Vintage Pillowcase Dress

I’ve never made a pillowcase dress before. You’d think I would’ve considering how many vintage pillowcases are stuffed into my closet, and of course how much I enjoy sewing for my girls (procrastinating sewing for myself is more like it!).

I ran across this flowery pillowcase in my stash while looking for items to upcycle for KCW.  The colors are so bright and cheerful, and look at that huge flower!!  Of course my daughter loved it and asked me to make her something with it.

Voila!  Pillowcase dress!

This pillowcase is actually very thin and feels like polyester, so I decided to line the dress with a soft cotton fabric I had reserved to make bias tape.  It’s a great match for the flowers too!

PleatI made the pattern from a bodice pattern block.  I added 2″ to the front fold to make the pleat, and redrew the neckline/shoulders to accommodate the bias tape/seam allowances.  I cut the liner without the extra 2″ because it wasn’t going to have a pleat.  I then drew a line down to create an A-line dress shape.

LinerI sewed the vintage pillowcase pieces and liner pieces front and back to each other at the sides, finished the seams, then I serged the hem of the liner and left it that way.  I hemmed the bottom of the pillowcase by turning it up a 1/4″, pressing, turning up a 1/4″ again, and sewing.

I slipped the liner into the pillowcase, wrong sides together, and machine basted along the entire top edge, matching liner and pillowcase seams (as seen in photo with pleat above).

TrimI used some vintage bias tape that matched the green in the pillowcase exactly.  I started by using a straight stitch to attach the front and back pillowcase/liner together, but it just wasn’t catching both layers evenly, so I decided to use a small zig zag stitch.  I used a zig zag stitch for the arm holes as well.

StrapsI used a straight stitch for the straps to keep them looking simple, and also so they wouldn’t feel so stiff.

Polka DotsThe back of the pillowcase didn’t have flowers, but coordinating polka dots.  I just love them!!

Rick Rack

There’s some of that vintage rick rack sewn over the bottom hem.  I might add another thinner row of rick rack, but for now, I’ve left it like this.

It’s still not warm enough for her to wear this, but soon it will be, and this will be waiting for her…I’m thinking as something to throw over her bathing suit during snack time.

Any other vintage pillow case projects out there I should know about?  Seriously, I have so many of them.


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