When you are a beginner sewer, one of the easiest dress patterns for girls to start with is a pillowcase dress. There are no tricky zippers or buttons to worry about and you will be so proud of your achievement when you are finished. What better project to get you hooked on sewing? And if you are a confident sewer then a pillowcase dress pattern is a great way to showcase your favorite designer fabric and sew up a pretty dress in record time.
So are you ready to start sewing your pillowcase dress pattern?
Pillowcase Dress Pattern – Options
You can make this dress with or without the border at the bottom.
Pillowcase Dress Pattern – Supplies
- Fabric – light to medium weight woven fabric. Quilting fabrics are ideal and you can find a nice selection of designer prints.
- 1 yard (0.90m) of fabric
- View B – border – additional 3/8 yard (0.35m) of contrast fabric
- Safety pin to thread the strap through the casing.
- 1/2 inch (12mm) wide single fold bias binding for under the arms.
- Optional – lace to decorate.
Pillowcase Dress Pattern: Download
Download your pattern pieces from my website. Just add them to your cart. They are absolutely free so you won’t need to add any credit card details unless you’d like to stock up on some of my other premium sewing patterns 🙂
If you are a visual learner then please check out my YouTube video below. It sometimes helps to watch how something is done first and then refer to the individual steps below. If you’ve enjoyed this free pattern video tutorial and would like to see more like it then please share, subscribe and give it the thumbs up! I’m new to making videos so I hope you enjoy it.
Cutting and Layout
Before cutting your fabric, fold it lengthwise with the 2 selvages meeting as shown below. This way you are cutting through two layers of fabric. All seam allowances are included in the pattern so there is no need to make any alterations.
This is how it will look when the pattern is pinned to your fabrics ready for cutting. Check you are cutting the correct hem line for view A or B.
Pillowcase Dress Pattern: Sewing
Before you start: If you wish to decorate the front it may be easier to do it now. In my video, I decorated with the lace after the side seams were done but it is just as easy to do it now before you start. (read how to sew lace trim)
Step 1: Put the FRONT and BACK with RIGHT sides together and stitch the side seams with a ½ inch (12mm) seam allowance.
Finish the seams with either a serger or a zig-zag stitch. This will make your dress withstand lots of washing. Don’t worry if you don’t have a serger, here are 6 easy seam finishes without a serger.
Step 2: Finish the armholes with your bias binding. If this is new to you and you’d like extra help read – how to sew bias
- Open up one pressed side of the bias binding. On the RIGHT side of the armhole, pin the open edge of the binding along the armhole raw edge. Stitch in the crease of the bias about 1/4 inch (6mm) from the raw edge.
*Design idea – If you wanted the bias to show on the outside of the finished dress, sew it to the wrong side in this step. You can see that I have done this for my black and pink sample.
- Bring the binding all the way to the WRONG side so the seam is on the edge of the armhole. Press and pin carefully.
- Stitch around the edge of the bias binding close to the folded bottom edge.
*Design idea – if you wanted the bias to show on the outside of the finished dress, fold and sew it to the right side in this step
Step 3: With the dress the WRONG way out: On both the FRONT and BACK of the dress press over the upper edge ¼ inch (6mm).
Press over the casing again by 1 ¼ inch (3cm) and stitch close to the edge.
Step 4: Now on to the hem. You can create 2 styles of hem – simple or with a border.
Simple Hem: On the wrong side of the dress, press up the bottom hem by 1/4 inch (6mm) then 1/2 inch (12mm) again and stitch across.
View B – Border Hem: Stitch your band pieces together at the side seams with right sides together and a 1/2″ (12mm) seam allowance. Fold the band so the wrong sides are together to form a tube.
Banded hem continued: With the dress the RIGHT way out, match the raw edges of the band to the raw edges of the hem. Stitch across with a 1/2 inch (12mm) seam allowance. Finish the seam.
Fold the hem down and press the seam up towards the body of the dress. If it doesn’t sit flat you can always topstitch the seam in place. In this black sample, I added a piece of lace over the seam to add a pretty twist.
Step 6: Sew the strap
- (A) Put the 2 strap pieces with RIGHT sides together. Stitch along one short side of the straps.
- (B)Press open the seam.
- (C) With RIGHT sides together, fold the strap in half lengthways and stitch the sides and bottom leaving a 2 inch (5cm) opening in the center.
- (D) Clip both the ends. Turn your strap the RIGHT side out and press well. Topstitch all the way around the strap close to the edge.
Step 7: Thread the strap through the neck casing with a safety pin.
Step 8: Gather in the front and back casings then tie a bow on one shoulder.
Step 9: Try the dress on your little girl and put a few hand or machine stitches to secure the strap and to prevent it from pulling out.
I hope you enjoyed this free pillowcase dress pattern. Be proud of what you have made and share your photos with my Facebook group. Please also add your thoughts and comments below.
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