Tutorial ~ Elastic Neckline Pillowcase Dress

by Destri on April 5, 2012

Elastic Neckline Pillowcse Dress Tutorial

Okay friends, I’m almost finished with The Fat Quarter Pillowcase Dress Collection, then I promise to lay low on the whole subject!  Today I have an option that replaces the sash or tie in the casing with elastic, making it nice and easy to pop over little heads. This is a safer version for babies, and a great option for toddlers that just won’t leave the sash alone.  I made this dress in a size 3-6 month, isn’t it sweet?  You can still replicate a large sash and bow for a dramatic look, or keep it simple like I did here.  Again, this goes along with the original tutorial, and you can use the Sizing Chart for size 3mo to 6T.  Catch me after the jump for all the details!

Elastic Neckline Pillowcase Dress Tutorial

This tutorial is part of the Fat Quarter Pillowcase Dress Collection.  You can find the free Sizing Chart here to determine the fabric cuts you will need and the full pattern and tutorial here.  You can use the print button at the bottom of each post to delete text and images you don’t need to save on ink when printing.


  • Dress made up to the point of the casing complete
  • 1/2″ elastic – like soft braided
  • pins
  • large safety pin
  • all your sewing stuff

Elastic Cuts:

  • 3-12 month – 3½ inches
  • 18 month-2t – 4 inches
  • 3T-4T – 4½ inches
  • 5T – 5 inches
  • 6t – 5 ½ inches

*I edited the elastic measurements on 4/22/12 – You can also measure the chest of the child you are making the dress for, but these measurements are pretty universal.

Take the safety pin and attach to the end of the elastic. Pull through the casing to the point that the end of the elastic is just inside (about 1/4) in the casing and pin the end to hold in place.

Then gather up the casing until you have the safety pin out.  Remove the safety pin and carefully pull on the casing until the elastic is positioned just inside the casing and pin.  Repeat on the opposite side.

You will want about a 1/4″ left at each end so you can sew the straps in.

Now stitch right along the seam of the panel if you can to secure the elastic. I had to move my pins over a little.

You can see that the stitch is right along the seam.  Repeat on the opposite side.


For the straps I am using 1/2 inch double fold bias tape that I stitched up the side.  You want to cut it to be the length of the armhole, like it would fit right in side if lined up.  Note that you do not want these too long, or the arm holes will be too big.

If you find that the straps are too long once on the child – I would just tack them in the back, that way you can let them out and it can grow with the girl.

Now tuck one end into the one side of the casing, and one on the opposite.  Sew right along the stitch line of the armhole to hide the stitch. Repeat on the other side.

You could be finished at this point, or you can add a bow:

To make a bow like I made,  I used the same bias tape stitched up the side.  You will need a needle and thread.

Take a long enough piece to make the size of bow you want, and bring the ends together along the back and overlap. Then secure the ends with a needle and thread.

Now take another piece, and fold so that it creates a V, and sew to the back.

Take a third piece and tie a knot in the center – or you can leave it straight.

Pinch the ends around the center of the bow so the knot is in the front. Sew where you are pinching close to the bow with needle and thread.  Make sure it is on there good and tight!  Leaving the ends on the center piece, sew it onto the dress where you want it and then trim the ends when finished.

And there you have it! Easy.

Like I said, I really like this idea for babies as the longer sash can pose a safety issue.  I made this dress in a 3-6 month size, and it goes great with a matching diaper cover.  The dress can then be worn as a top I would say up to 12 month so you can get a lot of wear out of it.

Another great option for little ones, is the Back Tie Pillowcase Dress version as it keeps the bow from little fingers that might tug on it.  You can also tie it in the front for a fun look.

I bought this fabric at Hobby Lobby off the bolt, not in fat quarters.  It is super soft and has a great drape.  All you need is a 1/4 yard of each fabric!

If you have any questions leave them in the comments and I will be happy to answer them there.

Happy sewing and thanks for reading!


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