Sewing Machines & Pillowcases

It’s been a little while since my last blog entry and I’m not sure writing about a pillowcase is a good reintroduction, but that’s what this is!

I’ve been a flub sewer for too long and have been wanting to take a lesson or two to get acclimated on a machine. The last sewing machine I owned was the Cabbage Patch edition circa the mid 1980’s. I seem to remember making lots of bedspreads and dresses for my dolls, the simple kind of dress with two arm cutouts and another for the head. I found this Etsy image of one that has since sold:


Last week a friend gave me a Groupon for a local sewing class and it did wonders for helping me to be less intimidated by bobbins and foot pedals (Koffa Design Group is an excellent place for beginners if you’re in the Pasadena area).


I took my knowledge home and thought back to those dolly dresses – I knew I had to start simple. I asked my hubs pick up a few vintage pillowcases on the cheap at his estate sale hunts this weekend. He came back with a sorted selection and I set to work using my Grandma’s 1966 Kenmore machine.

After threading the needle and getting the bobbin case in properly (not easy for beginners, guys!), I picked out a floral pillowcase that had a few rips, but luckily they were along the seams.


I cut the enclosed top of the case off and that became my new neckline.


The top strip was easy to separate along its stitching and by cutting it in half they became the dress’s should straps.



I hemmed the straps on either side for straight(er) edges and I tried the case on for further measurements. It was a couple dress sizes too big, so I took one side of the case in several inches down until it hit at about the hip bone. Then I gathered the top portion to make a little pleat and added a vintage yellow button to make it look like it’s supposed to do that.


Then I sewed on the straps, fixed the ripped yellow panel and it became my swimsuit cover up dress for the day!


All in all the dress cost me less than 25 cents and only drew out a few swear words. It took me a couple of hours, but that included taking a screwdriver to the machine to get rid of a thread-jam behind the bobbin case. The dress fits pretty well, but when I asked my husband what he thought of it he said, “uh, it looks like you’re wearing a pillowcase for a dress.” Haha, okay, so maybe a different pattern and cut will help out in the future, but it’s not too bad for my first attempt at sewing something on a machine!


One thought on “Sewing Machines & Pillowcases

  1. This is why I love you, because you look freakin cute even in a pillow case! It’s a great idea! I might even be able to pull that off 🙂
    love love love of pillow cases and potato sacks

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