DIY "Pillowcase" Baby Dress Pattern

“Pillowcase” dresses are popular because they are so simple to make, the measurements aren’t super important, and they can grow with baby from a dress into a top.  I guess they are often made out of pillowcases but I used regular old fabric.  The small one pictured here fits about 0-3 months and the large one is about a 2T, templates for both are after the jump.  If you are new to sewing and want to try a dress, this is the one.

See pics of it on my girl here, and get the full DIY on How to Sew A Pillowcase Dress after the jump…

Pillowcase – Style Baby Girl Dress Free Pattern

1.  First you need to cut your fabric. You need two identical pieces, a front and a back. The easiest way to determine your size is just to trace a dress that fits your child well:

However, I will share with you this drawing of the sizes I cut.  The first is a 0-3 month size and the second is about a 2T.  The great thing about this type of dress is the measurements don’t need to be very specific and it will still fit, AND it can grow from a dress to a top as baby gets taller.
Baby Dress Template size 0-3 months:

Baby Dress Template size 18 months – 2T:

2.  Lay your two dress pieces right sides facing and pin:

3.  Sew up either side and finish the edges by serging, sewing with a zig zag or overlock stitch, or cutting with pinking shears:

2.  Fold the bottom edge 1/4″ to the inside and iron.

If you are going to skip a trim and just hem, then go ahead and fold another 1/2″ iron and sew the hem in place (like the smaller dress pictured).  If you want to add trim, then don’t complete the hem. Instead, with your edge ironed just 1/4″ under, pin your trim to the front of the dress aligned with the folded edge, with the pretty part of the trim up to the inside of the dress like so:

Sew it in place:

Now fold the trim under, iron and pin:

Here’s a shot of the folding in action:

Top stitch into place to complete your trimmed edge:

3.  Now grab a piece of single-fold bias tape, it’s the one that looks like this:

Open the bias tape and align one edge with the armholes on the right side of your dress and pin it in place all the way around:

Sew in place along the fold:

Now flip the bias tape all the way to the inside of the sleeve and pin like so:

Sew it in place along the edge of the tape.  This holds the shape of your sleeve as well as giving a clean finish to the armhole.  You could use double fold bias tape if you wanted it to show, but for this dress I didn’t.

4.  Now fold the top edges of your dress in 1/4″ and iron, then 3/4″ and iron and pin in place.

Sew right next to the edge to create the pocket for your ties.

5.  Thread your ties through with a safety pin.  Any kind of ribbon is cute, or you could sew some ties out of bias tape or matching or contrasting fabric.  You can do one in the front and one in the back so the dress ties above each shoulder, or one long one that only ties on one side (like the smaller dress pictured).  You’re done!:




Thanks so much for this tutorial. It is hands down the best one I’ve found. Up until now I was leary of using bias tape, but I’m glad I used it for this dress. Have you ever considered doing a broader sizin chart? Like, the 0-3 month size all the way to 8?


I want to thank you for this amazing tutorial! I was a little intimidated by the idea of using bias tape for the first time ever, but it was extremely easy and the finished results of this dress were remarkable for even a beginner :0)


Have you made this in larger sizes? I made this before for babies and loved the line of this dress vs. other pillowcase dresses. Do you have any guidance on the measurements you would use for a 5T or size 6 dress?

Lynn Brewer

I am going to make my granddaughter one of these this week to wear to the ball game Friday night. I was wondering if you knew the length of the ties at the top. I am cuting the dress a couple of inches shorter so I can add a contrasting ruffle and using that same contrasting material as the ties at the top. And since she is a baby I am making her a pair of bloomers to go underneath.

hana girl

Thanks for ones marvelous posting! I really enjoyed reading it, you
could be a great author. I will remember to bookmark your blog and will
eventually come back later on. I want to encourage yourself to continue your great work, have a nice weekend!

Budd Amy

Hi. I know this has been a long time ago but I’m desperate to find out how you sew the pompom trim on? I tried and it keeps sliding off under the sewing machine foot.
Thank you


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