There are a lot of *beautiful* gently used pillow cases out there... unfortunately, when you buy used you can never guarantee a matched pair for your bed. But I pick the pillow cases up every so often anyhow, with this dress in mind. And the pattern is seriously so simple, that it could easily be a first sewing project.
Step 1: Materials You Need:
1 standard sized pillow case with a decorative edge or a great fabric
1 package 1/2 or 1/4 inch coordinating bias tape
a sewing machine
a shirt (for a pattern... will not be cut up!)
First, cut the top 2 inches off your pillow case for a dress... cut 9 inches for a top (or measure you child for an even more custom fit... remember, these won't shrink... they have already been washed many times!). Make sure to cut square with the sides of the pillow case (which is easy, because the side seams are already done for you.)
Take one of your little girl's shirts... lay it down so that the arms are folded back so you can see the line of the arm seam. Fold the pillow case in half so that you have both edges and cut the pillow case along the arm seam like the picture.
Open the pillow case and lay the bias open at the top of the arm seam under the fabric (inside of garment). Fold over the edge of the fabric so that the fabric is in the middle of the two folds of bias. Pin if you need to.... I don't, but sometimes with the 1/2 inch bias it helps. Sew along the entire arm seam (from front, then under armpit part, than to the back) on both sides so when you are done, your garment looks like this:
Then fold over 1 inch at the top of the neck piece of the pillow case top, and sew a hem, making sure to leave enough room for your bias tape to fit through. Sew this hem on both sides of the top of the garment.
Then to make the straps, fold over the edge of the bias like shown here. Then fold in half and sew, leaving a long ribbon where both ends look like this:
Take a safety pin and attach it to the end of this piece... then run it through the hole we left in the top hem of the dress/top. Put it on your daughter and tie at the shoulders... gathering the center bit to fit.
Most pillow cases are light and extremely soft... so this dress ends up being the PERFECT summer play dress or top for a little girl. It will fit most little girls about age 5 to 9.