Eleanor’s Pillowcase Dress

I checked another item off my 30 Before Thirty list last night! #8: Sew a dress for Eleanor. I made a pillowcase dress, following Jaime’s tutorial on Prudent Baby.

I made this dress for Eleanor.

I was going to make my own bias tape because Jacinda’s was so cute, but then I hesitated after realizing that it’s probably a huge pain to do without the proper doodad. Twitter confirmed my suspicions.

So I went with the brown bias tape that I already had on hand, and some Amy Butler fabric that I bought for curtains but never used. The dress took me three hours from start to finish, but that is because I am most definitely a novice when it comes to sewing. It would probably only take an hour and a half, maybe two hours, for someone with more experience.

I made this dress for Eleanor.

The dress turned out nicely though. It’s so sweet! I’ll probably swap out the long satin ribbon for something a little more practical, but it was pretty for these photos.

I made this dress for Eleanor.

I made this dress for Eleanor.

If you’d like to make a dress for a little girl but aren’t sure of your sewing abilities, I recommend making a pillowcase dress. The trickiest part was attaching the bias tape to the arm holes, but if you can handle that the rest is easy. And it’s so cute. I want to make a million more.

I made this dress for Eleanor.

101 Responses to “Eleanor’s Pillowcase Dress”

  1. Rhea (Greek Feaster) August 4, 2010 at 12:38 pm #

    This is so professional-looking and cute to boot– bravo!

  2. Mandy Ford August 4, 2010 at 12:38 pm #


  3. Krysta August 4, 2010 at 12:39 pm #

    Ok, that dress is SO cute. And your daughter! Oh my goodness she is the sweetest!

  4. Christine August 4, 2010 at 12:40 pm #

    SO cute! I’m a sewing novice like you and this I just might be able to tackle. Thanks for the inspiration!

    I love how she’s posing in front of the curtains, the fabric has been given new life!

  5. julia August 4, 2010 at 12:46 pm #

    That is so cute! I’d definitely bookmarking it for future (very far future!) use.

  6. Emily August 4, 2010 at 12:46 pm #

    Great job! I’ve also been procrastinating making bias tape, b/c there are more things that need my time right now.

  7. Jaime Runs August 4, 2010 at 12:50 pm #

    Oh good lord if that isn’t the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. Great job on the sewing!

  8. teresa August 4, 2010 at 12:51 pm #

    Oh my gosh, how adorable!! I absolutely love it (and the model is even more cute than the dress).

  9. Kate August 4, 2010 at 12:54 pm #

    Really adorable! My mom made a ton of my clothes when I was little and those are definitely the pieces that have the best memories.

  10. Kerry August 4, 2010 at 1:01 pm #

    Absolutely adorable little dress! Looks so cute on her – great work!

  11. Your Mother August 4, 2010 at 1:01 pm #

    So cute – and the dress is cute too. :)

  12. Teresa Fairbank August 4, 2010 at 1:16 pm #

    This is very cute! I LOVE making these dresses, they whip up so easily. :) I do make my own bias tape though, it’s not really that hard, it just takes a few minutes to get it all folded and ironed right….I like that I can match it to my fabric and it’s not so noticeable, ANYHOW, congratulations, you did a great job on this! ;)

  13. Stacey August 4, 2010 at 1:19 pm #

    She looks so cute, and I love the fabric. Great job, Nicole!

  14. Alicia August 4, 2010 at 1:24 pm #

    That turned out SO cute! “Making it Lovely” for sure! Much nicer than the pillowcase dresses I’ve been making, I may need to change it up and use this tutorial instead!

  15. Melissa Irvin August 4, 2010 at 1:27 pm #

    ADORABLE!! I can see this style in heavier fabric with a long sleeved shirt and leggings in the winter time! Eleanor is a great model. Good job, Momma!

  16. Jill Marie August 4, 2010 at 1:27 pm #

    This is sooo adorable! my little girl is 10. I will have to pass this on to friends who have little-little girls!
    Thanks for sharing!

  17. Jen @ homeinthecountry August 4, 2010 at 1:32 pm #

    So adorable – I love the fabric you used! I made a similar dress for my niece last week, but instead of sewing so that the ribbon ties around the neck, I sewed elastic at the top of each dress and then extended the bias tape under the arms so that they’d come up and over the shoulders and tie on both sides. I’m also a novice sewer, and it was so easy and fun… I’ll have to track down other little girls to make dresses for! :)

  18. Tiffany August 4, 2010 at 1:34 pm #

    i love the fabric! and yeah, bias tape. not so fun. i had a couple pillowcase dress tutorials that i thought you would be interested for next dress you make…
    pleated bow pillowcase dress: http://www.simplymodernmom.com/2010/07/pleated-bow-pillowcase-dress-tutorial/

    and the retro ruffle pillowcase dress: http://www.simplymodernmom.com/2010/04/retro-ruffle-dress-from-a-pillowcase/

  19. lauren August 4, 2010 at 1:35 pm #

    How cute!!! She’s such a sweetie!

  20. Georgina August 4, 2010 at 1:39 pm #

    Totes Adorbs!!!! Well done :)

  21. Jules August 4, 2010 at 1:41 pm #

    I just died from too much cute.

  22. Ludmila {creamylife.com} August 4, 2010 at 1:42 pm #

    So sweet! well done!

  23. Gemma August 4, 2010 at 1:55 pm #

    Such a cute dress- love, love, love that print! That big shiny ribbon is just perfect!

    My 2 cents about the bias tape maker: for smaller projects such as this…do it by hand..if making binding for larger items, like baby blankets, quilts, etc – then splurge on the $8.00 for it. And use the ‘continuous’ method for making it, rather than piecing all those small lengths together :)

  24. Melissa August 4, 2010 at 1:55 pm #

    Nice work – love the dress and your precious little girl.

  25. RisaJ August 4, 2010 at 1:57 pm #

    sooo cute! great job!

  26. Wanderluster August 4, 2010 at 2:13 pm #

    So cute. Is a coordinating dress for mommy in the works too? The fabric looks so great on Eleanor. She’s so blonde!

  27. Kristen August 4, 2010 at 2:17 pm #

    That dress is adorable! You did a great job!

  28. Nick August 4, 2010 at 2:25 pm #

    Turned out really good! My wife made a pillow case dress for our daughter a while back…


    Then she made her a couple of reversible apron dresses…


    all while she was learning how to sew…

  29. luuve August 4, 2010 at 2:27 pm #

    oh my! one of my FAVORITE amy butler patterns..this dress is sooo cute..and eleanor makes even cuter! her little face is just soo precious!

    good job :)

  30. Jen August 4, 2010 at 2:30 pm #

    This is simply adorable! Makes me want a little girl even more, and I didn’t think that was quite possible… and it also kinda makes me wish I knew how to sew…


  31. E. RaMona August 4, 2010 at 2:32 pm #


  32. Amanda Major August 4, 2010 at 2:40 pm #

    Do you remember the name of that fabric or know if it is still available. It is exactly what I’ve been looking for! I’ll purchase the remainder from you if its enough to make curtains from!

  33. Bermomma August 4, 2010 at 2:54 pm #

    Ha, I made my Button a pillow case dress as well. It was on my 30 before 30 list as well. Too fun! I love your pattern. I posted a few photo’s of the dress I made for my little one on m y blog if you are interested. After doing that project for my girl, I’ve become inspired and am now starting on some fun curtains for her room.

  34. Stephanie August 4, 2010 at 2:56 pm #

    Adorable! I LOVE the fabric choice.

  35. gina August 4, 2010 at 3:02 pm #

    You are the most creative person! Everything you touch is adorable!! go girl!

  36. Elizabeth August 4, 2010 at 3:10 pm #

    That is beyond cute. It’s a smart shape for a girl’s dress- it’ll take her a while to grow out of it, and it would be easy to alter into a top if she did! You’re lucky to have such a photogenic little miss!

  37. Alexis L., The Studioist August 4, 2010 at 3:13 pm #

    So sweet. One of the best applications of Amy Butler I’ve seen.

  38. Maggie August 4, 2010 at 3:13 pm #

    SO adorable!1 I love the ribbon – such a sweet little touch!

  39. Michelle August 4, 2010 at 3:24 pm #

    super adorable. I just love it! I totally want to make a million of those dresses now!

  40. Deana August 4, 2010 at 3:46 pm #

    That fabric is so beautiful! the dress turned out really really well… Kudos to you!

  41. Redlilocks {Swoon Worthy} August 4, 2010 at 4:13 pm #

    I’m about the least maternal person there is but my god, your little one is just so flippin cute with all her little expressions, I just want to EAT HER UP! Gorgeous dress, absolutely stunning little model! Such a cutie :)

  42. Katrina August 4, 2010 at 4:48 pm #

    Oh how darling! If I had a little girl I would so MAKE this!!

  43. Jamie August 4, 2010 at 4:55 pm #

    I love those curtains behind Eleanor (and of course her dress but don’t we all!). I’m sure you’ve mentioned it before and I just missed it but where did you get those curtains from?

    • Nick August 4, 2010 at 8:24 pm #

      They’re from anthropologie…

  44. Natalie August 4, 2010 at 5:15 pm #

    Awesome job – so cute!
    BTW, those rosey knobs are to die for! :)

  45. Mercedes August 4, 2010 at 5:20 pm #

    you inspire the hell out of me!

  46. liz @ bon temps beignet August 4, 2010 at 5:53 pm #

    oh my goodness. love the dress and the ‘side-eye pic!

  47. jbhat August 4, 2010 at 6:00 pm #

    Good job. And she’s darn tootin’ cute too.

  48. Stephanie August 4, 2010 at 6:01 pm #

    The dress is beautiful!

  49. Catherine August 4, 2010 at 6:49 pm #

    Gorgeous dress on your gorgeous girl! I’m so inspired!!


  1. Making it Lovely | Transforming the so-so. » Blog Archive » 30 Before Thirty - August 4, 2010

    […] Sew a dress for Eleanor. (Done!) […]

Leave a Reply:

Gravatar Image