The Glorified Pillowcase Dress and a Summer Blouse

Pattern:  This is a Daisy Kingdom pattern from Simplicity, 2433 and I did a size 5. This is what many call a Pillowcase Dress where the top of the pillowcase is slit, armholes bound, and a tie put thru a casing at the top, a darling idea if you have some vintage PCs handy. Here, Daisy Kingdom has glorified it further with the ruffle at the top making the casing and a ruffle added at the bottom. I kicked it up another notch, I hope, with the addition of a 6 inch bias ruffle underneath the DK ruffle, piping around the bound armholes, and piping between the hem edge and the ruffles.  
ETA: I wanted to add that I also added 8 inches of width to the skirt width. I felt the given pattern did not have enough width for a good "twirl factor". I did this by simply placing the CB and CF two inches in from the fold.  I am really glad I did this. Also, the piping at the hem edge helps the hem stand out and twirl better as well. We all know how important the twirlability factor is!

Sophie had a great deal of input on this. I pulled out all my children's patterns and this is what she picked to work on with Grandma. We then went to Joanns where, with a great deal of psychology, I was able to steer her away from the pink knit sparklies that you see on every little girl. I showed her what colors flattered her dark skin, she agreed, at 6 years old, and picked out the two needed fabrics. Once home I showed her how it would be much prettier and show off  her print choice better if there was a bit of contrast. I pulled some fabrics and she picked the purple ombre one. Grandma was in total agreement. She cut out pattern tissues, held the piping ball as it fed into the piping foot, and was just generally enthralled with the entire process. Every morning and afternoon I'd ask her if she wanted to this or that and the answer was always "no, let's go down to your room to sew."  In a heartbeat! I offered to have her sit at the machine and try stitching herself but the answer  was always "No." I am sure she will let me know when she is ready.

Halfway thru making the dress she picked up a silk flower from the kitchen floor that blew in off of my door wreath. She said, "Bunbun, this would be really pretty on my dress." I completed the dress after she left and felt it was just lacking something. I put the little silk flower on it and lo and behold, it was just the ticket. I went and yanked about 6 more off of the wreath and embroidered them onto the dress flowers with big orange French knots. It made a big difference.  At this point, I would say Sophie has a pretty good design sense. We are both looking forward to sewing together again.I can't wait. 

Fabric: We purchased two coordinating quilting cottons from JAs. The ombre purple/orange was from the stash and also 100% cotton. No other notions were necessary. 
Pattern:  Simplicity 2501, a TNT blouse pattern. This is one of the patterns that comes in various cup sizes which I love. I usually use a size 6 with the C cup front and some width added in the hips. 

Fabric: 100% handkerchief linen, really lovely fabric to sew. The sheerness of hanky linen needed to be dealt with, however. 

Construction: The fabric is quite sheer. The bodice was done with two layers, wrong sides facing each other as in any lining situation. This made for a pretty inside. The peplum is finished with a baby hem as shown in the tute on the right. This pattern has facings which I did not want or need. Instead I bound the armholes, CF, and neckline with white bias tape. The edges were then topstiched and on the inside hand stitched to the lining. If I were to make this again and there is a big possibility of that, I would change the bias ruffle. I don't think it is big enough. The width is fine but I think the circle needed to be cut so there was more length in the outside edge. This would help the ruffle drape a little better, IMO. To me it  just looks like it doesn't have enough fabric in the drape. Other than that I am pleased. I am sure it will be a wrinkly, very comfortable mess within 5 minutes of putting it on but that's OK and what I love about linen. It is the ultimate summer fabric, so comfortable. 

Have you ever had a time in your life when everything has broken, or at least so it seems? In the past month we have had to do major repair work on our car, my camera has been on the fritz and is going to the camera doctor Saturday. Last week our computer crashed and was just plain old enough to be replaced. We lost a lot of data but at this point most of the software has been reloaded and we are back in business.  Sophie's dress required two different thread  colors and I placed the unused thread color on top of my machine. DON'T DO THIS.  While concentrating on my presser foot edge I didn't see the dangling thread of that other spool get sucked into the machine by way of the bobbin winder and get pulled in and tangled around the motor. The machine went into a horrid spasm and I think one more stitch would have killed it for sure. Luckily DD was visiting and took it back to NH to be fixed. I will pick it up when I go down to help her move at the end of the month. There is no one, I say NO ONE, that I can find in Northern NY who can fix a computerized machine. Thanks heavens for my trusty Kenmore back up. When I went to serge the edges of the ruffles on Sophie's dress the serger crapped out as well. Why not join the party?!? I swear if my washer or dryer goes I will jump off a bridge. 

Between company, which we love, enjoying our garden and the fabulous summer weather the Adirondacks are known for, and getting everything repaired around here, it's a miracle I got anything sewn. At this point most of the software has been reloaded into the new computer. I am taking few pictures but having to majorly manipulate them in Photoscape. Things have settled down a bit. I hope to get going on a few knit tops soon, not my field of expertise. I thank you all for your patience while I have been absent. I also ask for more of it, shameless that I am, in regards to my photos. You don't know what I had to go through to get just these few photos up. Hopefully that will all be fixed soon. 
I know many bloggers are on a bit of a sabbatical right now. One by one we will trickle back in, I am sure. I can't wait to see what other have purchased and are sewing for Fall. Did I really say that? Fall? I will leave you with a picture of my lilies.


  1. There's a great program, Dressagirlaroundtheworld. People take pillowcases and some inexpensive findings to make dresses for girls who don't have access to them. Maybe your readers would consider this. BTW, my only connection with this is that I have made some of these dresses.

  2. Fall?? I haven't seen a real Fall in over 20 years as it just doesn't exist where I live. Summer will be with me until December.

    Love the PC dress, Sophie's touches, and your psychology in the fabric store. Your new blouse is a winner too. I definitely missed that pattern in the books.

  3. It's so refreshing to see a brightly colored dress for a little girl, instead of pink or other pastels. This dress will stand out. Terrific blouse, too. And yes, things seem to break like dominoes falling. Or, in my case, appliances all wear out at the same time.

  4. My goodness, so many things going wrong, yet you managed to create two very lovely pieces. Pat yourself on the back a few times. I loved reading this entry, and look forward to your quick return.

    My grandson loves to sew with me, and I love that, too; still, your sewing makes me wish for a little girl in the family. Ah, well. Maybe someday.

  5. My grandsons love to sew with me too. They really get into the "machine" aspect of it all. This trip, however, they were all about fishing with Grandpa in the river.

  6. I like what you did to make the top of the dress narrower. I think most PC dresses look frumpy, but yours flares out nicely, and the ruffles really add a lot!

    The blouse is darling! Good luck w/ the repairs. Now's the time to buy a hard drive backup. We have one, and I better reconnect it!

    Fall? What Fall? We have a few maple trees whose leaves turn dull brown before falling off, but that's about it.

  7. I love Sophie's dress, and the way you added some pizazz to it. I have always thought pillowcase dresses needed more fabric in the width.
    I hope things start to settle down for you.

  8. The little dress is great, but the linen blouse is stunning! I would love a chic blouse like that!

  9. OMG - so much going, love, love the PC dress and your idea of no sparklies (psychie or not) is wonderful, and to have such great color sense at such a great age - she obviously is lucky to have you...and the hanky linen blouse is totally divine...we're sweltering in heat in the South and this looks so perfect! You're getting so much done!

  10. Great dress, love the 2 prints, piping and ombre ruffle! So "put together" but, still have that "simple sundress" look. Sorry to hear about the catastrophes, how stressful! Funny, you mentioned the flurry of "sabbaticals" going on, I was just thinking... Where IS everyone?

  11. Sounds like you've had an awful streak of bad luck, Girlfriend! Let's hope its done & over with completely. Sheesh!

    LOVE the widened pillowcase dress with the addition of double ruffles, too. That really takes it to a new level. I put a split hem in the back of the 2 pillowcase dresses I made for Ms. C. She still didn't wear them much & now I understand twirl factor!

    I'll be watching closely for your knit projects. I bought a TON from Sew Baby last year & have yet to start on them.

    Hugs & Here's to better days,

  12. I loved reading about your sewing time with your granddaughter. I visualized the two of you so happy and busy together. Very pretty dress by the way :-) I also love the blouse-I made one from that pattern also and found it a little overwhelming in green-I called it my seaweed blouse. Time for a more subdued color!

  13. The detail of sewing the flowers on the dress really charmed me. very pretty. and the blouse is lovely.
    Fall - don't say it ! I love summer and it arrived very slowly here in Northern California so I am enjoying every minute of it.

  14. Very cheerful and cute dress and a lovely top from your TNT pattern. Thanks for also sharing your delightful lilies!

  15. Oh dear, don't jump off a bridge! lol. REally nice summer blouse.

  16. You and I have similar tastes Bunny!
    Love your PC dress. Your time with your gd sounds like it was wonderful!!! I'm looking forward to doing the same some day. Just wait though, I'll have all gs's!!!
    I'm a sucker for DK patterns, and I've bought that very same pattern, even though I don't have anyone to make it for, and it's just a pillowcase dress. Something about it just spoke to me. So I added it to my collection.
    And I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the blouse. I wouldn't have ever noticed THAT pattern if I hadn't seen your version. Of course I love linen also!!! I'm adding it to my list for the next Simplicity pattern sale.

  17. Love, love, love the dress and blouse! Everything works so well and the extra width of the skirt is perfect.


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