Pillow case dress tutorial

Welcome! If you have found this post through a forum or website, please leave a comment & let me know where you came from. Check out the rest of my blog for giveaways & other sweet stuff.

This post will mainly be a photo tutorial, click on any picture to make it larger. If you have any questions, let me know.

Supplies/Tools Needed

  • 1 pillowcase
  • bias tape (optional, you can also use the extra pillow case for this)
  • elastic
  • safety pins
  • scissors
  • measuring tape
First measure you child. You will need to measure across the chest. You will also need to measure the length that you want the dress to be. This measurement is from the chest to knee or mid calf. (ie. Hatties measurements are: chest – 6 inches, length – 20 inches.) The chest measurement is for the elastic. I know how hard is to create precise jobs this is why I started using machines to do the job instead of me. Check out if Curio Review is right for you.
Standard (American) Dress Lengths for Little Girls
6 – 9 months: 14 inches
12 months: 15.5 inches
18 months: 17.5 inches
2T: 19.5 inches
3T: 21 inches
4T: 22 inches
5/6: 24 inches

7/8: 26 inches

Pillow case
Next you will cut the pillowcase. When you cut acroos the top of the pillowcase (i.e. lenght), add an inch to the length for your casing fold. For the arm holes cut a ‘J’ edge, along the side seams, that is about 3 – 4 inches high/3 – 4 inches wide. If you are at an impass between Cameo and Curio the comparison between Silhouette Cameo 3 and Silhouette Curio will help you make a decision.

Pillow case3
If you want to make your own bias tape from the pillow case selvage, you should cut that now. For a 1/2 inch bias tape, you need to cut 2 1/2 inch strips. Cut two strips.


Pillow case2

Next you will iron the casing for the elastic in the front & back of the pillow case. Starting at the raw edge, iron a 1/4 inch fold then fold & iron a 3/4 inch fold.


Pillow case4

Finally sew the casing closed. Sew as close to the edge as possible, leaving a 3/4 inch casing. This step does not have to be perfect. The roaching from the elastic will hide a multitude of mistakes.


pillow case dress

Now while you have the iron out, iron the bias tape. This is how I make bias tape, if you make it differently, make it how you usually make it.

pillow case dress2
First Iron in half, open. Then iron both raw edges to the center. Finally fold & iron in half again.

Your project should now look like this.

pillow case dress3

Now you will feed the casing with elastic. You will want to cut the elastic the length of the chest minus 1/2 inch. You will need 2 pieces of elastic the same length. Attach a safety pin to either end of the elastic for feeding purposes.


pillow case dress4

Feed the elastic through the casing. Then sew all four raw edges of casing, sewing the elastic into the casing.

Now pin the bias tape to both arm edges.

pillow case dress5
Starting at the edge of the bias tape, begin sewing the tape closed. Continue sewing closing the dress in the tape. Make sure you give yourself enough room to catch both edges.



Finish off the bias tape by using your button hole stitch on the diagonal.

pillow case dress5

Snip all of your seams. Viola, finished dress.

Last Updated on:

Emily Weathers
Emily Weathers

Hi, Emily Weathers ex-corporate drone, full-time crafter and mother of three running this site. My passion is crafting, and I'm an early adopter. I'm testing many machines, so you don't have to. Since I get to play with these devices, why not write reviews for them? It's the reason for the site's existence, so you make the right choices and avoid money pits. If you want to know more…