Sunday, September 11, 2016

Christmas 2016: A Pillowcase Dress and a Key Case

Well, I managed to, so far (I'm hoping to finish up one more gift today, but it's still iffy) get two gifts completely done this week, so yay for progress!  I really need to start upping my game or I could very well find myself scrambling come Christmastime, so I was happy to at least accomplish what I have so far this week.

First up I made a pillowcase dress for one of my nieces.  I had found a really beautiful, and super soft, cotton king sized pillowcase at the used store for .50 a long while ago and wanted to make something pretty out of it, so I figured...well a pillowcase dress is made out of a pillowcase traditionally so why not right? 

I have researched for MONTHS to try and find a user friendly tutorial to use to make a pillowcase dress.  I could find tons that gave you length and width directions for material, but not one on how to make one out of an actual pillowcase.  And then there were the arm holes, which NO ONE gave you any good guides on how big to make the arm holes or how to do them.  They always wanted you to measure the child for whom you were making the dress for...which when you are making said dress as a gift doesn't really work too great.  So, I finally, after a LOT of tutorials, found THIS ONE which is the most user friendly and easiest tutorial I've found to date and gives you guidelines on all measurements, including the arm holes and how to finish the arm holes easily and so forth.  I did make my dress slightly bigger than the size I was figuring because it seemed awful short when I looked at it, but I figure if nothing else it can be used a shirt if my measurements were off or something (so hard to measure little kid sizes when you are in the same size of a shirt as your eight year old at the current time.  Little kid sizes are so TINY after that).

Total time to make the dress was about an hour start to finish and the majority of that time, believe it or not, was getting the ribbon threaded.  The tutorial was super easy to follow and since I was using a pillowcase my edges were nice and neat and finished before I even began cutting.  That saved me a lot of time :).

Total cost to make dress was .50 for the original pillowcase, but I've had it for at least a year or so, so I didn't have to spend anything out of pocket now to make it.

Next up is a key case.  I got this in a kit at the used store ages ago for .50 (I think...the kit might actually have been given to me, but it did have a break away tag with .50 on it, so I ASSUME I got it at the used store at some's that old *laugh*).  Originally I was figuring, since it holds four keys, that it might be a good thing to give to my nephew so he could carry some keys without them poking into him (thus the point of the case), but I'm not sure once I made it as it didn't have sub pouches or anything like I thought it would.  It just holds four keys and that's it in a kind of tool roll type of application.  I think I might end up giving it to my husband to put some keys in and then he can store it in his briefcase.   I think it turned out cute, anyway (I did end up neatening up the threading in case any self respecting cub scout is looking at that and making gagging noises ;).

Total cost to make would be .50 for the original kit, which the only way I knew that was because the price tag was still on it *laugh*.  I have no idea when I originally picked this kit up, so I'm just going to say it cost me nothing out of pocket to make as I didn't spend anything NOW to make it.

Total time to make was about an hour and the majority of that time was trying again and again to figure out the stupid directions that came with the kit that made no sense.  When I finally just used logic and threw the directions away it took about 15 minutes to thread it all up correctly.

So, two more gifts done.  Lots more to go!


  1. I love those pillowcase dresses. The one you made is beautiful. The ribbon shoulder ties sets the whole dress off. I get a picture of a little girl in patent leather shoes wearing this beautiful dress. BTW, don't discount making tops for adults out of them. They're quick and easy and great to wear in the summer by themselves or in the winter with a long. Thanks for sharing your work. Dorothy

  2. The dress is adorable, Erika! You should make some of these for your daughter for next summer. As Dorothy said, they make cute summer shirts for older children and adults as well.

    The key holder is pretty cool as well. Too bad you couldn't figure out a way to add a pocket somehow. It would work rather well for a kid to put in their backpack or pocket, along with their debit card or a bit of cash.

  3. Beautiful dress/top, Erika! I love the girly ribbon ties. Thanks for the gift making incentive - I need all the help I can get : )

  4. The lace on that pillowcase is gorgeous! The dress turned out great.

  5. Erica, The pillowcase dress is adorable! I've made a number of these and like the pattern/directions from Sewing with Nancy. She had a woman on her show during Nancy's Corner who developed the pattern and has taken thousands of dresses to Africa. There's some flexibility with how you make the dresses. I've also sewn fabric together to create enough length to get a dress. You can get quite creative that way. Chris