Yikes, getting the tutorial up late is becoming a habit. Hopefully one I will break next week.
This is our fourth week and if you’ve been making a dress each week I bet you’re becoming quite confident in the construction of a pillowcase dress. Also, I hope you are beginning to realize the variations are almost endless.
Today’s dress will have a one shoulder tie and a ribbon tie for the waist.
Pillowcase (or fabric)
7/8″ – 1 1/2″ ribbon
Thin nylon rope
1. Make your own “pillowcase” (if using an already made pillowcase skip this step)
If you’re using a pillowcase or you made one like I did you will need to cut off the folded area so that you have a tube. If you made your own “pillowcase” but didn’t use the fold on your fabric and you already have a tube then you are good to go…just skip this step.
Fold your dress in half longways. On the seam side you’re going to go 1.5″ to 3″ in and 3″ to 4.5″ down.
Turn the dress right side out and pin the lining to it. The lining will be wrong side out so that the patterned side of the fabric for the dress and the lining are touching.
Pin all around the armholes and front and back.
Stitch the entire area that you pinned.
Clip the corners making sure that you don’t clip through your stitches.
Now clip the curves in the armholes just like you did last week.
Turn the dress right side out so that your lining is inside the dress.
Iron the seam so that your lining will lay flat.
Stitch along the edge.
7.Make the tie
Cut a piece of fabric (can be just like the fabric you used for the dress or a co-ordinating fabric) that is about 3″ wide and long enough to go across the child’s front, back, one shoulder and make a tie. I cut mine to 47″. Remember it’s always easier to shorten the tie than it is to lengthen it.
Tie a knot at the end of the nylon rope (which needs to be at least a little longer than your fabric) and lay it just to one side of the center of the fabric with the right side up.
Fold the fabric and pin the rope in and then pin all the way down the long open side. Stitch the rope in going back and forth a couple of times.
Stitch the long open side of the fabric together.
Holding your long tube loosely, pull the nylon rope… it should begin to bunch up.
This is what the end will look like. See all that extra fabric around the knot? You need to help it over the knot as you continue pulling the rope. The tube will begin to turn into itself.
This is what will come out of the tube. Continue pulling down the fabric until it is all right side out. Cut off the end of the fabric with the rope sewn in. Now you should have a thin tube that is open on both ends.
Iron your tube. You can either put the tube down the center like I did or you can put it to one side. Turn each end into itself about 1/4″ and topstitch closed. I actually topstitched all four sides.
To gather the front you just need to sew a couple of rows of basting stitches. (Basting stitches are really long stitches and you don’t backstitch at the beginning or the end to lock them in place in fact you need to leave long tails on each end.) Yes, you need two rows, not one. (just in case my sister is reading this – she who thought one would be fine even though I said two)
I used my lining as my guide for my first row of basting stitches. If you didn’t line your dress or if you lined the whole thing just mark off how far down you want the waist to be and draw a line across the front. Similar to what we did last week to put in the elastic waist but this week you’re only gathering the front.
I made my rows about 1/4″ apart which is plenty.
Measure how the wide you want the front to be and then mark that on your ribbon. Make sure to take it out of the middle and leave equal amounts on each side of the pins. I used 12″.
Now, pin each side to the where your basting stitches stop. It should be about the middle of the armhole. If you have 2 side seams it will be your side seams.
Pin the top of the ribbon to the dress using your top basting stitch as your guide.
Stitch the ribbon on make sure that you’ve put your stitch length back to what you normally sew with. This is one time I just sew right over the pins. I really want this to be as straight as possible so it’s worth the risk of bending a pin. But if that just freaks you out, take out the pins as your go.
10. Hem your dress
I know you’re shocked but I actually hemmed this dress properly. I folded about 1″ of fabric and ironed it. I opened that up and tucked the raw edges in and ironed that so I have about a 1/2″ hem.
Any questions? If so leave them in the comments and I’ll answer them there. Also, if you’ve made some pillowcase dresses be sure leave a link in the comments so we can all see your creation.
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