Vintage Pillowcase Dress Pattern & Tutorial

vintage pillowcase peasant dress tutorial and free pattern download.I love a quick and cute kids refashioning project. Today I’m sharing my tutorial and a pattern to make this little girls peasant style dress with an elasticated waist from a cute vintage pillowcase. It’s very comfy and I have sized the bodice pattern for ages 2-5. You can download my bodice pattern for free! I think the fit is pretty good. I don’t like a super loose fit. I drafted it to fit my size 5 dress form who like Gigi, is a Skinny Minny, and graded it down to a size 2.

vintage pillowcase peasant dress tutorialRecently, I made a skirt from a pillowcase for the Skirting The Issue Series hosted by Simple Simon . I still had another pillowcase left from this cute set I bought at a yard sale. I’m actually kind of upset with myself about  turning the pillowcase into a skirt, because it would actually be perfect for one my daughter’s rooms. But I did, so oh well! No use crying over a refashioned vintage pillowcase. Plus, it was for a good cause.vintage pillowcase peasant dress tutorial

vintage pillowcase peasant dress tutorialThat left me with a lone pillowcase. Since Gigi said she loves this “fabwick” I decided to  make her a little dress with the left over pillowcase. And today I’ll share how simple this project is.vintage pillowcase peasant dress tutorial I realize peasant dresses aren’t exactly cutting edge, but it’s a tried and true style for little girls in my book. And a perfect project for beginner seamstresses. I’ve heard plenty of jokes in the kids sewing blog scene about peasant dresses, pillowcase dresses, and ruffled pants. I get were they are coming from on the ruffled pants, not a fan either, but I do love me a vintage-y peasant dress in summertime. And to really up the ante I might as well add lots of trim and pom poms, right? Right!vintage pillowcase peasant dress tutorialvintage pillowcase peasant dress tutorial Who else wants to join me and make a peasant dress from a pillowcase?

Here is how:

Here is a link to the bodice pattern.

And here is a link to the sleeve pattern.

For the skirt cut the pillowcase 15 inches long for size 5, 14 inches for size 4, 13inches for size 3inches and 12 for size 2. The finished hemmed part of the pillowcase is the skirt bottom.

You will also need 1 yard of 1/4 inch wide elastic for the neck and sleeves, and 1 yard of 3/4 inch elastic for the waistband.

For the elastic neckline cut 19 inches for size 5 , 18.5 for size 4. 18 for 3, and 17.5 for size 2.

For the elastic sleeves cut two pieces of elastic : 10 inches for size 5 , 9.5 inches for size 4, 9 inches for size 3 and 8.5 inches for size 2.

For the waistband cut 21 inches for size 5 , 20.5 inches for size 4, 20 inches for size 3, and 19.5 inches for size 2.

Now these elastic sizes are average.s You may want to insert elastic on your child and adjust accordingly.

If you want to add pom pom fringe you will need a yard and a half and if you want crochet trim you’ll need about three yards.

I’m going to try to explain this so a total beginner can do it, but I’ll probably skip something so feel free to email me at justine @ sewcountrychick .com if you have an unanswered question.tute1From one pillowcase you can eek out 2 bodices , 2 sleeves, and one skirt. I didn’t end up using that striped ribbon, BTW.tute2First finish the seams with pinking shears, a zig zag stitch, or serger. Then sew the shorter sleeves to the bodice pieces along the curved lines that look like armholes. They are the raglan sleeve style lines. Make sure to iron seams flat after. I like to use a tailor’s ham to get my curved seams nice and flat. Use a 1/2 inch seam allowance.tute2.5At this point you can sew your crochet trim and pom pom fringe to the dress.tute3Pin the side seams  of sleeves and bodice together and stitch them in one seam. tute4Now make the neckline casing. Since there is a curve folding over and ironing is awkward and clunky looking. Instead sew some bias tape to the outside of the neckline like above. Sew on the bias fold line matching it’s raw edge to the dress raw neck edge. Flip the bias tape over to the wrong side of the dress and iron along the bottom edge, leaving 2 inches open to insert elastic with a safety pin.tute5Insert elastic, sew it with 1/2 inch SA and sew the gap in the neckline shut.tute6Iron the sleeves over 1/2 inch and sew the edges leaving a little open to insert the elastic. Insert elastci, sew it together, and then sew the sleeve gaps closed.tute7.5The skirt will be wider than the bodice. Gather it to the same width as the bodice and pin the skirt to the bodice, right sides facing.tute8Sew the very edge s of the skirt to the bodice less than a quarter inch from the edges. Then sew another seam one inch from the first seam. Make sure not to get the skirt gathers all caught up and twisted when you sew the pieces together. You have to make sure they lie flat when sewing. Sort of hard to explain but this part always messes me up, too. see hjow my gathers are a little twisted up there? It’s easy to get the gathers caught up in the seam.tute9Now iron the casing upwards to the bodice and sew along that first line at the edge. Leave 2 inches open to insert the 3/4 inch elastic. Once the elastic is pulled through and sewn together sew the gap closed. Like the neck and arms.


I sewed some trim to the waist band too.

No skirt hem so it’s done!peasantdresscollage

Refashion blog hop

  1. Vintage pillowcase upcycle by Sew Country Chick
  2. Large tee to adorable dress by Peek-a-boo Pattern Shop
  3. Rit Dye upcycle by While Camden Sleeps
  4. 15 minute tank upcycle by Raegun Ramblings
  5. Men’s shirt refashion by Made with Moxie
  6. Women’s tank & tee to girl’s tunic & leggings refashion by Andrea’s Notebook
  7. 15 minute tee into bike shorts by Sew Like My Mom
  8. Fringe cardigan upcycle by Rebel and Malice
  9. Mu-muu refashion by Lil’ Bit & Nan by Bethany


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  1. says

    This doesn’t feel peasanty at all. I love the fit! I love pillowcase dresses, but peasant styles sometimes look like the ruffled clown pant’s partner in crime. This dress has a really modern feel and looks great on G! (I secretly like clown pants but I’m in the closet about it.)

  2. judy says

    Gigi looks adorable in this dress. Love the pillowcase, and your pattern is so cute.
    My grandkiids have outgrown it [so sad.], but I will get the pattern,.. I sew for children all the time..Thank you for sharing.

  3. says

    Oh my gosh I just found the basket of fabric I set aside this spring to make summer wear for my kids (obviously didn’t happen…good intentions though!) and I have a 56″x42″ length of that exact fabric!
    A cut up sheet I am guessing, I really love the dress you made with it so I may do a copy cat dress or maybe a shirt; I never seem to make shirts for some reason.