Vintage Pillow Case Dress

I was minding my own business one day while shopping at a thrift store, when out of nowhere, a pillow case shouted at me from amidst the sheets. It ordered to be taken home and ‘re-purposed’ into something grand. It wanted a second chance on life. I noticed its lovely yellow hue, its vintage pattern, its affordable price and took the stranger home with me.

For 79 cents, the pillow case became mine forever to do with as I pleased…and it pleased me to make a dress out of it.

Here’s what you’ll need to make your very own Vintage Pillow Case Dress:
Extra Long Pillow Case
Seam Ripper
Thread to match
Iron & Ironing Board
2” Ribbon-2 feet or more
Tape Measure
Sewing Machine
Straight Pins

First things first, cut the closed end (the bottom) of the pillow case off. This will be the bottom of your dress.

Fold the bottom of your pillow case up to your desired hem length. I chose to have my hem land at the top of my knee, taking it in 4 1/2”.
Iron and pin your hem.

Sew up your hem, using a blind hem stitch. I learned how to do a blind hem stitch by watching you tube videos.
What is this world coming to?

My pillow case had been apparently designed to house one gigantic pillow.
I had excess material and decided to give my dress a pleat down the front, rather than cutting out the excess and installing a zipper.
I measured out 3 1/2” from center on the left and the right, and pinned where I wanted each pleat to begin.

I folded the 3 1/2” of material under on each side and ironed the pleat flat.
Sew your pleat into place.

Using your 2” ribbon, measure an equal distant from the center of the dress on the front and the back and pin a strap on either side of center, approximately 3 1/2”.
I recommend trying your dress on and making sure the ribbon will cover your bra straps and double checking the length is enough to go over your shoulders comfortably. I used Biceps’ help for this one.
Sew your straps into place.

The backside of my dress looked boxy, so I decided to add pleats on the left and right side of my spine.
I measured the center of the back of the dress, and marked about 3 1/2” out on either side.

I started the pleat 4” down from the top of the dress. I began the pleat width at 1/8” and expanded it to be 1/2” at the small of my back, stopping just above my derriere.

Here is the front of my cute little number. And below is the back.

I can’t believe this cost me 79 cents. A girl can’t even get fries for that.

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for the entire world. Deal with it.
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9 Responses to "Vintage Pillow Case Dress"

  1. Bama Girl says:

    Hi ! Rebekah! Love this dress! Thank you so much for sharing the tutorial with us! I really want to get into refashioning items into clothing and this is about as cheap as it gets! It doesn’t look too difficult, either. Blessings from Bama!

  2. Potholes & Pantyhose | Ten (Plus) Easy Ways to save Money says:

    […] with a couple of scarves and two pieces of ribbon. The cost-$1. I’ve also made shirts and dresses from pillow cases, and cape shirts from lace […]

  3. Cat M says:

    I love your dress!
    just a lttle fyi…. The things you are referring to as ‘pleats’ on the back are actually ‘darts’.

  4. Deb A says:

    My only suggestion to anyone using old or repurposed pillow cases….or any kind of fabric is to check the fabric for deterioration or dry rot. Take any suspect areas of the fabric and holding some in each hand give it a firm tug.

    You don’t want to have the dress split apart while you’re wearing it.

  5. Pat says:

    Would I have to be a size 2 or less?

  6. connie says:

    I have several pillowcases just laying around love what u did will try my luck and post it!

  7. Kimberly S says:

    Do you know what the dimension of the pillowcase were prior to making this into a dress. Love the dress, super cute!

  8. Joan Gray says:

    I have made lots of pillow case dresses for children. We have a missionary in our Church who goes to Africa and Haiti’ to orphanages This spring I made m daughter in law matching pillowcase dresses trimmed them with rick rack. They are beautiful.

  9. Brenda Ackerman says:

    Thank you for sharing this great tutorial! A friend and I are going to be getting together for the weekend to do some sewing and she loves to wear summer dresses and I think this would work perfectly for her and some of the fabric that we have on hand. Your tutorial is written very well and is perfectly easy to follow and understand, neither one of us are but beginner sewers. Thank you again and have a fantastic creative day!


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