Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sewing: Double Layer Pillowcase Dresses (Tutorial)


Well, just when I thought I had our rhythm figured out around here, things changed. That is of course how it goes with home and family but this one has been more of a challenge, or I'm losing my edge! Tess has consolidated her naps (so young!) and it's only in the last week or so that I've managed to get Tess and Scarlett napping at the same time again--it's essential. Tess is also crawling all over, and loves to tackle our stairs. So far no falls but I feel like I spend her awake time, which is most of the time now, snatching her from near misses. I think it's the distraction of her two older sisters. It wasn't quite like this when there was only one baby or one baby and one toddler. Wears mommy out. Add to this the less structured summer schedule, and a new resolution to workout (why did I let that slip?!), and well, there isn't much else getting done! My friend Kari once wisely told me, "when you say 'yes' to something you are saying 'no' to something else." It's so true! I just have a hard time accepting it. But I'm working on it.



So enough with the excuses. I have actuallly been sewing up a storm. I am making four little flower girl dresses for the wedding of my brother-in-law. We're so excited! His bride-to-be has some beautiful things planned for the garden wedding including burlap, linen, and white flowers. After we spoke about it I thought it would be so great to veer from the traditional flower girl attire and do something in linen and creamy-white silk. I thought of pillowcase dresses. I love their silhouette--so simple and pure. Seemed the perfect thing for a summer garden wedding. She and the mother of the other flower girls agreed.

So I am doing them double-layer in this gorgeous natural linen (same fabric as this dress, actually) and silky white fabric (not silk--I am sometimes a bit more practical). I could have just banded the hem, but the double layers behave differently, prettily I think. I love this combination! I imagine the generous white bow looking so beautiful next to these little girls' faces. I think linen looks great crisp or wrinkled. And it is nice to have the full dress lined in something that should feel good to them.


Now I just hope these dresses look as beautiful on the girls as I've imagined. (Last night I was thinking it would have been a lot less risky to just buy some!) And I hope that the girls actually make it down the "aisle" in them! Anyone read Lily's Big Day?

If you are interested in a little tutorial on making a double-layer pillowcase dress click to read more. UPDATE: view photos of the flower girls in their dresses here.


DOUBLE LAYER PILLOWCASE DRESS TUTORIAL

NOTE: This tutorial builds on my tutorial for Patriotic Pillowcase Dresses.

MATERIALS:
  • Bottom layer fabric: two panels measuring 22" wide and your desired length (measure from just below the collar bone to where you'd like it to hit on the leg and add 3 1/2 inches) (I cut my size three bottom panel 25" long and my size five 29" long)
  • More of this bottom layer fabric to make a tie. My size three tie was cut 6"x64" and my size five 6"x74".
  • Top layer fabric: two panels measuring 22" wide and 3" shorter than your bottom layer.
  • 1/2" seam binding or a 1/2" ribbon--I used a double faced satin ribbon because it was easy and pretty
TO MAKE:

Follow the instructions on this tutorial for cutting the armholes and sewing together the side seams with french seams (such a nice way to finish!). You'll be making two separate dress pieces--the two layers. Then hem each layer. I did a larger hem on these because I wanted a dressier look for the wedding. First zigzag stitch the raw bottom edge (which makes it much easier to turn in my opinion), then turn it and stitch down 1/4", then turn again 1 1/2" and stitch down (I used a blind hem stitch).

Now insert your bottom layer inside your top layer with both pieces right side out. The wrong side of your top layer will be against the right side of your bottom layer.


Pin the layers together along the armholes, matching center seams.


Pin across the tops.


Baste together the layers along the armholes and top with a 1/2" seam allowance.


Now you have your double-layer and you can follow the rest of this tutorial (minus the hemming because you've already done it) to make the casing for your tie, sew the tie, and weave it through.

So many possibilities with two layers! Have fun!

44 comments:

Shannon said...

So beautiful! I just made my first pillowcase dress but I'm definitely going to try this double layered one. And the wider ribbon for the bow-- I love it! Much prettier than the skinny ribbon! :)

Jess said...

these are gorgeous in their simplicity! They will looks so pretty I'm sure!

The Cardboard Crafter said...

Very cute, I bet it's going to be a lovely wedding. And I can totally relate to not having much time to do ANYTHING! I have a 4-year-old and two 2-year-olds. I'm lucky if I get them all fed on time and get all the basic necessities covered, much less get the house cleaned. Napping at the same time is essential! With twins, I was able to get them on the same sleep schedule from the start. Good luck keeping your girls napping together :)

Jessica said...

gosh you are so talented! I have a son and another boy on the way! I do have nieces I could make this for, although I'm an ametuer seamstress so not so sure I could pull this one off!
beautiful though!

Jessica at Me Sew Crazy said...

this is lovely...simplicity at its best

Kika Diniz said...

Que delicado e bonito!!
Parabéns pelo trabalho!

What delicate and beautiful!!
Congratulations for the work!

http://tentandoeacertando.blogspot.com

chickadeeworkshop said...

Gorgeous! I never would have thought of natural colored linen for little girls, but it's very rich looking with the silky white. Please tell us what the bridesmaids are wearing.

The Cardboard Crafter said...

I linked to this post today in my blog :)

http://cardboardcrafter.blogspot.com/2011/07/girls-dont-have-to-wear-pink.html

Maria said...

I love this! I just started making pillowcase dresses for our girls and I love this double layering. So simple, and with the right fabrics, a very clean and classy line. I bet they move nicely!

cateoh said...

no doubt about it... these will look stunning!

Brittney said...

now, that is the prettiest pillowcase dress I've seen! :)

elise said...

The beauty of the simple and elegant little dress inspired my own post today. I completely enjoyed your posting and took joy in the unspoken love you have in creating this for your child.

Thank you,
Elise

GGBunnie said...

So pretty...wonderful design for a Summer wedding.
Thank you so much for sharing :)

feelincrafty said...

once again, these are beautiful! When you mentioned doing flower girl dresses, I couldn't wait to see them! I'm about to make two pillow case dresses and I love the idea of the double layer... I think this idea is going to be perfect for what I'm doing. I"ll share with you once I get them done. They're on the schedule for next week.

Valentina@baby quilts said...

Very pretty design. Love the double layer idea and the wide ribbon - makes it so much more girlish and elegant without being overdone. Thank you for posting it!

Theophanie said...

That is so pretty. I love the bow. :)

Amy@Sassy Scarlett said...

They look beautiful, what a wonderful idea!

miamihoney said...

Gorgeous!! Love the double layer and I am sure they will be picture perfect for the wedding.

Anonymous said...

Where did you find these pillow cases?? Or did you just buy fabric? I am Desperate to try making this for my daughter and one for me (as a top) :)
teamcouey@comcast.net
-Kimberly

Anneliese said...

@Anonymous: I actually bought fabric to make these "pillowcase" dresses. Both the linen and the silky stuff was purchased at Joann. Good luck with yoru projects!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Anneliese! :) They are Gorgeous!
-Kimberly Couey

Anna said...

so pretty and elegant looking, just beautiful!

Jenna@DelightingInToday said...

I love this fabric combo. So refreshing! I definitely want to give this a try!

Tonya Jo Ann said...

I did this! My sister-n-law got married and my 2 little girl's were the flower girls. I had told her I would make a pillowcase dress for each of their flower girl dresses...then I stumbled upon the Aesthetic Nest, and wah-la...a double layer pillow case dress. I mean 2 double layer pillow case dresses. They were sooooooooo cute and I got TONS of compliments on them. Thanks so much! I look like a ROCK STAR thanks to Aesthetic Nest!!!!

Anneliese said...

@Tonya Jo Ann: You just made my day! Thanks so much for sharing your double-layer pillowcase dress success!

JENNY K. said...

Saw this on Pinterest. Really cute. I made a similar dress this past summer.

http://blueskyconfections.blogspot.com/2011/06/summer-dressing.html

I like the wider ribbon on yours. Might make another one this summer for my little girl.

Anonymous said...

I SOOOOOOO appreciate your tutorial... just made my little girl one like this except with broadcloth instead of satin (it's not for a wedding, just for casual wear) and the bottom layer with a ruffle to sort of look like a pettiskirt. Just wonder if you could maybe clarify a little on the bias tape armhole binding because that's was a real struggle for me and I'm pretty sure I didn't do it quite right. :) Love your simple explanation of french seams... it's so easy yet looks so much nicer... thanks!!

Sidney said...

For more ideas on how to make a pillowcase dress, go to: www.dressagirlaroundtheworld.com

The mission here is to make sure that every little girl has 1 dress in her lifetime! Can you imagine sewing something w/love for a little girl across the globe?

Contact me at smczynski@gmail.com for more information

Photosarah Crafts said...

I made a double-layer pillowcase dress (from a pillowcase) and your tutorial was very helpful! Thanks for sharing!

http://sarahdudik.wordpress.com/2012/04/02/a-pillowcase-dress-and-a-satin-pillowcase/

Feral Turtle said...

Just wanted to let you know I found your tutorial amazing. I have made two of these cute dresses and have linked back to your blog. You can see them here: http://www.feralturtle.com/2012/04/flower-girl-dresses.html
Thanks again!

Mateja said...

So simple, but soooo gorgeous... I will make one like this for myself. Thank you for sharing it with us!

Anilegra said...

El vestido ,precioso ,y el tutorial genial , voy a poner un enlace a tu página en mi blog

Waseem said...

looks so simple I am sure... You are talented.
Send Flowers To Pakistan From Australia
Send Flowers To Pakistan From Australia
Send Flowers To Pakistan From Australia

Danny Kaethanno said...

Que vestido lindo!!! adorei... vou tentar fazer um!... :D Parabéns pelo site1 é show...

flower girl dress said...

All the dresses are beautifully designed. This allows you to find the perfect pageant dress for your little girl quickly.

sara said...

It is possible to a good little water for colors towards your big event utilizing this type of amazing, increased by flower girl dress up.

communion dresses said...

Flower girls bring smiles to your wedding party and guests. The flower girl, usually an adorable little lady aged three to eight, proceeds down the aisle before the bride, carrying flowers or scattering rose petals along the bridal path.

KF said...

I really want to make this in adult size! it is so cute for spring and summer!

flowerdressforless said...

These dresses are perfect for any occasion, and will certainly not be a one-and-done purchase. A great destination to find a dress that fits your girl would be flowergirldressforless, which is an online store that carries all types of clothes.

flower girl dress for less said...

These dresses are perfect for any occasion, and will certainly not be a one-and-done purchase. A great destination to find a dress that fits your girl would be flowergirldressforless, which is an online store that carries all types of clothes. Not only designer lines but they have categorized the line range in different segments like shop by color, shop by style, shop by price and shop by size.

Alana Barraza said...

wonderful idea but i am a new sewing fan where would i get a pattern for the different sizes i need one for a yr old,3yrs and 5yrs i know its easy but i am learning everything on my own any tips would help

Melinda said...

This dress is adorable! This dress would be great to make for Little Dresses for Africa. They send dresses to girls to help bring them hope. We issued a challenge on our blog for people to make some. Might have to make this one myself!

Anneliese said...

@Alana: I have seen pillowcase dress patterns on Etsy. I'm sure if you search you can find one with the sizes you need. I hope that helps!

Anderson Asfe said...

Those flower girl dresses are way too adorable.

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