Friday, May 21, 2010

Pillowcase Dress Tutorial

I have a challenge for us all. Let's each make at least one little Pillowcase dress to send to Africa! When you finish yours, you can either mail it to me and I will send it on to Africa (my church is doing this) or you can mail it through If you want to mail it to me, I need to have it before July 1.

It is so fast and easy! And this one dress will be the prized possession for a little girl in Africa.

You can find lots of instructions out there for how to make this dress. I followed instructions given to me that were printed from  Here are my instructions complete with photos.

  • 5/8-1 1/8 yard of fabric, depending on size of dress. You could also use a pillowcase for the material.
  • 2.5 yards double fold bias tape
  • 12"-16" elastic that is 1/4" wide, depending on size of dress
  • Thread
  • Instructions
  • Pins
  • Cutting mat (optional)
  • Scissors or rotary cutter
  • Sewing machine
3: Cut to 22"x42"
4: Cut to 25"x42"
5: Cut to 27"x42"
6: Cut to 29"x42"
7: Cut to 31"x42"
8: Cut to 33"x42"
9: Cut to 35"x42"
10: Cut to 37"x42"
11: Cut to 39"x42"
12: Cut to 41"x42"


1-Cut a fabric rectangle to the appropriate size. You could also use a pillowcase instead.

2-Fold fabric in half, meeting selvage edge with right sides together. Stitch or serge seam. Press seam. This seam is the center back of the dress. I then serged along the top edge.

3-Cut armhole on upper side edge. Repeat for other side. You will need to go to this link and print out the page to get the pattern for the armhole.

4-Fold under top edge to form casing. You can fold under 1/4", press, then fold under 1/2", press and stitch close to pressed edge. You can also serge raw edge (as I did above), fold under 1/2", press, and stitch in place.


Here is a photo of edge stitching the casing in place:


5-Cut two pieces of elastic. For sizes 3-5, cut it to 6". For sizes 7-9, cut to 7". For sizes 10-12, cut to 8".


I then put a safety pin on one end of the elastic.


6-Insert the elastic into the casing and thread it through.In this picture, my thumb is holding the safety pin.


7-Stitch ends of elastic to outer edge of the casing so they won't pull out. Now, insert other elastic into the other casing you have made.


8-Cut two 38" lengths of double fold bias tape. Open tape out and turn under 1/4" on each end. Refold tape.


9-You will now encase the arm hole using the bias tape. Center tape on arm hole so that equal amounts of tape to come of each end so it can be tied at the shoulders.


I like to pin mine in place. Then edge stitch open edge of tape closed.


10-Hem lower edge of dress by turning under 1/4" and then 2", press, and edge stitch. You can also serge edge, then fold under 2", press, and edge stitch.

Now it is done! So cute!


Trim Ideas:
If you want to fancy it up, you could add pockets, add a band of contrasting fabric, add lace or other trims, add an applique, add machine embroidery, or whatever else you can come up with. Don't feel like you have to go any fancier. It is cute how it is!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Ruthie's Romper

This is yet another item designed by my sister-in-law. A cute little romper for McKenna to wear!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Petunia Bag

Here are pics of the Petunia Bag I made, also designed by my Sister-In-Law.

The photos really don't do it justice. You can see a better photo of it here. It is super cute full of ruffles. But sewing the bag is a lot like working out. The whole time, you are hating it. When you are done and see the results, you are happy you did it :)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Addie Jo Skirt

My sister-in-law designs patterns for sewing things. She was about to send her patterns to the printer and wanted some help testing patterns to make sure the instructions were clear and made sense and such. Since my degree is technical writing and I love to sew, this is right up my ally! Here is the first item, the Addie Jo skirt.

And I already showed this before, but I must remind you of the cute matching bow:

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wood Block Pictures

This is an art project you can have your child help out with and give to Mom or Grandma. They are blocks that spell out the word "Grandma" (or Mother, Mom, or Grandmother, etc.). I dedicated one block per person and put pictures on it. I did one block for my Mom's Grandmothers. One for her mom. One for my Dad's mom. One for my mom with Brayden. And one for her with Kaitlyn. Since I gave her these, two grandchildren have joined the family, so I will have to update them! 

Now, you can tell from this picture that she doesn't actually show the "Grandma" spelling. She really just likes it for displaying pictures. If your Mom/Grandma would be like that, then you can skip the letter part of the blocks.


  • Wood blocks the size of your choice. We bought a 4x4 piece of wood from Home Depot and cut the blocks to our desired length. I am sure you could find something similar in a craft store like Michaels.

  • Decoupage or Mod Podge. You can also get Mod Podge Satin All-In-One Decoupage Sealer. Please note that different Mod Podges have different finishes, from Matte to Lustre.

  • Photos of your choice, cut to the appropriate size for your blocks.

  • Paint

  • Vinyl Letters or you could paint letters on

  • Sandpaper if you want a "distressed" look

  1. Paint the blocks using the paint and foam brush. This is something your child can help with. Most of the block is covered by photos, plus if you distress it , you will have little need for a "perfect" paint job. Plus, we love things made by the children we love.

  2. Let dry.

  3. If you want a distressed look, gently sand the each edge of each block. You can decide if you do this part yourself or with help. Wipe all dust off.

  4. Put some decoupage or mod podge on the block.

  5. Put some decoupage or mod podge on the back of a photo.

  6. Place the photo on the block.

  7. Continue for all sides.

  8. Once you have photos all around the block, move on to the other blocks and put photos on those.

  9. Let dry.

  10. Decoupage or mod podge over the top of each photo. This will help protect the photo from scratches, water, etc.
You are done! And you have a lovely gift any mom will love.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Decorating Idea: The Square Picture Collage

I am slowly working on decorating Brayden's room.

I am really loving this look right now. You take four square frames and put them in a square on the wall, like so:

And here it is on the context of the room:

I got these frames at Hobby Lobby.

You could do any number you like. You could do six and put them in a rectangle...


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