Since I’ve been showing so many completed pillow case dresses the past several months, I thought I would do a series of posts, once a week, on how to make one. I will also share some variations, so you can choose what suits you best.
In this first of the series, I’ll be showing you how I measure the fabric for cutting. But first I want to give you the measurements for dress sizes:
SIZE SIZE OF CUT RECTANGLE
Small (2-4) 19”-26” L x 42” W
Medium (5-7) 27”-32” L x 42” W
Large (8-10) 33”-37” L x 42” W
X-Large (11 +) 38” L or more x 42” W
To get started fold the fabric with selvages matching just like the way you purchase it at a store. Fold it over a 2nd time matching up the edge, creating 4 layers of fabric.
Then measure, mark and cut the length of dress you desire. I’m making a medium size dress, so I decided to measure, mark and cut at 28”.
I then readjusted my second fold down to 10.5”. The fabric needs to be 42” wide, so the 4 folded layers at 10.5″ wide will give you what you need. Trim the excess fabric off.
Now open up your one piece of fabric. It should be 42” wide and whatever length you chose (in my case it’s 28”.)
NOTE: I’ll be walking you through a French seam. If you have a serger, you’ll probably want to fold your fabric with right sides together, and serge your seam. And you’ll want to skip the next couple of steps.
Fold the fabric lengthwise with 2 edges together, wrong sides together. Pin the edge.
Sew a quarter inch seam. Turn your tube inside out, iron along seam. Pin seam down.
Sew another seam 3/8” to 1/2”. Turn your tube inside right, iron. Now lay out your tube with the seam running down the center.
Fold in half lengthwise along the center seam.
Now you’ll need an armhole template. I’ve provided a pdf you can download for 3 armhole templates: small, medium and large here. Just in case your software doesn’t download the templates accurately, here are the measurements to make adjustments to the template:
Small – 1.5” x 4.25”
Medium – 1.75” x 4.75”
Large – 2” x 5.5”
Lay your template on the side where the 2 folds are matched up. Mark and cut.
Now open up your tube with the seam in the center, and it should look like this.
I’m going to stop at this point. I hope my instructions are easy to follow. In the next 2 posts I’ll walk you through two different ways to finish the neck casing and armholes. So bust your fabric stash and follow along!