Annabel wore this dress over the weekend and got compliments! It was amazing to hear her reply, "Thank you, Mommy made it." I was the only one who knew the bobbin thread got tangled up while sewing the ribbon around the hem and I had to spend some quality time with the seam ripper. :)
To make this pillowcase dress you will need:
-1 1/2" yards of cotton fabric, washed and ironed
-Coordinating thread for both fabric and ribbon
-Contrasting ribbon, 7/8" width for trim, 5/8" width for shoulder ties
-Dritz Fray Check for ribbon ends
-Download, print, cut out and tape this 3 page pdf together (there is a small corner of the pattern that does not fit on the page; follow the lines to complete the edge).
Step 1: Cut 2 pieces of the 5/8" ribbon 30" long each. Cut the ends on a diagonal. Use Fray Check on the ends. Set aside.
Step 2: Right sides together, fold the fabric, line the straight side of the pattern up on the fold. Pin and cut. Repeat so you have two pieces of cut fabric. Notes: Annabel is a tall size five, so I added four inches to the bottom of this pattern for the dress pictured. The above photo is not the printout but the Swedish tracing paper I used to create the pattern.
Step 3: Clip the edges around the armholes no more than 1/8". Press. Fold again 1/8". Press, pin, sew the seam. Turn the top edge down 1/8". Press, pin, sew along the top edge.
Step 4: Center the 5/8" ribbon on the top edge of the fabric, just under the 1/8" fold. Mark the center, stitch the ribbon in place. Note: I wound up straightening the top edge in the pattern to make it easier to fold over the ribbon; in the above photo the top edge is slightly curved. Also, I used 7/8" ribbon for the ties but if I were to make another of these I would switch to 5/8" as indicated in the pattern.
Step 5: Fold the fabric and the ribbon down, leaving just enough room to be able to create a seam without catching the ribbon. The ribbon needs to remain loose so the neckline can be cinched. Press, pin and sew along the edge just under the ribbon.
Step 6: Repeat steps 2-5 for other side.
Step 7: Right sides facing, pin the sides of the two dress pieces together. With 1/2" seam allowance, sew the sides together. After sewing the seams, you can either serge the edges (I don't have a serger!) or do a simple zig zag stitch to help stabilize the fabric. Press to one side.
Step 8: Hem the dress. Fold the hem 1/4". Press. Fold again so you reach your desired length; I folded it up roughly 2 inches, keeping in mind that the ribbon will be placed over the hem stitching. Press, pin and sew.
Step 9: Decide where you would like to place your ribbon trim, measure the width of the dress in that spot and multiply by two. Adding an additional inch, cut that amount of ribbon. Pin in place and topstitch top and bottom of the ribbon, being careful to overlap and fold the end under. I placed the overlap on one of the side seams.
This dress can be easily shortened or lengthened to fit a variety of sizes. I'd love to see what you come up with!