Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tuesdays Tutorial-Pillow Case Dress

It's Tuesday Tutorial Time!!!
 I have been looking forward to sharing this tute with you. A friend of mine from high school requested that I do a tutorial on how to make a pillow case dress, and thankfully she is a patient woman;o) It took me a couple of weeks, since things around here haven't been exactly slow:o) 
I am always looking for an excuse to make S.R. a new dress, and I new that she would need something to wear for the 4th, so I thought this would be the perfect time to make the pillow case dress. And the great thing about it was that I already had everything on hand, so I can stick to my vow of not buying any new projects for the month of June:o) Aren't you proud?!?!?!?;o)
Just a warning...There are TONS of pictures in this post. So without further adieu, I give you the tute:
I didn't want this to be a plain pillowcase dress that looked like I cut some holes in a pillowcase, strung some ribbon thru the neck and called it a day. I really wanted a little something added to it. I had leftover fabric from the Cherry Outfit. So I used the red gingham for the center front and center back. The checked with stars fabric I had from about two years ago when I thought I was going to make this fabulous rag quilt that never came into existence;o)
My mother gave me an endless amount of ribbon the other day that was left over from an estate sale that she had hosted, so I was glad that there was some blue in the stash:o) 
So your supplies list should include:
-Fabric(1-3 different prints)
-Grosgrain Ribbon(1"-2" wide)
-Single Fold Bias Tape(coordinating color)
-And the obvious:thread, machine, scissors, seam ripper,measuring tape, pins, patience;o)
So let's get started!
(these measurements are for a 3T size dress, adjust measurements as you see fit)
Choose which fabric will be the center of the dress. Mine was the red and white gingham. Cut 2 at 6"x22". Next you will cut your secondary fabric. Cut 2 at 14"x22".
 With right sides facing, stitch together center piece to side piece using a 1/4" inseam.
Do this on all sides until you come up with this:
Press open each seam.
This is what it should look like turned right side out.
 Next, you will be using your iron. Turn the fabric inside out again and grab your measuring tape. Fold the top of the dress 2" down, making sure that it's even all the way across. Press.
 Sorry for the shadow. I think a stray curl got in front of the flash:o) Next, you will press under the raw edge a 1/2", making the top 1 1/2" wide.
 The next part is kinda tricky if you don't have a pattern. The other day I ran across a new blog that I am really excited about. It's called Whimsy Couture and she has a lot of great patterns, and I purchased this one. 
It included the arm holes for each size which was GREAT! She actually has this pattern 50% off right now, and it's emailed to you after payment. Definitely check it out.
 So if you are wanting to try it for yourself, I would measure across the chest from inside the shoulders, and then measure under the arms across the chest. Write those numbers down and that way you would know what angle to cut your curve on....probably doesn't make much sense...I apologize:( The easiest thing is to buy from Whimsy Couture;o)
Now that we have the arm hole cut, it's time to head back to the ironing board. But this time you will need your single fold bias tape.
Can you tell how old this stuff is? Check out the "do" on this chick-a-dee;o) That was mean....:o)
Anyway, grab your iron and press open one side of the tape. Now this part was a little tricky the very first time I attempted this, so I will try to explain a little better than McCall's did:o)
Once you have opened up one side of your tape, grab your dress and your pins, and start pinning the arm holes. You want to pin on the right side of the fabric with raw edges matching. See pic below, and notice that I have unfolded the top edges that we pressed down to hold the ribbon: 
Can you see how the folded edge is on the bottom? Head to the machine. There is still a line where the tape had been folded before you pressed it. Use that line as a guide for your stitch line, making sure to remove pins as you approach them.
Now that the tape has been stitched in place, turn it in towards the wrong side of the dress and press. This is what it should look like:

Back to the machine and stitch the tape in place staying close to the edge of the tape. Once you have stitched that, it's time to work on the top again where the ribbon will go.
Just press it back into place like this:
Stitch across the bottom, staying close to the edge. Then run your ribbon thru.
Now for the ruffle. When cutting this, you will basically double the width of the dress. I cut a 6'x8" strip. Fold the 8" width in half and press.
 Next, you will baste the raw edges. Basting is a long stitch, and you may want to loosen the thread tension.
This is a picture of my machine and showing the baste stitch.
When stitching stay close to the edge, but not too close. 
I have two little lines on the presser foot(which are hard to see in this picture) and I use the inside line as my guide when basting. Be careful not to go too fast b/c the fabric can get away from you:o)
This is what the stitching should look like when finished.
At the end of the fabric there should be a little thread hanging off, this is what you will be tugging on.
Pull on one of the strings gently. The fabric will start to bunch up. Slide it down the thread and this will create the ruffle.
Sew the ends together. Grab the dress and your pins again. With the dress facing right side out, you will be pinning the ruffle on the bottom of the dress in the same manner as the bias tape. Put raw edges together and pin, making sure to slide the fabric out a little if there is too much bunching in one area.
Stitch 1/4" inseam, making sure to keep everything even, and removing pins when you approach them.
Once you have finished stitching the ruffle to the dress, press the ruffle down.
And that's it:o) 
Your pillowcase dress is complete. Now you just have to find that cutie and slip it over her head and enjoy watching her wear your creation:o) I did have to make a hair bow for S.R. to match:o)
You can find the pattern for this super simple flower here, at Carina Gardner Studio. Another great blog to check out!!!

If you have any questions about today's tute, give me a shout. If you decide to make one, please send me pics so I can share them! I wanna see your work!!! Happy Sewing!