Star Spangled Tutorial

That's right a Tutorial! :) Bet you didn't think that you'd find that here on HTB but SURPRISE! And it's just in time for your 4Th of July celebration!

PATRIOTIC PILLOWCASE DRESSAnneliese of Aesthetic Nest has submitted this fab tutorial to HTB for those of you out there who love to sew and are looking for something that is simply, easy & breezy! And I promise... you still have time to whip up one or two before your festivities!
Here's what you will need:
{Supplies for one dress size 2 and 4 with & without ruffle}
  • 1 Bar Harbor Scarf panel {or fabric of your choice 23" x 44"}
  • 1 package seam binding in off white or oyster
  • 1/2 yard red cotton fabric for ruffle & tie {54" or wider}
  • Off white or oyster thread and red thread

Start with a Bar Harbor Anchor Scarf panel {these measure 23" x 44"}. This includes a set of two "scarves" and will serve as the front and back of the dress. Trim the selvage so the pattern is centered on the fabric.

Next you will need to cut out the arm holes. Do this by holding the panel {the 2 "scarves"} in half lengthwise so you can cut perfectly symmetrical arm holes. For a size 4 you need to cut down 6 inches from the top of the fabric and 2 inches from the sides {round the corner as shown in the chalk markings below}. For size 2 cut down 4 inches from the top and 2 inches from the side again rounding the corner.
Next use french seams to join the front and back "scarves" by first pinning and seaming the pieces with WRONG sides together {Anneliese stitches this first seam with the fabric aligned with the edge of her sewing foot}, then pressing the seam to one side, turn the garment inside out and seam RIGHT sides together. The second seam should be slightly wider than the first so you encase the first seam inside it. {You'll want to seam the folded edge of this panel just as you do the raw/cut edge to keep the dress symmetrical}
{Both Annelise and I love french seams because the produce such a nicely finished garment ~No need to zigzag or serge the seam allowances on the inside}
No use the seam binding to finish the armholes. do this by opening out the fold and lining up the edge of the seam binding with the edge of the fabric, RIGHT sides together. Pin carefully, especially around the curve, to avoid puckering and pleating in the fabric. Stitch in the fold line of the seam binding. Trim seam and fold seam binding to the inside or WRONG side of the dress. Again, pin carefully and top stitch on the right side of the arm hole ~ being careful to catch both halves of the seam binding.
Next is the casing at the neck for the ties:
Fold down 1/4" from the top of the front and back sides of the dress and stitch a small hem. Then fold the tops down 1 and 1/2 " and stitch in place to form the casing in the front and back.
You can now hem the bottom of the dress by folding under the fabric 1/4" twice and top stitching. {Cut off about 1 & 1/2" from the bottom first before hemming to shorten for the smaller size}
Here it is.... Your finished pillow case dress!

{You could now use ribbon to cinch the neck and form the ties, but Annelise loves the look of a wider fabric tie.}
To make the tie and ruffle, cut strips the width of your 54" cotton fabric: 2 six inch strips for the ruffle and 1 four inch strip for the tie. Cut with the fabric folded {selvage or rough cut edges together. Note: you may use 45" wide fabric but the ruffle won't be as full and you will need to measure your child. To measure use a piece of ribbon in place of the tie perhaps and see if you need to cut an extra strip to lengthen the tie}
Hem the edges of the tie by folding under twice as narrowly as possible. {aiming or 1/4 : or less}. To save time, fold under twice and stitch as you go. {or you can certainly fold once, pin and stitch and then do it again}. Finish the ends similarly. You can miter the corners if you like. The tie is now ready to thread through the casing. A large safety pin as a guide is helpful.
To make the ruffle, sew the 2 six inch strips of fabric RIGHT sides together on the short ends to form a ring. Press and finish the seams with a zigzag stitch or serger. Now hem the bottom edge by folding under 1/4" twice and top stitching {similar to the finishing of the tie}. Then finish the top edge with a zigzag stitch or serger and you're ready for the gathering.
The easiest way to gather a long piece of fabric such as this is to use the zigzag - dental floss method. Do this by laying the dental floss under the middle of your sewing foot and sewing over it with a WIDE, LONG zigzag as shown below:
This will allow you to pull the dental floss through the zigzag stitching to gather the fabric. It works really well, no risk of broken thread, and it gathers more evenly.

Because the dress is already hemmed, pin the RIGHT side of the ruffle to the WRONG side of the bottom edge of the dress {so you are pinning the ruffle inside the dress as it will look when it's finished}. Match side seams and centers of front and back and pull the dental floss to gather evening around. Pin carefully then top stitch on the RIGHT side of the hemmed edge of the dress. And the ruffle is attached!
If you haven't already done so, thread the tie through the casing at the top of the dress and voila! IT'S FINISHED!
Thank you so much to Anneliese for this fantastic tutorial and dress!
For larger photographs on this dress and other great ideas be sure to hop over to


  1. Nicole, this is too, too cute! Love this. This woman is genius and her model is adorbale. Love it. Wha'ts COOKING with you? Hmmmm?

  2. so so so so so so so so so cute. C U T E!

  3. That is cutest dress ever! I must have one! Perfect for summer!


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