Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Pillowcase Dresses for "Dress a Girl Around the World"

The last few days I've been busily stitching up a batch of pillowcase dresses for the "Dress a Girl Around the World" sew-a-long going on through tomorrow at Little Big Girl Studio.

The mission of this program is to provide as many little girls as possible with their own new dress made just for them. While you can participate year round at http://www.dressagirlaroundtheworld.com/, the sew-a-long at LBG Studio ends tomorrow. This is a great cause and a great way to use up some of that fabric stash!

Here's a few shots of the dresses I made (and you can see in the photo below that I did two in each color combo):

LBG Studio has a PDF pattern you can download plus a tutorial on two ways to make the dress, with or without elastic. I followed her pattern and instructions for the dresses I made using the Fabric-Tie Casing (the non-elastic option). The only difference was that I added pockets to some, and rather than using one long strap with a bow on one side, I cut it in half so there would be a bow on both sides (and I used store bought bias tape rather than making my own). I also used this tip which you will love for the rest of your life:

Before I stitched up the casing at the top of the dress, I cut a piece of embroidery floss about 5" longer than the casing length. I tied a safety pin tied to one side and put the embroidery floss in the crease at the top of the casing. Then I sewed it shut, pinned the strap to the embroidery floss and pulled it right through in a matter of seconds. Saves so much time an frustration! Here's some photos of the steps:

1. Place piece of embroidery thread in the crease of the casing with a tail sticking out on both sides.

2. Fold over top and then stitch down.

3. Tie the safety pin to the embroidery floss, then pin it to the strap. Then pull it right through!

You can use the same concept for making straps or tubes that are sewn right sides together then turned right side out. Just cut the fabric for your tube about an inch longer than you'll need. Before you sew it shut, put the thread inside the tube running the whole length with a little extra sticking out on both sides. Stitch one end of the tube shut so the thread is attached. When you're done sewing just pull the thread and your tube is now right side out! Then just cut off that end off of your tube.