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Pillowcase dresses

July 21, 2009

I have discovered something new that is old.  Have you ever heard of pillowcase dresses? 

Evidently, (you are about to get a mini history lesson- if you are not interested, skip to the next paragraph.  I realize some of us have shorter attention spans than others…) these dresses were created out of flour sacks and old pillowcases for girls to wear when time and money were in short supply.  Basically, you start with a rectangle sack/pillowcase and cut the closed end off, add J shaped arm holes from the open top and then roll the top down around a ribbon so you could shorten or lengthen as needed.  That was a really bad explanation.  I am sorry.  Maybe we should just skip to the pictures…

Of course, in this day and age, a simple pillowcase dress has evolved to be anything from a more “original” styled pillowcase dress, to one made out of fabric yardage, to embroidered pieces of art.   I am hoping to make one that is recognizable as a piece of clothing.  Snicker if you must.  I did take home ec when I was in 9th grade.  I even sewed a dress and a pair of shorts.  Now the pockets on the shorts were mistakenly put in the front and back seams instead of the side seams, but I’m sure it was just a poorly written pattern.  And there are no pockets on a pillowcase dress.  So I should be just fine.

I had the sewing machine, I had friendly internet tutorials to guide me, but I still needed fabric.  Now, I know a lot of you probably enjoy shopping for just about anything.  For the most part, so do I.  However, add in a two year old boy and a four year old OPINIONATED girl child, and were talking spending time in the lower regions of hell.  I am not swearing, I am just telling it like it is.  My first secondbiggest mistake was asking the girl child which fabric she liked that we could make a dress out of.  My girl likes her some bling.  She picked out any and everything that was sparkly, shiny, or shimmery.  “Oh, momma!  Look at that!  Isn’t it beautiful?”  I kept trying to guide her to some adorable fabrics like the ones I had seen on the internet.  With the little girls collecting flowers, blowing bubbles, and looking oh so very sweet.  But no.  My daughter wanted sparkles.  We ended up with some green and white polka dot fabric with pastel cupcakes on it.  And it had glitter.  Oh my heavens.  What am I going to do with this child?  Anywhoo- we headed home were I have measured and cut and sewed and ripped out seams and resewn.  And now, I am almost done.  So.  Tomorrow.  I will have a picture of a pillowcase dress that I made with my own two little hands.  And some tears.  And a few muttered words that shouldn’t be repeated.  Because they aren’t nice.  And don’t fit in at ALL with the image of peace and tranquility promised by the internet with all their enticing pictures of girls in pillowcase dresses.

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