

This is a continuation of How to Make Modern Pillowcase Dresses. Click Here to find Part 1.
I use bias tape for both finishing and decorating the garments. 
One inch bias tape can be purchased. If you want fun, matching bias tape, you can make your own. If you don't have enough fabric leftover to use the bias, tape can be made using the straight width of the fabric. The fabric width will have some stretch, but will be a bit more difficult to use on the underarm curve. Be aware, but not discouraged.
 I will describe how to make bias tape in tomorrow's post.

To finish the armhole of the dress, place the area to be finished wrong side up and stack the tape on top, also wrong side up.  
Stitch the tape to the garment in the ditch of the tape fold. 
Then fold the tape to the right side and stitch near the edge of the tape with a 1/8 inch seam.  
The pillowcase dresses can be finished as tops or dresses. Measure from the base of the neck to the desired length of the dress while the child is standing. The Farm Inspector and the Ag Analyst like to have shorts or capris to wear with their play outfits. I seldom make a dress for a child without matching shorts or pants. 
Since children tend to grow taller more than wider at this age, there may be a dress from last year that still fits the child, but is too short. Make a coordinating pair of shorts or capris to wear with it. 
By letting the pillowcase show just below the fashion fabric, it makes a quiet impact as a slip. 
When using two layers, I lined the armhole rather than finishing it with tape. Trim the lining in such a way that it is below the fold line at the top of the garment, but catches in the stitching that forms the tube at the top of the dress. This will reduce bulk when you gather the front and back onto elastic or ties.
I use the seam as center back. I try to always add a ribbon loop to mark the back of any garment that I construct for a child. Learning to get your clothes on properly is confusing, back loops simplify.
The length of this garment was adjusted by adding a tuck near the bottom of the overskirt. It adds a bit of substance to the skirt making it stand away from the slip. It allows you to adjust the length to perfection.
 I have colored elastic in my stash, it is used in lingerie sewing. Many garments look fine with black or white elastic. The yoke and skirt bottom on the dress above are bias cut gingham trimmed with black eyelet. 
 I also liked adding some hand crocheted lace that had been removed from a worn out pillowcase to the newly constructed pillowcase dress. The trim here is grosgrain ribbon. 
For the cool days that we have in GreaterDakota, I invested in a few T-shirts to wear under the dresses. I am already planning corduroy and fleece jumpers for Fall, Christmas prints and snowflakes with turtlenecks during the GriggsDakota winter. My question is, "How many of these can a busy Farm Inspector and Ag Analyst use?" 


  1. Well JK, gotta admit that you lost me after the first description but loved looking at the pics!! I am not a seamstress!! You are amazing!! Love the outfits!! How cute!!


    1. I hope that seamstresses can get some tips from these posts. I am not a sewing teacher. Thank you for wading through to read the blog.

  2. Very well tutorial of modern pillowcase dresses. I already read about its part 1 and now reading about part 2. I'm pretty sure that I will able to implement its practically. Keep up the good work :)