dress a girl

I was really excited Vanessa asked me to join in and share a pillowcase style dress I made for my daughter.  Vanessa is hosting a sew-a-long with tons of inspiration and ideas to benefit the Dress a Girl Around the World charity.  How awesome is that?! Yesterday Vanessa shared a tutorial (with pattern) for a pillowcase dress, so go check it out and help a little girl in need! 

As for my little project, I’ll admit, I’ve never tried to make a pillowcase dress before and the first tutorial I pulled up ended up to be a little vague.  So anyway, I needed to make some modifications to the dress to make it fit!

I knew I wanted to use a knit fabric for the body of the dress.  So I picked this zig zag that I had gotten from  I think my girls really love clothes that are comfortable and knits are all about comfort!  Vanessa and I were talking and we thought that even a t-shirt pillowcase (or old t-shirt) would be a good option for a pillowcase dress as well! 
With mine I used the basic shape as with any pillow case dress, but I didn’t make enough bias tape, so I ended up joining the shoulder straps – so no ties to contend with, maybe that was a good thing!  I also added the bias tape across the chest, to add a bit more color. 
A couple tips:
  • I used a serger for sewing up this dress, but you can do it with a regular machine, just use a ballpoint needle and a long and narrow zig zag setting.
  • Knits can be left unfinished, no need to worry about fraying!
I hope you can join in an help donate a dress (or two)!
and thank goodness for silly little girls!

27 thoughts on “dress a girl

  1. I like the idea of no ties! wouldn’t have to worry about my little girl pulling on the ties all the time :o)

  2. Amy says:

    Cute dress Anna! I hadn’t thought to use knits. They wash well too which is a plus.

  3. I like the idea of no ties, too! Anything my daughter has with ties always comes undone throughout the day. Very cute fabric combination.

  4. Kristy says:

    Love your adorable version!!! Here’s a link to the ones I just finished last week for a Dress A Girl project,

    So exciting to see so many dresses being made for little girls all around the world!

  5. Gingercake says:

    adorable. I really like the idea of knit for this. And a t-shiert would be perfect since the seams are already done! thanks ANna.

  6. Greta says:

    I have never sewed knit before (too scared) but I might have to try with this. I have three girls who will not wear anything with actual structure i.e. jeans so we are all about knits around here. Love the way it changes the look of the dress as well. So over the preppy monograms with lace.

  7. Suzanne says:

    Love the dress and thanks so much for helping Dress A Girl Around the World!!!

  8. Seriously, you’ve got a bowl full of adorable there. She is just so precious! I never thought about using a knit for a pillowcase dress…now I want one of those little buggers for me!! I’m five feet tall…I could pull it off, right? 😉

  9. This is super cute! Love the creativeness here.

  10. I’m going over there to take a look now. Maybe I’ll make one to give (or a few) and one for my girlie. Thanks, Anna, I’m actually inspired to make clothes!

  11. Sew Much Ado says:

    Oh cool, and now I can even make something girly for once and be doing something good at the same time :). I LOVE that knit fabric, thanks for telling us where you found it, it would be great for so many projects!

  12. Chris says:

    I love the dress…oh that I was brave enough to sew with knit!

  13. Alejandra says:

    The lighting in your pictures is to die for.

  14. Jessica says:

    I love that your dress doesn’t have ties – I think that it is “safer” that way. Did you use elastic to get a gathered look across the front? Thanks for sharing!

  15. amy says:

    So great Anna! Love the no ties and a great way to upcycle t shirts! Brilliant, as always! 🙂

  16. hungiegungie says:

    loving that print! great work 🙂

  17. Emily says:

    She is the cutest! I love the zig zag knit and contrasting trim. I also like that it doesn’t have ties.

  18. thanks for sharing, Dress a girl around the world is such a good thing, i recently blogged about it 🙂

  19. Anna says:

    I was just talking with oldest daughter about making a dress from a T shirt that had a halter top like the pillowcase dresses! Yours is great! I LOVE that there are no ties. I have t-shirts waiting to be used….

  20. This looks really great on your daughter and I especially like it with the coordinating leggings!

    Have a great night.

  21. I’m sew touched by all that you ladies are doing. As founder of the dress a girl around the world campaign I am blown away by the love and creativity in women around the world! Thank you!
    Your little model is priceless!

  22. since this dress uses knit fabric, it got me thinking that it could be made by reusing a XL t-shirt, the bottom hem would already be finished… just an idea for repurposing that way you wouldn’t have to go out & buy new knit fabric

  23. Jeannie says:

    She is just as sassy as her new dress! Love the mix of the knit and cotton.

  24. Dahlia says:

    Way cute dress and what a way cute girl!! :)I’m a bit scared of knits, mostly because of the stretchy factor.

  25. Lindsay says:

    Love the zigzags!
    Tshirts definitely work! I’ve made a few for my little one out of her daddy’s t-shirts. She’s tiny for an 8 month old, so I can get 2 from each of his XL shirts.

  26. jayayceeblog says:

    What a wonderful way to upcycle old t-shirts. Your zig zag fabric is awesome!

  27. Cit says:

    Thank you for this post. I thought the idea of pillowcase dresses was so clever. I finished two of the many dresses I want to donate to this cause. I posted some pictures to my blog. . Thank you again for all the great resources in your posts!

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