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IndiPatterns: 8/21/11 - 8/28/11

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Doll "Pillowcase Dress"

I was inspired by just how easy it is to sew up the pillowcase dresses to create this basic tutorial for a doll pillowcase dress.  The nicest thing about this pattern is that it will fit most 18" dolls plus a bunch of bears and other stuffed animals. 

I started with two rectangles.  The main body of the dress is 20"x9 1/2".  The bottom of the dress is 20"x7".  This is a great project to use up scraps.  Plus, you could make this dress with just 2 fat quarters. 

 Fold the bottom band in half lengthwise to get a piece that is 20" long and 3 1/2" wide. 
Pin the raw edges of the bottom band to the raw edge of the bottom of the dress.
 Stitch the two pieces of the dress together.  I like to finish the raw edge with an overcast zigzag stitch.
Then, I topstitched 1/4" above the seam just to keep the band in place.

Now you essentially have one great big rectangle of fabric. 

Fold the piece in half and then stitch the side seam.  This leaves you with a tube of fabric.

Fold it in half again.  You will have the side seam lined up with the folded edge of the mini pillowcase.  Mark off a section 1" deep by 5" long.  This is the armhole. 
 Here is a close-up of the section that you will cut out to make the armholes.

When I actually cut it out, I round the corner to make applying the bias tape easier. 

Apply double-fold bias tape to each armhole.  If you have never used bias tape, there is a tutorial on this blog showing you how to apply bias tape.  One trick I use for projects like this is to zigzag the bias tape on.  It adds an additional decorative factor and it makes it almost impossible to mess up putting the bias tape on. 

Here, you can see the armholes are both finished with bias tape. 

 Finally, you want to create the channel for the ribbon.  Fold it over 1/4" and then 1".  Repeat for the back of the dress.

Stitch the channel.

Last but not least, add the ribbon into the channel. 

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I love a Pillowcase Dress

You really cannot get much simpler than your basic pillowcase dress.  I can whip one of these up in under 20 minutes.  Using less than 1 yard of fabric, some scrap ribbon, and a bit of double-fold bias tape, these are really affordable little outfits.  The best part is that kids just don't grow out of them.  One year it's a dress.  The next year, it's a tunic length top with leggings.  Then it can be a top worn with jeans, etc.