Wednesday, August 11, 2010

scarves and pillowcases - dresses and blouses

This is the last thing that my Mom made and brought for us when she visited a week and a half ago. She made the girls these super-simple super-adorable dresses from scarves!!

Enter my pillowcase obsession. It is hard to come find awesome pillowcases but ever since the pillowcase halter top I made K I've been looking.

I found a pretty little embroidered one at GW for $1.99. I decided that the halter top style probably wouldn't work as well with it so I decided to adapt the scarf dress idea to make K a blouse.

This is another super easy project.

  • Cut the end off the pillowcase.
  • Use your seam ripper to carefully open the side seams from the top of the pillow case down to about half way.
  • Slip the pillowcase over your child's head and slip their arms through the sides. Decide how much you want to cut off. Remember to leave enough for the casing and for the arm slit (the casing will need to add two inches above what you need for the depth of your arm slits. The arm slits are basically the bottom half of the sleeves and you need to make them deep enough so your daughter can move her arms freely but not so deep she shows off things that should be kept under cover).
  • If you don't have a serger, zigzag your raw edges. Most pillowcase fabric frays easily.
  • Reinforce the side seams, especially below the arm slit.
If you look closely at the picture above (and draw your eyes away from my apallingly revolting ironing board), you can see how the arm slits have been hemmed and the casing is made.
  • Use the natural fold that occurred from the ripped out seam and hem the edges of the arm slits.
  • Fold the top edge of the pillowcase over a quarter of an inch, fold it again and hem.
  • Fold the top edge down another 1 1/2" and sew. This will be the casing for the straps/ribbon.
  • Run ribbon (or make your own straps from denim like I did) through your casing. Tie at the shoulders (if you are like me and worry your girls might untie the knot, sew the straps together after you figure out how long they need to be).

I should mention these blouses were very nicely ironed before we went shopping but did I take photos before shopping? NO!!

Look another pillowcase halter in a different style!! Another pillowcase from GW for $1.99 Unfortunately, the making of this one was a comedy of errors and I did lots of ripping of stitches and still ended up with two buttonholes hidden in the armpit. Note to Self: Do not think that because you can't sleep it is a good idea to try sewing at 4:30-5:00 in the morning.

However, my mistakes did cause me to discover a better way to make the casing for the halter strap than the idea I intended to use. My mistakes and impatience at the end of this project resulted in a wonky hem. Just the same I like the boho feel of this one.

I got my inspiration for this idea from the header of Melissa's blog Until Wednesday Calls.

Detail of the embroidery on this one because it is kind of hard to see. This pillow case is so thin that I doubled it over to make the top - which you can see at the waist (and which, I wish was more evident).

And more photos for fun.

I am sharing this at:
Make it Yours @ My Backyard Eden

Hump Day link

Get your craft on Thurs.


Beyond The Picket Fence


  1. I love pillowcase dresses! The halter top is so cute on your daughter! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Whenever I see your gorgeous handiwork it makes me sad that I can't sew-you and your mum are so clever!

    Well done to your sweet models too-they look lovely in their gorgeous new clothes.

    Best wishes,

  3. First off you take gorgeous pictures...but your creativity in sewing and making the cutest things I see is where your heart is at!

  4. Darling models! and those clothes are so great, love the fringe. I saw some clothes in the dept. store today, that are trying to copy the handmade look! Lezlee

  5. I love your halter tops! And you're right, the last one is very boho chic. Also, you actually try sewing in the wee hours? I almost got beat by a key chain the other night and it was only 11pm! So kudos for making a shirt at 4am!

  6. Love it! i need to start making more pillowcse tops and dresses. thank you for linking up to upcycled Awesome.

  7. You and your mom are so creative! i love it! The dresses and shirts look awesome :-)

  8. I LOVEEEEEEEEEEE those pillowcases!!!!!!!!!! My goodwill NEVER has cute linens :(
    Thanks so much for linking up to gettin' crafty on hump day :)

  9. OK, I'm a guy, but I have to say that your halter top pillowcase idea really works. Good job.

  10. More beautiful photos of your beautiful girls in their beautiful outfits :)

    Really lovely.

  11. Very pretty! Nice work. :)

    I think I better dig through my pillowcase stash!

    The Nifty Nest

  12. I'm so lovin' the dresses! What a cute idea to use scarves. The shirts are wonderful too! I love the halter one! I know the feeling of trying to work in the early hours. It doesn't work for me either! :oD

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  13. All so cute! Your mom is a fountain of crafty! And you are carrying on.

  14. Thanks for joining the party. Have a great weekend. Debbie

  15. First off, your daughters are gorgeous and I love your photography. You and your mother are quite creative. Great job on the halters and dresses. I especially love the embroidered halter.

    ~ Tracy

  16. Those are really cute and totally stylish!!! Great ideas! I wish I had a little girl I could make one for ;)

  17. I love these! That one with the blue and green embroidery on the front is beautiful!

  18. Great idea...I find vintage p. cases all the time. olive

  19. Now that is truly one heck of a creative idea!!


  20. The scarf dresses are really cute. The fringe across the bottom really makes them stand out, what a creative Momma you have!

  21. the girls look like they love Granny's scarf dresses. Don't you wish we could wear them, they look so cute and cool. I am visiting from Debbiedoos.


  22. Love the dresses and the halters, especially the
    embroidery one.
    Precious little models!
    Visiting from Debbiedoos,Annette

  23. I just love how hip and cool these look--I have to try one!