Wednesday, July 02, 2008
Summer in Motion
I should make clear that I can not at all take credit for the idea of a dress from a pillowcase. I've known for years of the concept, and its been filed somewhere in the dusty recesses of my brain that were thankfully swept up a bit when I came across these darling little linens. And all one would have to do, of course, is google it and find a great deal, naturally. I made this one of Isabela's in the most straightforward way. It was harder to get straightforward photographs however since she has been in almost constant motion since putting it on. The dresses seem to inspire young girls to mimic freshly washed bed linens flapping about on the clothesline in the warm summer breeze. I am certain this is the whole point. She is now a flapper. A happy little flapper.
I used a very sheer pink gingham for the drawstring straps. And I used a preppy pink cotton shirting (think button-down Polos from the eighth grade that your mom was too cheap to buy - or too smart - interject your own adjective there) for the bias edging that creates the casing on the front and back and to edge the inner armholes.
And I didn't have to do a darn thing on that gorgeous hem. Such a smashing bonus to the whole ordeal. OH. Perhaps here is where I mention that I have handwritten an instruction sheet for you that you can view by clicking here or by clicking on the Pillowcase Dress link over there under the "make this with me" section. These started out as my handwritten notes that I would then draft into fancy computer-y instructions to give to you. Then it hit me I felt more like I was writing to a penpal or a neighbor or a family member. Which is just how I want you to have this. From me to you. And of course like any friend passing a note to another, you have to forgive the scratchiness and possible typo type things. Have to.
Here I am at your back gate with my folded up piece of paper to pass over the fence to you. Come on out back and take it. (Your dog won't stop barking!) And send your girls over for cookies and juice once they're wearing one, I would love to see.
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So sweet and I love the insrtuctions, just the way to make something like this. I better rush off to ebay right this minute or every vintage pillowcase will be gone by the end of the day! I am anxiously awaiting my Birdcage on a chain kit, maybe today.ReplyDelete
Don't worry, mascanlon, there are plenty of us lazy ones (ahem) out there who have a small pile of these pillowcases just waiting for a tutorial just like this to inspire us. Thank you, Anna Maria!ReplyDelete
Very sweet! I came across a similar tutorial online and stitched some up. You are right about little girls wearing them and fluttering in the wind. Very very sweet.ReplyDelete
Hmmmm, I was just think if I get down my bolts of pink fabrics to make Boo a dress then she gonna start telling people "this dress matches the quilt Mummy made me" again. But I do have a most wonderful "Hers" pillowcase- wouldn't that be grand? Also sorry about the dog, she get so excited about the fox that keeps visiting at night....ReplyDelete
I am sooo making this for my little Evelina!ReplyDelete
Pillowcase dress are fun I made one for a baby before. Mine is a much harder and differnt technique than yours.ReplyDelete
Yours came out lovely
Mine went to tree Fall as a baby gift to here new born who I think is about 5 months old now
so sweet! I'll have to remember this!ReplyDelete
do you think this would fit a skinny three year old?ReplyDelete
Anonymous, I do think it would fit a littler person, it would just be more gathered at the drawstring. You could also cut the top down some to decrease the length if necessary. have fun! AnnaReplyDelete
I, on the other hand, am wondering if it could fit an almost 30-year old person? Your creation is very beautiful and your daughter looks pleased to wear such loveliness!ReplyDelete
The dress is darling! Another inspirational piece!ReplyDelete
I shall have to print out your instructions and save them with the pillowcases that my grandmother made for that day in the distant future when I may be blessed with a granddaughter. Not that I don't think my grandson isn't a blessing. He's a great big blessing! He just would look silly in a pillowcase sundress.ReplyDelete
Thanks so much for sharing - I'll get those dogs in now.ReplyDelete
Thank you so much, Anna!! I would love to have you living over my back fence!!ReplyDelete
oooohhh I cannot wait to make these! I have had a set of vintage cases for over TEN YEARS...lovely crisp white with pale periwinkle embroidery on the hem...always thought "someday I will do an all white bed!" but I couldn't bear to actually allow anyone to lay their head on these precious pieces!! and now...magically...I have a stepdaughter...and oh I cannot WAIT to make her these!!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Anna Maria! I so wish I could magically jump over the fence to visit you! I promise to share a pic when done!
i wish i'd had your tutorial back when i made one, about 20 sizes too big, for my 2-year-old!ReplyDelete
luckily, i have a stack of vintage pillowcases patiently waiting their turn...
Beautiful photos of such a pretty little girl in the perfect summer dress. There is nothing like well broken in cotton.ReplyDelete
And suddenly I will never have to feel guilty about my mass collection of embroidered pillowcases again....thank. you. Anna.ReplyDelete
I'm wondering how old is the little girl wearing the adorable dress?? Love it! Is there a pattern or directions on making a pillow-case blouse for a grown woman??? I wanna wear a pillowcase!ReplyDelete
Awww... thanks! She's just barking 'cause she wants to play with you. I'm so grateful you brought over those directions. Your little girl looks so cute. Can't wait to make my own!ReplyDelete
So sweet, I wish my linens weren't in storage! I'm sure the dress would fit a skinny 3 yr old. My little girl is 2 and 37" tall, also very skinny. Oh my gosh...I have a vintage Vera pillowcase in my studio. Oh boy! My daughter would love to come by and play. She also loves cookies :)ReplyDelete
I bet it would fit a skinny older gal, if some alterations were made. Perhaps do inset scallops of fabric to make the dress more "A" line-ish. I have to share a fab site for sewing www.burdastyle.com you can download patterns for free, and share creations too. The Anda dress could be adapted to use a cute old pillowcase.
I am lucky enough to have a job that takes me all over the country (and globe for that matter). Today I found myself in Billings, MT, and decided to pop into some local antiques coops. Lo and behold, I found some gorgeously embroidered vintage pillowcases!ReplyDelete
While I was looking at them I pondered over the hours of work that went into these lovelies, and am so excited to give them new life. Thanks for the inspiration, as always.
Gorgeous dress and gorgeous hand writing! :) Thanks for sharing!ReplyDelete
Mmmmm, this is sweetness for sure and very summery. I am thinking too of using this in the future with pillowcases that MY mother embroidered and then using them for my grandaughters someday. Hope I remember about both when the time comes.ReplyDelete
Thank you for the tutorial..now all I need is the time to make my old pillowcases into summery dresses.ReplyDelete
ps: i love your new fabric line and can't wait for the book!
I just made 3 of these dresses (not from pillowcases but regular fabric) and they turned out adorable! I can't wait to hit up some shops for cases...and I love the idea of making the casing with bias binding rather than the fold over method with the case itself!ReplyDelete
Thank you..and the pictures are just great!
Oh you "hands of gold"! Blessings!ReplyDelete
Thank you so much. I will start checking for the vintage cases during my thrifting trips and will plan to make my daughter and nieces a whole slew of summer dresses. I so appreciate your directions and I love the "just for my best friend" feel of them.ReplyDelete
Now, to figure out that bias thing...
This dress is absolutely lovely! Thank you for both sharing the pattern & for sharing them in your friendly, handwritten way. That really did make them special.
Have a wonderful vacation!
Aren't vintage hand embroidered pillowcases the best!? I love seeing everyone's take on the pillowcase dress. You're so blessed to have such cute and receptive models! (my 11 year old boy isn't so into it!)ReplyDelete
thank you for sharing your instructions! the dress and your daughter are adorable! will definitely make dress, and smock top versions of these for summer.ReplyDelete
so looking forward to seeing the finished dress! i'm going to have to make on for my niece. :o)ReplyDelete
If only I had a little girl for whom I could make one of these!! Somehow I don't see any of my boys walking around in one!ReplyDelete
It is adorable!!
What a inspiration you are. Not only because you design these beautiful fabrics, but for being such a great human being, mom, business savy lady and all...you see positive things coming from you from all sides!ReplyDelete
Now, to a hard side...it is very hard to pick only one..but I am a sucker for "ice" colors...so my favorite (haham - I have like a billion favorite already) is mingling/Ah09 ice.
Have a super blessed vacation....I am sure some time next year we will see some of your memories from the beach in a new color pallete for your fabrics!; )
PS: I squeeze this cooment here because I could not leave at the above...I was getting error..I think you blog got a little busy - I wonder why ; )
Oh Anna Maria, these pillow dresses are so absolutely cute... thank you for the instructions, going to have to make one for my little Elisa who's almost 2.ReplyDelete
Have a wonderful holiday.... and am so loving your new fabric lines.
Francesca Di Leo
thanks for passing the note over the fence - can't wait to create with some of my vintage pillowcases. sorry about millie's barking, but i know you know she always does that...stay cool today, it is supposed to be a warm one.ReplyDelete
Wonderful - thanks for the instructions. As a mother of two boys I am excited to make this for my best friend's daughter!ReplyDelete
Very cute!! And your gingham straps are just perfect... see... I think THAT was your idea!! You never take enough credit really. (BTW we figured out that you could buy polos cheaper in the young boys department when we were in high school!!)ReplyDelete
congratulations! you're in better homes & garden!!!!!!!!ReplyDelete
well who wouldn't want to twirl and dance in something like this? honestly.....ReplyDelete
These are so adorable Anna Maria! I have a closet full of vintage pillowcases that are just waiting for something like this! Do you have any suggestions for cleaning old linens? Love your site. JanReplyDelete
Thank You for sharing that sweet dress instructions.ReplyDelete
I'm enjoying your flower pincushion pattern!
Love your blog!
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