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!:

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125 Comments

Gail

Hi, I’m going to be taking a trip to Roatan, Honduras, to teach some local ladies to sew. Would you mind if I used your pattern to teach them to make pillowcase dresses to sell? This would give the local women a way to earn money to support their families.

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Baby Cradles Patterns | Cradle Of

[…] antique baby cradles – Davinci Jenny Lind Stationary Crib, WhiteBorder Reivers – Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaBufferbloat – Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaHeuristic – Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaFrog BabyRocking Chair Baby NurseryBABY PATTERN KNIT OR CROCHETDIY "Pillowcase" Baby Dress Pattern […]

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gifts

Nice collection of baby dresses.I have sewed two “Pillowcase” dresses for my daughter but they were not properly fitted.I am learning sewing.I will try again and I hope I will make a proper dress for her this time.Thanks for sharing your ideas.

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Parthenia Bolder

Hmm i hope you don’t get annoyed with this question, but how much does a website like yours earn?

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Ruth

Our church ladies are going to make pillowcase dresses for the little girls in Africa. Thank you for showing the different steps. This will be a big help!

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Tiffany

Do you have a formula for deciding what lengths and arm hole measurements if you want to make larger dresses? I have daughters in several different sizes.

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Emily

Love this site!! I just found it when i was looking for a Newborn Pattern for a Pillowcase Dress to make for my niece!! It was recommended on Every website i went to via links to this Site!! Thank you for making an easy DIY that Anyone can follow and be happy with thier final product reguardless of their sewing experiance!! Can’t wait to make many dresses for my sweet newborn niece to wear and have one of a kind baby fashions made exclusively for her through my Creative juices and your Fabulous DIY Pattern/ Template!! Love your site. Much Thanks 🙂

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Pink Dress

This is my favorite style dress for my daughter; when I was young my Mom used to make this style dress for me. I loved it then and I still do

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Sherrie

How do you scale this dress for different sizes? Like for instance a 3T or 4T ?

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Karen

actually you can make them at whatever length… as for the neck and arm holes. I would do this…. take freezer wrap paper and make the biggest pattern there and then measure up to the child and scale it that way. Maybe make the neck 9 inches and the arm holes add one inch in length and 1/2 in width??? Thats my guess

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Karen

Thanks so much for taking the time to share such an awesome little dress. I have been looking all over and ran across this one. This is the best I have seen with such easy instructions. I know cause I am a beginner sewing woman in my mid fifties. My Great niece is so gonna love it. I love the idea they can continue growing into them. Once again Thanks so much.
Karen

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stella

I’m having a hard time sewing up the bottom portion. It’s bundling at the ends?

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Sarah

Thank you so much for sharing this! This was my first time sewing a garment and I was thrilled with the way it turned out! Your tutorial helped me sew trim and use bias tape for the first time!! Thank you!

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Erin

Thank you SO much for this tutorial, it was extremely helpful. I just started learning how to sew (this is literally only my 3rd sewing project ever) – and it turned out great! I had a little trouble getting the bias tape to lie flat, but I found it helpful to iron it on both sides before sewing the final stitching around the bias tape. Here’s how my dress turned out: doublethereinsteins.blogspot.com/2012/07/pillowcase-dress.html

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The Pillowcase Dress | kerry axley

[…] of tutorials and inspirations available.  Some of my favorites include these by Aesthetic Nest, Prudent Baby and The Mother Huddle. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. This […]

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Guest Post: Toddler Chevron Pillowcase Dress: A Tutorial | everythingforthelove

[…] A pillowcase dress is very simple to make. You really don’t even need a tutorial. But if you are making a chevron style, then a tutorial may come in handy. Normally you would place your pattern on the fold, but for a chevron print you would need to place on a diagonal with the stripes facing down instead. Don’t fold your fabric, just lay it flat. You will do this 4X’s, two fronts and two backs. Make sure your stripes equally line up when you cut. My fabric didn’t have a wrong or right side. So it was pretty easy. I used a striped jersey material, but you could easily use cotton. If you don’t have a pillowcase dress pattern or know how to make a normal pillowcase dress, you can find the original tutorial here […]

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What To Buy For Baby

Hi,

I never made a pillowcase dress before, but I sure will try one now for my 5 year old granddaughter. I’m also going to make the fancier one after I have some experience. Thanks for the ideas and patterns.

Grammie

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Janai

I have never sewn a piece of clothing ever; I’ve just barely gotten comfortable making extremely simple baby quilts but thought I’d try this dress for my soon-to-be daughter. I loved it! It was so easy (I’ve always been scared of using bias tape) and came together really quickly. Thank you!

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Terri

I can’t wait for my sewing machine to get in.
I have never done anything before but think I may try making one of these cute dresses!! I am not crafty at all, but excited about trying something new out!!

Thanks for the great info!! 🙂

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Leigh Ann

Thank you so much for this pattern and even more for the pictures that go along with the step by step instructions. Without the pics I probably would not have attempted this baby dress, as I have never sewn clothing before. I came across your site from a google search. I had planned to baby quilts for a church in Texas who has a mission group in Mexico. They emailed me saying they needed pillow case dresses, tops, pants, hats, booties, and bibs. A few people have given me tons of different fabrics for quilting. Some of the fabrics I really like and match well with a second fabric included in the stash, but about 70% of it I had no clue at the time what quilting project I would ever use it in (3 maching hot pinks for example). I am know using those fabrics that would otherwise just gather dust to make pillowcases for the Million Pillowcase 2012 Challenge(you make standard size pillow cases out of cotton fabric and donate them to any charity, then go to the Million Pillowcase website and enter in how many you donated. Mine will go to the local Senior Citizens Center for Christmas gifts. Then the pillowcase baby dresses I will be mailing from the east coast to Glenview Church in Texas. Their mission has a great need for some very simple to make things for babies in Mexico. I also noticed on your measurements for the 0-3 month dress, it can easily be made out of 2 fat quarters. So for less than $4 you can make a baby dress for a mother and baby in need! If anyone else is interested in donating to this cause, here is the information:
Glenview Baptist Church
ATTN: Tracie
Ewe and Me Jesus
4805 NE Loop 820
Fort Worth, TX 76137
(817) 281 – 3361
email: ewe_and_me_jesus@hotmail.com

Thanks again for the easy to follow instructions with pics. Your knowledge has made it possible for me to use my time, energy, (and free fabric from other kind souls) to simply help another person in need and hopefully to be able to serve as a witness to Gods love and care to the people being helped. I don’t know if you are religious or not, but it is always a fantastic lesson for our children to be taught, that we not just feel sad for those who have great need, but show them kindness, love, and compassion by using whatever gifts we have. That something so simple as a baby blanket or little dress from a total stranger in a different part of the world can be a message to the person receiving it of, “It is not necessary for me to meet you in order to genuinely care about you.”

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Janis

Love this pattern more than the last one found! Love the flair at bottom. Used bright yellow material with light pink parsley material cut into flowers.. turned out GORGEOUS!!!

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Leanna

Hi! I want to make this for my niece but I’m very new to sewing and I don’t really understand the bias tape part? (I’ve never heard of bias tape before, I’m a total beginner, lol ) Is it necessary or can I just hem it or something?

Thanks for the cute pattern, though!

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Delaney

I am making this for my niece who is turning 1 in April! I’m only 15 but you’d be surprised by what I can do!! I’m actually making this out of my sister’s old bed sheets as a surprise! She’ll love it!

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Mandy

You inspired me! I made this dress for my daughter for Easter, and it is my first sewing project aside from a pillow. I did it and love it and can’t wait to make more! Thank you thank you!

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Jasmine

Thank you very much for posting this!! I made 3 today – 3 mo, 9 mo & 12 mo and they all turned out great. Thank you for the clear instructions and for the pictures. That was very helpful!

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seo company

whoah this blog is great i love reading your posts. Stay up the good work!
You realize, many individuals are searching around for this information, you could help them greatly.

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Ann-Marie

The dress is so cute but I have made one now and the armholes are so big and the cloth over the chest is not so wide. I have the measurements you gave above. Are the armholes to be so big?

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Angela

Great blog! I just got the itch to start using my sewing machine, which up until now had been used to sew some light blocking curtains for my kids and a pillowcase. I wanted to start with something easy and I loved these! I’m not sure how to share some pics, but I did 2 pillowcase dresses and I can’t remember what the others were called….peasant dress maybe? With the long sleeves and elastic necklines and arms, both turned out really cute and the tutorials were very helpful. I’m hoping to take a stab at another one soon!

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Liza

I am profoundly inspired by the information provided on this blog on sewing baby dresses and the pictures are absolutely cute and impressive. Indeed a great tutorial. Now I can start using my sewing machine and sew some cute baby dresses for my kids!

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Emma's Bee Costume | saroy

[…] point was a combination of this bee costume tutorial from Living Well Spending Less and this pillowcase dress tutorial from Prudent Baby. (The first one made the costume from a pillowcase dress, but the second has […]

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trijnewijn

thank you for the tutorial! I made a pillowcase dress in just a couple of hours yesterday (but most of that time I needed to fix my not so successfully cut J-shaped armholes, so next time I can finish even faster 🙂 )
I’m not a beginner anymore, but I still love making dresses like this one. It doesn’t have to be difficult to be very cute 😉

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