Monday, April 27, 2009

The Un-Pillowcase Dress

When you live on an island, birthday parties can present a bit of a challenge. Since I work full time, I can usually only get off the island on weekends and that makes getting gifts difficult. It's not like I can run out to the store after dinner or on my way home from work. The closest Wal-Mart is a 45 minute boat ride and then an hour drive. If you want Target, it is more like a two hour drive. But, I am thrilled that a Meijer is opening in a couple of weeks - and it will only be an hour away! I love Meijer. Sorry, I'm going off on a tangent aren't it. Anyway...

Recently we got a party invitation just a few days before the party, and I wasn't able to got off the island to purchase a gift in time. If I hadn't been able to sew, I would have been in a bit of a pickle. Luckily I was able to make this the day before the party:
(Remember this in Northern Michigan. Wearing this dress without a shirt and quite possibly tights probably won't happen. At least not before August.)

I thought S and K's little friend, M, might appreciate something pink and bubbly instead of a vintage pillowcase, so I serged up a pillowcase-shaped tube and went from there. I am especially proud of my homemade bias tape. I bought myself a bias tape maker a few months ago and I was itching to try it out; it worked perfectly! Though I did find this tutorial on how to avoid using one. Now why didn't I think of that?

The best part of these little pillowcase dresses is they they are adjustable. I purposefully made it a bit long, so hopefully M will get at least two years use out of it. She thought it was a princess dress for her dress-up box, and if that makes her happy - I'm happy.

20 comments:

kate said...

Love the fabric and the dress!!

I agree, being able to sew (and knit for me) has saved many a birthday gift. Especially when they are young, but even now we always include something hand-made as an element of the gift.

Manoute said...

the fabric and the dress are fab!
Hand made gifts are the best :o)

Kathie said...

this is adorable
bet she starts wearing the dress out and not just for dress up.
never thought about gifts and all, ah yes guess you will have to stock up on a few neutral gifts for parties as your children get older.
I used to make doll quilts and clothes for the American Girl dolls, big hit with my girls friends.
they loved getting the dresses I made for their dolls
that was good for a few years.
Their friends used to request colors for the dresses
one year I made all their friends library tote bags and we put a book in it..
loved making home made gifts for their friends,i it was fun and they apprecaited them.
Kathie
Kathie

Maggie said...

Adorable! I still have a handmade birthday gift from when I was a kid-- there's just something extra special about a handmade gift.

Allie said...

That's darling!

Sam said...

Love the dress. :-)

Can't imagine just being able to "rustle-up" something like that. One day... lol

denice said...

Cuuuute!

LaughingFamily said...

Adorable! Nice work & congrats on giving a gift that serves a purpose, rather than just more "stuff."

Lisa @ Life with 4! said...

That is adorable! I made a pillowcase shirt for my oldest daughter a few months ago. It turned out OK, not great. I want to try some more and improve on that first one.
They can be so cheap when you get the pillowcases at thrift stores! And like you said, with a little shirt under it, it can be worn year round.

Molly said...

Lovely dress, Great choice of fabric. I just ordered a bias tape maker recently. My friend Lynda says she couldn't live without it. So I had to get one. I have some place mats waiting to be trimmed.

Different Dog said...

Your gift is amazing. That's what birthday gifts should be, not all that plasticky rubbishy stuff that no one keeps forever. I wish I lived on an island. It's on my wish list.
You're doing an awesome job!

cinnamongirl93 said...

Fantastic! I love the dress. I'm sure your daughter will be the bell of the ball!

Simply Stork said...

I agree...that fabric is fab! The dress turned out so cute :o)

what a great idea!

~simply~

peaceliving said...

What a cute little gift. I bet not having access to the usual quick stop stores keeps you from overpurchasing. I think that would be a benefit.

Marcia said...

Very cute! What little girl could resist that?

Ann said...

Lovely dress with great choice of fabric!! What a nice idea!!

Christy said...

Really cute Liz! It's only a 20 minute drive to Target for me, but I still prefer homemade gifts. Nathan gets a kick out of giving gifts that I've made for his friends. Crayon rolls and tote bags are very popular with his friends.

Betts said...

You should make up a bunch of those and sell them on etsy. They're so cute!

Amy Jo said...

Love the fabric. I made a purse out of that same pattern, but in blues. That dress is adoreable.

Clever Karen said...

What a great blog! So much to explore here! I love this top. I'm heading to your lovely island in July so this is giving me a great preview!