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Tutorial: Pillowcase Sundress: Part 1

Tutorial: Pillowcase Sundress: Part 1 | Red-Handled Scissors
Celebrate Earth Day by upcycling 2 pillowcases into a cute, simple sundress!

Supplies:
* 2 pillowcases with fun patterns (They don’t have to match, but they should be the same size.)
* 30-40″ of ¼” braided elastic band, white or black to match the pillowcase fabric (Will be cut down to waist size.)
* 2 ½ yards of ¼” double fold bias tape in a color that complements your pillowcases

Tools:
* Sewing machine (If you’ve got mad hand-stitching skills, feel free to break them out.)
* Seam ripper
* Straight pins
* Fabric scissors or rotary cutter
* Fabric pencil/tailor chalk
* Measuring tape
* Iron

Note: Because this dress uses pillowcases instead of fabric and a pattern, it’s one of those pesky one-size-fits-some projects. While you can certainly tailor the shape to fit you better, keep in mind that the maximum waist and chest measurements are limited to the circumference of the pillowcases. If you’ve got a little extra junk in the trunk like I do (or, you know, giant boobs), I recommend that you take some extra measurements before getting started.

Tutorial: Pillowcase Sundress: Part 1 | Red-Handled Scissors

1. Lay both pillowcases flat, pressing with iron if needed, and cut half an inch off of the finished bottoms, removing the stitches at the ends of each pillowcase.

2. My pillowcases were made from one large piece of fabric that was folded over and sewn, so they only had one side seam. (The newer ones on my bed have seams on both sides.) If your pillowcases only have one side seam, turn the pillowcases inside out and press each one flat. Stitch down the length of the unfinished side, sewing as close to the edge as you can. Turn the pillowcases right side out and press again.

Tutorial: Pillowcase Sundress: Part 1 | Red-Handled Scissors

3. Measure from your natural waist to the place where you would like the bottom of the skirt to fall on your legs. Add an extra 1½” on top for inserting the elastic band and 1″ at the bottom for your final hem. (Add a total of 2½” to your measurement.) Select the pillowcase that you will be using for the skirt, then cut it to length. Set aside. *

* Now is the time to decide whether you would like to remove the excess length on the skirt from the top or from the bottom. The rainbow pattern was located at the bottom of my pillowcase, so I removed excess length from the top.

Tutorial: Pillowcase Sundress: Part 1 | Red-Handled Scissors

4. Next, measure from your natural waist to shoulder, leaving a ½” seam allowance on the top and bottom. (Add an extra 1″ to your measurement.) Cut the second pillowcase to length for the shirt. (Just like the skirt, take the pattern location into account before you cut.)

Now, you’ll connect the skirt to the shirt.

Tutorial: Pillowcase Sundress: Part 1 | Red-Handled Scissors

5. First, turn the skirt inside out and fold the waist down leaving a 1½” seam allowance around the top. (This is where you will insert the elastic band.) Press the fold.

Tutorial: Pillowcase Sundress: Part 1 | Red-Handled Scissors
Tutorial: Pillowcase Sundress: Part 1 | Red-Handled Scissors

6. Turn the right side out shirt upside down and insert it into the waist opening of the inside out skirt, lining up the unfinished edge of the bottom of the shirt with the pressed fold on the waist of the skirt. Pin into place.

Tutorial: Pillowcase Sundress: Part 1 | Red-Handled Scissors

7. Stitch around the waist, attaching the unfinished edge of the shirt to the fold at the waist of the skirt.

That’s all for today! Click here for Pillowcase Sundress Tutorial: Part 2, where we’ll give the waist some shape and turn the top into a simple, flattering boat neck!

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10 comments

  1. Kelley Shanahan says:

    I still have scraps of these sheets from when I was a little kid, but alas not enough to make them into a sundress! They were well-loved and re-purposed into many other things however!

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