Author Options:

Does anyone know how to make a skirt or a top out of a pillowcase? Answered



10 years ago

This one is easy. Instructions for an Easy Summer Top: Just simply cut a hole in the closed end of the pillow case for your head. Then cut two arm holes! And don't forget to hem the edges. You can modify these instructions in any way! Maybe sew on a ribbon, or line the bottom with lace, and stuff like that.


10 years ago

If you have just one pillow case, it will be a small garment. This may or may not be a problem depending on how large or small (or how modest) a person you are.

For a skirt -
Measure the widest part of your hips (for example, they might be 36").
Mutiply that measurement by 1.25 (for 36" hips, that would be 48"),
and then divide that number by 2 (48"/2 = 24").

Now measure your pillowcase, just as it is before anything's done to it (a pillow case I happen to have here measures is 19.5" x 27.5").

If the short side of the pillowcase is the same as or bigger than the number you got above, then you can use the open side of the pillowcase for your hem. Slit the other short side open and fold it down 1/2", on the "wrong" side of the fabric. all the way around. Fold it down again, 1" this time, so that the raw edge of the 1/2" fold you made last time is covered by the new 1" fold. Sew the 1" fold down about 3/4" from the top of the skirt (1/4" from the bottom of the fold), almost all the way around - leaving about a 2" gap. Cut a piece or elastic 2" smaller than your waist and use a safety pin to pull it through the casing you've just made. Sew the two ends of the elastic together, then sew up the 2" gap in the casing; and you've got a (long-ish) skirt.

It's more likely the short end of the pillowcase will be smaller than the number you got above (in my example, the 19.5" short side is smaller than the 24" number I got), which means the long side of the pillow case will have to go around your waist.
This may not come out very well, but if you want to try it -
Undo the hem and the side seams so that you have a rectangle of fabric. Fold it in half so that the short sides meet, with the "right" side of the fabric facing in. Pin the short sides together and sew them to each other. Now put in a casing like I described above, but this time along one of the long sides. You'll also have to put in a hem - do that just like the casing but don't bother with the gap or the elastic :).
That will give you a very short (16.5" for my example pillowcase), very full skirt. If that's what you want, great. :)
Otherwise you could add a ruffle or flounce of some other fabric to the bottom to lengthen it; or you could cut off some of the fabric from the length of unstiched pillowcase and piece it together to make your casing, but exactly how to do that is a little complicated for me to explain here.

To see if you can make a top, measure around the fullest part of your bust, and add 2" (for example, if you have a 34" bust, use 36").
Then divide that by 2 (in my example 36"/2 = 18").
If that number is bigger than the short side of your pillowcase, then you're out of luck - there's not enough fabric there for a top that will fit you.

If that number is smaller than the short side of your pillowcase, then we're in business. Find a sleeveless shirt or a tank top that you like the fit of. Turn the pillowcase inside out, and lay it out as flat as possible. Lay the sleeveless shirt on top of it, again as flat as possible. Carefully trace the edges of the backs of the armholes and neck opening onto the pillowcase lightly in pencil. Pick up the shirt, turn the pillowcase over, and again lay it out as flat as possible. Place the shirt on top of it. again as flat as possible. Now trace the fronts of the armholes and neck opening onto the pillowcase - you'll probably have to carefully lift the backs of these openings out of the way in order to do this. Cut out the holes you've traced, being careful to cut one layer of the pillowcase a a time (that is, don't cut the lines you traced for the back into the side you're going to use for the front, and vice versa) (don't ask me how I learned about that ;). Use double-fold bias tape, in some color that you like with the pillowcase fabric, to finish the raw edges of the neck and arms; and you're done.

(If the shirt isn't much bigger around than you are, or you have broadish shoulders, or you don't like to wiggle too much to get into your clothes: you may want to add a short vertical slit at the front or back of the neck. This can be finished with the same bias tape. You can also sew the bottom edges of two lengths (12-18" or so) of the bias tape together and add them at the top of the slit to use as ties.)


Answer 10 years ago

WOW!! Thank you so much for taking the time to share with me this this great skirt and top making info!! I am new to sewing and I really appreciate the details!! I am going to give it a try and I will let you know how it goes. Thanks again...peace and love!! I love instructables!!!


Answer 10 years ago

Please do let me know how it goes. :) A couple things I maybe should have mentioned before - - If the pillowcase happens to be brand new, be sure to wash and dry it before starting work on it, so it will have already done whatever shrinking it's going to do. - If you need to take out seams, it really helps to iron the fabric nice and flat again after you're done with that. - If you want to put a slit in the neck line of the top, it goes nicest if you use the bias tape to finish the raw edges of the slit of before finshing the neckhole itself. Then, when you put the bias tape around the neck, include the extra length for the ties in that piece of tape. That way you'll have single pice of tape going around the neck, finishing the tops of the tape around the slit, and contining seamlessly on into the ties. (If you're not sure whether you want a slit, or how long to make it. you can try the top on before finishing the neck - just be careful not to fray the raw edge any more than can be helped.) Good luck, and Have Fun (that's the really important part :).