OK y’all…imagine I’m really draaaawwling today as I take you through this women’s pillowcase dress tutorial. Because I’m wearing a dress…and boots…and I’m leading my horse around the fields. So this is about as Texan as I can get, y’all.
I’ve been asked before about a pillowcase tutorial for women, and I have to admit…I was hesitant to do it. So before I get into the pattern and sewing, let’s go through some caveats. Because let’s face it – these kind of dresses are adorable on little girls and really tough for women to pull off.
So, if you’re determined to make/wear a pillowcase dress and you’re over the age of 12, by all means PLEASE
- Don’t use quilting cotton. Sorry, if you’ve got boobs, you need fabric that drapes more, or you’re just going to look like you’re wearing a tent. The dress I’m wearing is silk I got at Mood last year during LA Fabric Weekend. Knit is also a good option.
- Your dress needs to have a little bit of an A-line shape; if you go with an actual pillowcase (and I’d like to see the pillow that needs to be covered by a case that can fit a grown up woman!) or rectangular shape, it’s going to look like you’re wearing a sack. And not in a good way.
- Consider a belt. Honestly, next time I wear this dress, I will probably add one. The breeze helped in these pictures, but otherwise this dress is a little shapeless.
- Length is important. A pillowcase style dress for a woman either needs to hit above the knee or be maxi length. Midi length + borderline shapeless = supremely unflattering.
So please raise your hand and repeat after me, “I, (your name), promise to follow the above rules before I attempt to sew or wear a pillowcase dress.”
OK, let’s talk about how to make the pattern. See the diagrams below. Note- if you want maxi length, you’ll need to go with collarbone to floor length instead of collarbone to kneecap length.
Take your rectangle and modify it as shown below. Cut 2 of this piece.
To sew the dress:
- (Not shown) sew the side seams with the dress front and back right sides together. Finish these seams.
- Use single fold bias tape to finish the edges. Pin the unfolded tape right sides together against the fabric, sew along crease line closest to the raw edge of the fabric, then turn tape to the inside and stitch it down along the other edge.
If you want your straps to be of the same fabric as the dress, make a long 2″ wide strip of fabric and sew it right sides together, matching the long edges and using a 1/4″ seam. Turn your tube right side out and thread through your casing, tie it off at the length you like and knot the ends of the tube to prevent fraying. If you don’t want the same fabric, you could use ribbon, bias tape, I even contemplated using a jewelry chain on mine.
Hem your dress, and then get your horse to parade around with you as a photo prop. Can you tell Major is thrilled?
Honestly he was probably just glad that I finally combed the dreadlocks out of his mane. Poor pasture pet; I haven’t had much time to ride lately.
But hey, he posed pretty for this photo. And yes, he has one brown eye and one blue. Some people think it’s creepy, I think it’s really cool.