Pillowcase Nightie Tutorial

Upcyling standard pillowcases into dresses and nightgowns

As promised, here is the simple pillowcase nightie tutorial I use to make my daughters’ nightgowns each year. Keep an eye out for sweet pillowcases when you are out thrifting, but don’t use the ones that are starting to tear from age. I always check the corner seams for signs of deterioration.

Upcyling standard pillowcases into dresses and nightgowns

The ones with pretty edges are my favorites.

Upcyling standard pillowcases into dresses and nightgowns

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Upcyling standard pillowcases into dresses and nightgowns

One of our sweetest Christmas traditions is a pillowcase nightie in each of the girls’ stockings.

Hopefully, you will find them easy to make and you will have as much fun with this tradition as we have.

They only cost a few dollars and take 20-30 mins to sew, making them a fabulous gift idea for any little sweet hearts in your life.

Enjoy!

Upcyling standard pillowcases into dresses and nightgowns

Supplies

Tutorial

 

1) Fold the pillowcase in half lengthwise.

Upcyling standard pillowcases into dresses and nightgowns

2) Start cutting 2 inches down from the top edge on the fold and cut an arch up to the corners of the pillowcase. Then measure down 5 inches from the corners and cut arm holes. You don’t need a pattern, just cut two arches out.

Upcyling standard pillowcases into dresses and nightgowns

3) Open up the pillowcase and mark the center of the top layer with a pin.

Upcyling standard pillowcases into dresses and nightgowns

4) Fold back and forth to create pleats, no pattern, just make three and get the whole set centered. You are making the neckline, be sure to keep the raw edges in a straight line. You are going to wrap ribbon around them and you don’t want any edges hanging out.

I like to make my necklines about 8 inches across.

Upcyling standard pillowcases into dresses and nightgowns

5) Cut a piece of ribbon the same length as the neckline.

Upcyling standard pillowcases into dresses and nightgowns

6) Iron it in half, satin side out.

Upcyling standard pillowcases into dresses and nightgowns

7)Pin the ribbon along the neckline, catching the raw edges inside the fold. Use your smallest pins so you don’t snag the satin. (I apologize for such a blurry photo.)

Upcyling standard pillowcases into dresses and nightgowns

8) Stitch in place, remove all the pins and trim any extra ribbon at the shoulders. Double check to make sure you got all the raw edges tucked inside the ribbon.

Repeat on the back neckline.

9) Cut 1 yard of ribbon for each armhole, iron the middle section in half like you did for the neckline.  Leave about 1 foot on either end that is not ironed.

10) Find the center of the ribbon and pin it to the seam in the arm hole.

Upcyling standard pillowcases into dresses and nightgowns

11) Finish pinning the ribbon up around both sides.

Upcyling standard pillowcases into dresses and nightgowns

12) Stitch ribbon in place around armhole. And repeat for other armhole.

13) Iron all the ribbons and pillowcase.

14) Trim the ribbon ends on an angle, and apply Fray Check.

Upcyling standard pillowcases into dresses and nightgowns

Upcyling standard pillowcases into dresses and nightgowns

Upcyling standard pillowcases into dresses and nightgowns

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I was secretly planning to put this in her stocking,

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but while we were taking pictures, she asked if she could have it.

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I figured it could be her payment for modeling and

she skipped off into the sunset in her “non-Christmas present” pillowcase nightie.

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Here is another neckline I have been wanting to try.

Upcyling standard pillowcases

Source

And if you find a set of pillowcases this would be sweet,

night gown on top and pajama pants on bottom,

using the second pillowcase.

Upcyling standard pillowcases

Source

For more ideas on how to up-cycle your thrifted finds see

10 Ways to Repurpose Vintage Linens

Sharing at these parties!

 

 

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26 Comments

  1. September 18, 2016 / 6:13 PM

    These looks so beautiful and it such a sweet tradition to gift them to Christmas each year. I wish I knew how to sew to make one for my little niece. Thank you so much for sharing this!

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      September 22, 2016 / 8:13 AM

      This is a pretty good project to start with if you have access to a sewing machine and some Youtube videos. But, I wouldn’t expect it to take 20 mins, if you haven’t used a sewing machine until now. Let me know if you try it!

  2. Vanessa
    September 19, 2016 / 11:16 AM

    These are so sweet. I am going to make some for my babies (24 & 19) I think they will love them and look very cute in them. Thanks for this post!!!!

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      September 22, 2016 / 8:10 AM

      Are you girls 24 months and 19 months? Toddlers look completely darling in these little nighties/ dresses.

  3. Patti
    September 19, 2016 / 11:23 AM

    They are so cute! How do you go about cleaning these items prior to making them. Yes I am a germaphobe.

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      September 19, 2016 / 11:30 AM

      I just wash the pillowcases. Washing machines are very effective, in my opinion. But, you could wash them on “sanitize” if it makes you feel better.

  4. September 19, 2016 / 11:26 AM

    I was gonna say such sweet little gowns. But then I saw the pics of your daughter. Oh my goodness. Pure sweetness. Love the chicken girl!
    Thanks for sharing. Very fun.

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      September 22, 2016 / 8:09 AM

      What a nice thing to say, I will tell her you said so.

  5. Meg
    September 19, 2016 / 11:46 AM

    These are precious little gowns! Thank you for sharing!!

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      September 22, 2016 / 8:08 AM

      You bet, Meg, thanks for stopping by!

  6. Tanya Hulbert
    September 19, 2016 / 3:31 PM

    Ava has wanted one for awhile. I need to attempt. Thank you for this tutorial.

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      September 22, 2016 / 8:07 AM

      I can’t wait to see what you design!

  7. Tammy
    September 19, 2016 / 5:11 PM

    I just searched out finding a sewing class in my area. I have been wanting to learn and already have a sewing machine. I love these sweet pillow case gowns. Your version with the pleats are so gorgeous and sweet. Thank you for inspiring me to learn to sew! It’s something I have wanted to do for a long time. Seeing this project was the icing on the cake!

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      September 22, 2016 / 8:07 AM

      OH my goodness, you don’t know how happy that makes me. I love that you are taking a class on sewing! And thank you for your sweet compliments.

  8. September 25, 2016 / 3:48 PM

    Darling!! So cute!

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      October 2, 2016 / 2:00 PM

      Oh my goodness! What a sweet thing to say.

  9. September 26, 2016 / 3:13 AM

    Thanks so much for posting this. I just love these.

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      October 2, 2016 / 2:01 PM

      Oh, you are so welcome, I am glad you like them!
      xoxo

  10. September 26, 2016 / 5:30 PM

    These are just so adorable and precious.

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      October 2, 2016 / 2:02 PM

      Oh, Mary, thank you so much, you sound like such a kindred spirit.

  11. Linda
    September 27, 2016 / 7:08 AM

    Pillowcase nightgowns – lovely! Excellent instructions! Thanks for sharing!

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      October 2, 2016 / 2:03 PM

      Oh good, I hope I was clear, email me if you have questions!

  12. Shirley
    September 27, 2016 / 9:21 AM

    Some friends of ours have a ministry that has schools in poor areas of Nicaragua & Mexico. They have women from all over the US making dresses similar to yours out of new pillowcases. Children in these areas don’t have much, so the little girls are delighted to get a pillowcase dress of their own. They love them. It’s an inexpensive but darling gift and a great way to bless the young girls. Great idea!!

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      October 2, 2016 / 2:04 PM

      Oh my goodness, I totally forgot about that till you mentioned it. But, my daughter and I made a whole bunch of these a couple of years ago and sent them to Africa. It was for a ministry that does just pillowcase dresses, how sweet is that? I love you found another group doing this.

  13. September 27, 2016 / 3:33 PM

    That is THE MOST adorable little girls nightie! I’m going to share it on my FB page, it’s too cute not to share. Thanks for linking up with us at the DI & DI Link party, so glad to see you each week.

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      October 2, 2016 / 2:05 PM

      Thank you, Christine! You are always so supportive and encouraging.
      xoxo

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