How to Sew: DIY Pillowcase Dress | Hobby Lobby®

Hey everybody! Welcome to the Hobby Lobby
Creative Studio. My name is Sarah today I’m going to show you how to make
a super simple little girls pillowcase dress out of some of our adorable fabrics here at
Hobby Lobby. So stick around we’ll be right back after this. Did you know that pillowcase dresses
have actually been around for decades? True story. But unlike then, now we have so
many cute fabrics available to us from Hobby Lobby to make these dresses out of– making them a fun and totally customizable
project. So today I’m just going to be making a
really basic dress with the fewest amount of steps possible. And today I’m going to be making a size
2T but if you’d like to make a size different than that for your own dress, simply refer to the printable that we’ve
linked to this video, and there you can check out some more
sizes and measurements that we’ve made available to you. So to begin, what we’re going to do is cut
out three quarters of a yard fabric. Now we need to cut our piece of fabric
to 31 inches wide, and 22 inches long. So what we’re going to
do first off is zig-zag the raw edges on the
shorter side of our fabric. So, on this side to my left and my
right we’ve zig-zagged both of these edges and why we do that is to prevent
these edges from fraying whenever we launder the dress. Now of course if you have a serger, now is the point that you would want to start using that, and then anywhere else in your dress
also where it calls for a finished edge. So after you have zig-zagged both sides of
your dress, then what you want to do is fold your dress over, starting with the
left side. Take it over until it’s all the way lined
up with your right side. And now of course the wrong side should
be facing out. So after you’ve got it lined up directly on top each other, now
what we want to do is sew half of an inch seam all the way along your
zig-zagged edges. Now on the left side of your fabric, what
you want to do is give this side a light press. so that it creases and you’re actually
going to use that crease a little bit later in your project as a reference
point. So once you sew your half an inch seam
this is what you should have. Okay so here is the same piece of fabric, except now
we’ve sewed our half of an inch seam, all the way down the sides. So now I want to rotate my fabric just a
bit so that I can press my seam open with
my iron. And I’ve already pre-pressed this one, so what
you’re gonna do is just open up that seam you just made and press it flat with your iron. And the reason we do this
is to make the seam lay nice and flat and not add any extra bulk to our dress
in this spot. Now, I’ve also just rotated it a little bit
to press it. I don’t want to rotate it too much over and press it open because I don’t want to press out that crease that
I made here on the left side earlier, because then I’ll lose it as a
reference and I needed a little bit later on. So after you’ve pressed this, the next thing you want to do is actually rotate this seam to where
it’s exactly in the middle. So here’s where your crease comes in
handy, The crease that we made earlier, is now
going to be exactly in the middle of our fabric. So what we can do is use that crease,
which here’s mine right here, and line it up
directly in back of that seam. So the seam should fall right
on top in the middle of that crease. Next what we need to do is hem what
will be the bottom of our dress. So I’ve got one that’s a little bit further
along to show you how I did that. So what we’re going to be doing is a two-
inch double hem along the bottom here. So, first of all, you want to fold up the bottom edge by two inches. And at this point I would really
recommend using a seam gauge to make sure that all of your measurements are exactly right before you do any pressing. So what you want to do, is set this at two
inches, and just make sure that it’s at an even two
inches all the way across the line here. And if it is, you can go ahead and give this
a press, which I’ve already done. next what we’re going to do is fold that raw
edge along the top right here into the crease. So what that does is it ultimately makes a 1-inch piece all the way across here. So our
final hem width is going to be about an inch. And make sure that you fold it all the way around your whole tube here. And again, with your
seam gauge you can check and make sure that it’s one inch exactly, which it
should be if you’re folding that raw edge directly into your crease. So if you’re good to go there, you can go
ahead and press this part as well. And after you press it, what we’re going to
do is go ahead and top stitch this just about an eighth of an inch away
from this innermost edge right here, so not the edge that’s the very bottom,
but, more along this top edge right here. So I’ll show you what that looks like. When you’ve got it all stitched and done,
this is what you’ll end up with. We have a real pretty stitch that lays
really nicely along the bottom here. So now we’re ready to make the armholes of our dress. So to make the armholes for this particular
2-t size, what we need to do is– you can just use
your seam gauge or if you have a tape measure laying around that will work too of course So we’re first going to set
our seam gauge to 2 inches and we’re going to measure 2 inches over
from the top right corner along this top edge here. So grab a
fabric marker or maybe some chalk that you can use to mark your fabric with, and make that first mark at two inches and then we’re going to measure five
inches down from this same top right corner. So make one more mark at five-inches. So now what we need to do is connect these two points and make the curve of our armhole. So we’re just going to draw this free hand but here’s a few tips. You don’t want to make anything that looks too much like an “L” because that narrow of a turn will be
really hard to sew, and you also don’t want your curve to
bow out past this 2-inch mark. We want to stay
within that 2-inch measurement. So what we’re going to do is make
something that looks kind of like a lazy “J”. So starting up here at my 2-inch mark,
what I’m just gonna do is start to make my curve just like that. So see it’s not too sharp, it just looks kind of like a loose “J”. So once
you’ve drawn that, we need to cut it out using our fabric scissors. Right along that line. Now what I’m actually going to do is use this piece that I just cut out as a pattern for the other armhole that I need to
make on the left side here. So flipping it over now, I’m going to put
it up in the top left corner. Make sure it’s
lined up exactly and then I’m going to use my fabric
marker to trace around this piece. And I’m going
to cut that side out as well with my fabric scissors. So this will guarantee that the two
sides are exactly the same. Next we’re going to use some bias tape to help us finish the edges of our
armholes and give them a nice, clean look. So bias tape, as its name would suggest, is
cut from the bias of the fabric which is also the most stretchy part of the
fabric. So this is why it’s so helpful whenever
we’re using it to work around a curve. So today I’m going to be using bias tape
in a hot pink color so it matches our dress. And I’m going to be using a half inch
size of bias tape. So now we’re ready to sew this onto our
armholes. First you want to cut out a piece of bias
tape that’s plenty long enough for the length of your armhole. It doesn’t need to be exact, but it needs
to be at least the length or a little bit longer. So what we’re going to do is– my dress is
still facing like it was before with the seam right in the middle on this front
side, but I’m actually going to peel back this top layer and work with the right side of
the fabric. So what we’re going to do is place this bias tape on top of the right side, along
the top edge here and we want the bias tape side that has
the fold on it to be facing up. So how we
need to line this up is unfold the fold that’s on the right edge of this bias tape here, so that it
lines up exactly with the raw edge of our armhole. So once those two are lined up we are
ready to start sewing! So to make sure that we’re starting in
the right place, I like to actually put my needle down into my fabric first that way I can make sure that my needle
is going directly into that crease before I start sewing. So once you’re sure that your needle is in
the right spot you can put your foot down and we’re going to start off with the
stitch or two and then do a back stitch to secure the bias tape So as you’re sewing, just make sure that
your needle is sewing right into that crease as best as you can get it. Now, when you start
to get to the curviest part of your armhole, here’s a little bit of a tip: what you can do, is make sure that your
needle is down into your fabric and then lift your presser foot up. Now
this will give you a lot more freedom to be able to rotate your fabric just a bit
and make those little adjustments as you go around that curve, because this is going to start to kind of gather a little bit, that’s the tendency. So you can actually
smooth out those gathers just a little bit when your foot is up, and then make your little adjustment so
that you’re keeping the edge of the bias tape along that raw edge of the armhole. And when you feel like
you’ve adjusted it well enough you can put your foot back down and then continue to sew in the crease. So as you approach the end of your
fabric, just make sure that you do go backstitch
at the end. Okay, when you’ve gone past the edge of your fabric, you can lift your foot up and we just need to trim this tape to
where it’s fairly even with the edge of our fabric. So here’s what it should look like at
this point. Along your fabric see you’ve got your
stitch in the crease, and then we’ve got the edges of our bias
tape lined up with the edges our armhole. So it should look just like this. So now
we need to sew the other side of the tape down. So for that we’re actually going to be
sewing onto the wrong side of our fabric now whereas we just sewed on the right
side of our fabric. So we’re gonna start sewing pretty much
where we just left off, and what we’re going to do is take this bias tape and actually pull it
back like this. Fold it over so that the side
with the folds on it, is now facing down onto your wrong side of the fabric and the smooth side of the bias tape is
facing up. And some people like to press it at this
point so that it lays nice and flat as you’re
sewing it, but it’s not necessary if you don’t want to do that step. So I’m just going to sew it as it is. So when you’re sewing this tape down, what you’re going
to do, is put your stitch just right inside the edge of– the edge of
your bias tape that’s closest to the inside in your fabric. So not along this outer edge, but this
edge right inside here. And just like before, we’re going to start
out with a couple of stitches and do a small backstitch. So as you approach the end of your
fabric, just be sure to finish with a small
backstitch. So we can cut our threads at this point, we’ll also come back and finish these edges in just a second, so we don’t have to worry
about that right now. So there you go. Here’s what it will look like when you’re all finished! See how nice and clean that looks? That
bias tape really helps out a lot for giving these
armholes a nice clean finished look. So that bias tape is a real lifesaver when
it comes to doing curves like this. So after you’re done doing one side, go ahead and do the exact same thing to the other side. And then when you’re finished doing both
of your sides, you’ll want to give this tape a press with your iron so that
it just lays nice and flat and it looks really
clean and finished. Now we’re ready to sew the casing for
the fabric tie that’s going to hold the dress up on the shoulders. And the casing is this part right here
on the dress that our tie goes through. So to do that,
what we’re going to do is take the raw edges along the top of our
dress here and we’re first going to fold down the
edge to half of an inch. And again, I would use your seam gauge here to make sure that you have an even half of an inch all the way across before you do any
pressing. So make sure you fold down the front side and the back side. Now I’ve already pre-pressed my dress.
So after you fold it down to a half of an inch first, then you’re going to
make one more fold down to one inch. So check with your seam gauge
one more time make sure it’s even all the way across and
then make your press. So you’re going to end up with a
one-inch section right here and then you’re going
to finish it off with a top stitch just about an eight of an inch in from this edge right here. So whenever we’re done here’s what it’ll look like. See we’ve
got our edge nice and stitched up, and we’ve got our casing ready to go, so
there’s your dress! It’s all ready now for us to make the
fabric tie to thread through our casing. So to make your tie, you could use the same fabric as you’ve already used for the rest of your dress if you’d like, but we’ve chosen a different style of
fabric, and in a different color so that it really stands out from the rest of our
dress. So first you want to cut out a strip of
fabric that’s three inches wide by 45 inches
long. So after we’ve done that, then we want
to fold it in half with the wrong sides out, just like this. And go ahead and press it with your iron
all the way across, which I’ve already done to this piece. And then the third step is to put a half of an inch seam along the raw edges all the way down. And don’t sew the sides just across those edges along the top
here. So once you’ve done that, now you’re
ready to actually flip this really long tube all the way inside out because we need
the right side facing out, obviously to thread it through our casing. So what you can pick up is actually this
handy little tool that you can find at Hobby Lobby called a Loop Turner. And what this does is it actually turns
really long things like this inside out. So all you need to do is place this long rod inside of the tube here, and then scrunch all your fabric up onto the rod until you can see the end of it
sticking out the other end just like that. And then what you’re
going to do is take this hook and hook it through a little piece of
your fabric. So once you’ve got your hook through your
fabric, and by the way you want to make sure
that your hook is not too close to the raw edge but not too far in either so that you
can hide that mark that it leaves with the hem that we’ll put here eventually. So when your hook is through, you can start to pull it through the tube of your fabric and just keep an even tension kind of
pulling this rod with your right hand as you work with this fabric, and
kind of just shimmy it down and start to pull this rod through. See, just like that! So once you get this far it’s okay if you’re hook comes out, because
you can do the rest by hand. See, wasn’t that really easy? So it’s a great
tool, it makes this part of the process really easy. So once you’re done this will be pretty
wrinkled from all the scruntching that we did, so now we just need to press it with
our iron. So before we do that, what we want
to do is shift this seam that we have that’s
going down in the middle of our tube, so that when we press it, it’s along the edge of our fabric. So we’re going to line it up to where it’s on the edge just like this, so
that when we press it it’s going to hide that seam really
nicely and here’s what it’ll look like whenever you’ve got it all nice
and pressed. So here’s our seam here along the edge, and you can barely see it, it’s really
nice and hidden doing it this way. So we’ve still got our raw edges on
either side and all we need to do to finish those off
is just kind of tuck them in. So go ahead and fold these edges down about a fourth of an inch, but you don’t
have to be quite so exact just make sure that all your raw
edges are tucked in. And once they are, you can lay this down and go ahead and press this with your
iron so that it makes your edges nice and flat and ready to be sewed on. And we’re going to finish this out with about an eighth of an inch top stitch from the edge on both ends. So when you’re done you’ll have one that
looks like this. So here we’ve just finished out both ends
with our little top stitch, and now we’re ready to thread our tie through our casing! I’m going to use a large safety pin
to help me thread my fabric tie through the casing. So to do that, what you want to do is
take your safety pin and insert it through one of your
stitches that you’ve made near the edge here. That way we kind of hide any marks that
might be left by the safety pin and they’re kind of camouflaged. So go ahead and close it as well, and
then you can kind of fold the fabric in on itself like that, So that you can
start to it get in through your casing. So insert your safety pin just like that and now we can kind of scrunch up this
fabric as we feed the safety pin through the
casing and then pull on the casing to kind of flatten it back out like that and just
continue to work your way over, until you see the safety pin come
out on the other side. You can pull your ribbon through like
that and leave a little bit left on this side, and now to do the back at the dress, I
have to flip it over because I’m right- handed so it’s hard for me to work the
safety pin back over this way with my left hand. So a little tip there if you’re
right-handed you might want to just flip the dress over to feed through the back that’ll make it a lot easier. So just put
your pen through the same way we did before, scrunch up your casing, as you move that tie through it. Pull on your casing to flatten it back out. Keep sending your
pen through until you can see it come out the other
side. Just like that! Okay so when we get to this point, we
can take our safety pin off and now we want to leave a little bit of a gap here between the two sides of our dress, between the front the
back, so that we have this part of the ribbon showing. So this is going to be for one shoulder and
then on this side, we want to try to make these ties right here as even as possible. So I’m
going to pull on this one a little bit more and just adjust it as much as I need to
through my casing. And the last little step is to cinch up your casing like this. On the front and the back, so give it
that cute little scrunched look just evenly as you can all the way
through there. Of course you can always come back and adjust this too. And lastly we’re going to tie a cute
little bow in our ribbon. So whichever way works best for you
however you like to tie bows, go ahead and do that here. Okay, so as you finish your bow, that is a
really great finishing touch for this dress. And there’s your pillowcase dress! That’s all it takes, and how adorable is
this going to look on a little girl! Now that you know how to make this style
of dress, you can start experimenting with
appliques, different fabrics, pockets and look, we even made this dress out of an actual pillow case that’s sold from our Needle Arts department! And how cute does it look to add this
little touch of embroidery? Well thanks for joining me today
everyone, I can’t wait to see the dresses that you make of your very own! Happy sewing!


  1. An excellent tutorial! I am a beginner (as in this was my very first time sewing a outfit) and I found this tutorial to be simple, straightforward and super easy. The dress turned out beautiful and I even made a matching baby doll dress for my little girl. Definitely save the arm-hole cut-outs for adorable little pockets, either on this dress or a coordinating color/pattern dress.

  2. Excellent tutorial. I love that this was made with fabric. Thank you for providing the chart for up yo size 8. I was just asked by our church to make pillowcase dresses for them to take to Honduras next summer. I hope to collect pillowcases and fabric that people want to share for these dresses. So excited to get started.

  3. Super!
    DO visit my page for pretty toddler summer dresses. Beautifully handmade, shipping worldwide

  4. This was very clear and perfectly presented . Well done ! I sure will get one of those looper jobs . Good for the narrow bit on a bow tie ! Thankyou

  5. Why would u buy fabric for it ? The whole reason why it's called a pillowcase dress is because you use old pillowcases. Don't waste ur money go to goodwill or something

  6. She is amazing. I pray that others learn from her and do what she does to help out. You are amazing Grandma. God bless you with strength and health.

  7. I made one of these 40 years ago out of my head only as a night gown for my daughter. She loved it and wore it all the time, I didn't know it was called a pillow case dress lol. I just made one today for my granddaughter at my daughters request and I used a cute butterflies and flowers fannel. So cute

  8. Love this little dress tutorial! I made it from the exact same material and pink polka dot tie. My granddaughter loves it! Thanks.

  9. The ladies at the Victoria Christian Church are making dresses like these for children in an orphanage in Mexico. We are in contact with a Missionary from our area who will deliver the dresses to the children,. We are having an amazing time and the fellowship is great. We even have a teenage sewer with us. We are using donated pillowcases for the project.

  10. 💖this tutorial!
    It is very detailed, even a beginner can understand.
    This will be my first pillowcase dress.

  11. Nice end product, but this is more involved than a pillowcase dress pattern needs to be. Also, keep the camera on the project, not on the presenter.

  12. Question from a newby: When you topstitch, do you have to sew on the RIGHT side or can you sew on the WRONG side? I have a hard time when I can's see the edge of the fabric with a 1/8" seam.

  13. Hi, I'm an absolute beginner to sewing. I really like your tutorial and want to try it for my 5yr old daughter. I'm not sure what measurements to use for arm holes. I would really appreciate it if you could give me some tips. Many thanks.

  14. Sorry! Please ignore previous comment. I have just noticed that your printable instructions has the measurements. Thank you!

  15. This is the first real sewing project that I attempted. Burned the midnight oil making it, but OMG it turned out so good. It has given me so much confidence that I even made my own bias tape. Thank you, thanks you, thank you!

  16. When you first go to sew the bias tape to the armholes, lay the tape on the back side of the fabric and stitch it down, placing the stitch line on the other side of the tape's fold line (closer to the raw edge). The tape has a built-in perfect fold line with no struggle to make it even. Then, (1)you can see precisely what the topstitching will look like when you turn the tape to the front, and (2)the bias tape can be a design element of the dress.

  17. Πολλοι μιλας λιγο δειχνης βαρεθικα να λες χωρις να σε καταλαβενο.

  18. About the tie, doing the threading at the end with the pin just through the stitch, it can actually break the threads. Instead, thread it before you do the hem on the ends of the tie. That way, you can pin it more securely, and any pin marks can be hid inside the hem the way you showed when you were turning the tie…

  19. Great video and your very clearly spoken! I'm going to make these dresses for my grand daughters…Thank you❤

  20. Please forgive me if I'm wrong, but if it's not made from a pillowcase….then it's not a pillowcase dress. 🤔🤔

  21. Since it’s not actually a pillowcase dress, you could make the dress nicer than that straight tube. You could cut it in an Aline.

  22. Hey there – girl from Hobby Lobby . . . Want to get some guidance to do your hair nicely – so it wont look that messy and will let you see better ? 😉
    Maybe you would see then that these little "smocks" (there was no pillow case in your tutorial) are easy to make – and you just make it look so complicated . . .

  23. Great job! Informative and a very neat project!! Lovely!! You can even make mom and daughter matching dresses!!

  24. That is an ugly dress for a little girl. As someone mentioned, it isn't a pillowcase your making it from. It could have been made so much prettier.

  25. I was about to ask you where you got all those designed pillow cases and then I realized you're just using regular material. They must be named because of the style.

  26. Yo this is a measured dress from fabric !!
    Please don’t call it a pillow case dress when it’s not !!
    It’s annoying

  27. My 14yr old daughter wants one of these, but the pattern does not tell me how much material I need to get..How would I go about doing that please?

  28. look at this video where an 104 year old Lady makes these cute pillowcase dresses for charity , so if you enjoy sewing these ,you can always find someone to be happy to receive it ….

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