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Creative Corner / Events / Holidays / Humor / Mama Drama / Motherhood

Simple Pillowcase Dress for Easter

A friend recently sent me a photo of a beautifully made pillowcase dress for a little girl and asked if I might be able to duplicate the pattern. She’s expecting and, already having three adorable sons, is thinking she may be having a daughter this time around. If so, she’s anxious to adorn her in lovely dresses and bows!

I felt the same sentiment when expecting our daughter, but knowing that I spent several of my young years as a dress-despising tomboy, I prepared myself for the day that my little sweetheart would reject her beautiful wardrobe to sport ragged denim with cowboy boots…and that’s where we’re at today.

So, when I saw the picture of the lovely dress, I thought I’d see if I could come up with something and possibly, just maybe, convince my daughter that she’d look beautiful wearing it for Easter this year!

I took her with me to the fabric store and let her pick some colorful, coordinating looks. I made a big deal out of pre-washing the fabric, cutting the pieces, and pinning it all together. She was far more impressed with the pincushion, freckled with sharp pins, than the fancy dress we were making.

As I completed the final stitches, I asked her to try it on. Thankfully, a neighbor friend was playing at our house, because when my daughter objected, her friend happily skipped over and volunteered to model it…and then asked if I would make her one. Well, at least someone appreciated all that hard work, and I can still make a dress for my friends sweet baby – and it may even be a little girl, ha!

These are the “simple” instructions I found online – altered a bit for a modern pillowcase dress:

1. With a pillowcase in mind, sew a wide hem on the bottom of two rectangles of fabric – this is the bottom of the dress (use length chart below and add 3 inches for neckline.)

2. Pin right sides of rectangles together and cut armholes –  approximately 2-3 inches and in the shape of the letter “J” on the left side and backward “J” on the right. (I use the cutout fabric from the left side to duplicate on the right.)

3. Fold neckline on front and back sides and seam each, leaving a tunnel for wide ribbon (the ribbon will tie in large bows over each shoulder.)

4. Right sides together, sew sides of the dress and reinforce arm holes and neckline.

5. Trim and turn right side out. Thread ribbon through neckline tunnels, gather fabric to fit along the neck and back and tie bows on each side.

6. Use extra ribbon to make matching hair bows!

This concept can be used to create a very simple dress or, with the addition of fun fabrics and ribbons, a detailed masterpiece! Shorten the length of the dress for a lovely top to wear with leggings. Regardless of how your creation turns out, your child will feel loved knowing that mommy made something special just for her – even if she refuses to wear it!

Sizing Chart (shoulder to hem):
6 mos. – 13″
12 mos. – 15″
18 mos. – 17″
2T – 19″
3T – 21″
4T – 23″
5 – 25″
6 – 27″

A friend suggested making a matching dress for a doll and using that as my convincing touch to the Easter outfit…I think it might work. So now I will make a second dress in hopes that the first will get some good use – and this is motherhood, ha!

Author: Jaime

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  1. Aww too cute! I couldn’t agree more that she will feel loved wearing something mommy made just for her. I still remember the outfits and halloween costumes my Grandmother made for me. It means a lot knowing she made it just for “me” 🙂 Love your fun ideas!

  2. The material you found is DARLING!

  3. I LOVE the dress ~ Super Cute! And I love that you made your daughter feel like she played a part in the making of the dress by helping pick material, etc. The matching dress for her doll is a great idea, too fun! I wish my girls were still at the age where I could pick out clothes for them. Unfortunately, now they are both very opinionated about their wardrobe and I don’t have much say. It is so fun to remember back to the day when they wore sweet little dresses like this one. Love your ideas! 🙂

  4. This is so incredibly cute! I may have to break out my sewing machine and try it. I know my four year old daughter would love it!

  5. I watched a YouTube video on how to make a pillowcase dress w/ an actual pillowcase and hand stitched neckline…no machine required – great recycling project!

  6. How does one know how wide to cut the rectangle pieces? Thank you.


  7. Hi Mary,

    The look of the dress will vary a bit depending on the width of the rectangle pieces. For my three-year-old daughter, I approximated a queen-size pillowcase and took about 1.5 inches off each side. I don’t think you can mess it up so long as it’s roomy enough toward the bottom half. Good luck ~ let us know how it turns out!

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