How to Turn an Old Pillowcase Into a Cute Summer Dress

Adriana G
by Adriana G
8 Materials
30 Minutes

In this tutorial, I will show you how to make an adorable summer dress out of a pillowcase! You might be able to pick up some perfect pillowcases at your thrift store.

Depending on the pillowcase you use, you might have a ready-made trim for the bottom of your new DIY summer dress, or you might want to make a trim yourself. If you’ve got a half-hour, that’s all you’ll need, so let’s get started right now!

Tools and materials:

  • Pillowcase (preferably with a lace trim)
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Sewing pins
  • Shoulder tie ribbon
  • Decorative trim
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine
Prepping the pillowcase

1. Prepare your pillowcase

Turn your pillowcase inside out and trim off the top edge seam. Then slip the pillowcase over your head to make sure it’s the right size for you.

Pressing the back seam of the pillowcase

Most pillowcases just have one seam down the length of it. Make that seam the back seam of your dress. Press the pillowcase with the back seam in the center to create creases on the sides.

Making armholes for the dress

2. Make armholes for your summer dress

Cut armholes into the pillowcase freehand. Cut on one side, then fold the pillowcase in half lengthwise and cut the other side so they match exactly.

Pressing the hem around the armholes

Double-fold and press a ¼-inch hem around the armholes.

Pinning and sewing the armholes

Pin the armhole hem in place and sew it down. Repeat for the other armhole and then press your armhole hems to give them a clean, crisp look.

Making the neckline casing

3. Make a neckline casing

Press in a ½-inch hem on the front neckline edge of your summer dress.

Turning a pillowcase into a dress

Fold in and press again, but this time making a 1-inch hem. Pin the hem in place.

Repeat this step to make a back neckline casing.

Sewing the neckline

Sew the front and back neckline casing along the open edge.

Adding decorative trim to the DIY pillowcase dress

4. Add decorative trim

My pillowcase already had great lace trim on it, but I wanted more embellishment. You can use any trim you like. Pin it in place on your summer dress, starting at the back center seam.

Topstitching the trim

Topstitch the trim at the bottom and top of the trim.

Joining the trim with a zigzag stitch

Where the trim meets, join it with a zigzag stitch.

Then give your decorative trim a final press.

Adding shoulder ties

5. Add shoulder ties

Choose your dress tie material and use a safety pin to feed it through the neckline casings. Use separate pieces for the front and back casings and gather your neckline as you go. Then tie the shoulder ties at the top to fit.

How to make a pillowcase dress

How to make a dress out of a pillowcase

That really couldn’t be any easier, could it? And this DIY summer dress from a pillowcase is just about the coolest summer dress you could have. Try it for yourself and let me know how your summer dress turned out.

Suggested materials:
  • Pillowcase (preferably with a lace trim)
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
See all materials

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Join the conversation
2 of 10 comments
  • Eva Lou Cox Eva Lou Cox on Aug 17, 2022

    Might make a nice "house dress"

  • Lisa A Downes-Poll Lisa A Downes-Poll on Aug 17, 2022

    Yes actually I remember using a black one for a Halloween costume from my son one year 💜. Recycle, reuse and share. Trying to raise good stewards of our planet.