Make a July 4th Pillowcase Dress

July 3, 2012 in Projects

With the summer heat, my daughter has been asking daily to wear a dress.  They are a great way to keep cool that is for sure!  I thought that I would spend some time working on my Ellure Plus and make her a dress.

With July 4th approaching, I thought I would make her a cute festive dress to wear.  I remembered I had some red and white seersucker that I had purchased on sale at Jo-Ann Fabrics, and this was the perfect time to use it.

I know these dresses are made out of a pillowcase, but I decided to use seersucker fabric.  I started with a simple rectangle just like a pillowcase.  I had about a yard of fabric.  I decided to make a dress for my daughter and my niece.  The easiest way to determine a size was to use a dress that fits them well.  I used those dresses as templates to help determine the length I wanted.

1.  First I washed and ironed my fabric.

2.  Since I was making two dresses I cut my fabric in half.  Here is one section of fabric that was cut.




3. Next I serged the ends of the fabric to eliminate fraying.  I also trimmed the loose ends that appeared after cutting.




4.  Next I stitched a hem along the bottom of the dress.  For the two dresses i am making, I made one with a 1/2 inch hem, and one with 1/4 inch hem.  I used the dress “templates” to help me with length.




5.  Now it is time to make arm holes.  I folded my fabric so I could see the front and back of the dress.  Depending on what size dress you want to make, your arm holes will be different.  For a toddler dress (age 2.5) I made my arm holes approximately 7 inches long by 3 inches wide.  I cut them in a “j” shape.  The other dress was for a smaller child (age 10 months).  I made those arm holes 6 inches long by 4 inches wide.  When you tie the ribbons, the length of the arm holes will adjust.





6.  I folded the dress to make sure the arm holes are lined up.  Looks good:)




7.  Now it is time for the finishing touches.  I folded over the arm holes and stitched to eliminate a raw edge.

8.  Then I stitched the front and back of the dress together.

9.  Last step…make a hem that you can slide the ribbon through that will be the straps of the dress.  The ribbon I chose was 7/8 inch wide, so I just folded it over and used that as a guide for the width of my hem.  Mine was about an inch.  I folded the fabric over the ribbon, and pressed with the iron to make a crease. I took the ribbon out and made a stitch along the fabric.

10.  The fun part!  Using a safety pin, I threaded the ribbon through the fabric.  Any ribbon is cute with this type of dress.  I chose blue, simply to be patriotic, but can change it for different purposes.  I put the dress on the child’s shoulder to get an estimate for ribbon length.

I chose to use two different ribbons and tie them above each shoulder.  Another option is to use one ribbon and make one tie.

Finished product:

Little Models showing off their new dresses








It is definitely a cute and easy dress to make.  With the ribbon straps the dress can grow with your child too.  I may change the ribbons to a different color after July 4th.  The fabric is perfect for a hot, summer day!  i think I will for sure try this type of dress again…and maybe even use Monogram Works to embroider something on the front.



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