Mommy Moments; Easy No-Sew Pillowcase Dresses!

Posted on by Gina      9 Comments

I’ve always wanted to make a pillowcase dress. The concept makes sense, they’re cute, extremely inexpensive, and they seem very simple to make. Yet I held off making these when my daughter was little because I was intimidated by this little three letter word: SEW. Yeah, that word trips this super-mom wannabe up quite a bit (that and any recipe that contains more than five ingredients).



However, due to the rising temps of summer, and in need a great DIY topic for my Thrifty Thursday segment on Good Day Sacramento, I decided to throw caution to the wind and try my hand at a pillowcase dress, all the while crossing my fingers that there were some good tutorials I could find on either Pinterest or YouTube. I was in luck, because low and behold…I stumbled across a video demonstrating how to make a SEW-LESS pillowcase dress! Here’s the video (warning the composition is a bit bizarre, yet very informative):

Huh, if she did it in less than five minutes, surely I could do it in under an hour (insert nervous giggles)!

Here’s how I did mine, step by step:

Needed Supplies: Pillowcase, iron, scissors, measuring tape (optional), fabric chalk (optional), ribbon, permanent fabric adhesive, safety pin.

1. Get a cute pillowcase. I found mine at Thrift Town for around $0.69 each.

2. Measure how long you wish for the dress to be depending on the size of the child you are making it for.

3. Keep the open side of the pillow case as the bottom of the dress (it makes for a nice hem)

4. Cut/trim the non-open side of the pillow case to your desired length.

5. Fold the pillowcase in half length-wise.

6. Fold the corner of the unfinished side of the pillowcase into a triangle, iron so the crease is more pronounced, and cut along the triangle’s line. These will serve as the armholes.

7. Turn the pillowcase inside out, and line up the armholes. Your dress is starting to take shape!

8. Fold the top (not the finished side) of the fabric between the armholes about an inch to an inch and a half down and make a good crease with your iron.

9. Lay a strip of your fabric adhesive under the crease section you just created, and fold the creased fabric over the top of the adhesive. You will have an open channel, if you will, that will allow space for the ribbon to go through in order to make the tie-straps.

10. Repeat on the other side.

Here’s a video recap of the above to make steps to make sure you’re on track! This was filmed live on Good Day Sacramento’s Thrifty Thursday:

11. Cut two equal lengths of your desired ribbon. Take a safety pin and attach to the end of the first ribbon to help thread it through the fabric channel. Thread it through the fabric channel neckline. These will create the straps of the dress.

12. Repeat on the other side.

13. Tip; take a lighter and melt the edges of the ribbon to prevent them from fraying.

14. Turn the dress right side out, tie the straps together, and viola…you’ve got yourself a pillowcase dress, and you didn’t make one single stitch!

Here’s a recap of the last few steps from my Good Day Sacramento Thrifty Thursday segment:



Pillowcase dresses are great for hot summer days, play-date or crafting clothing. I attended a party where the host provided pillowcase dresses to all the kiddos to throw over their party clothes in order to protect them from cake stains. There are also many organizations who collect these dresses and ship them overseas to children in need. If I can do it, you can too! PS: I did mine in five minutes! Woo Hoo! Maybe I should make a sew-less supermom cape after all…


Gina Doglione-Nielsen is featured every week on Good Day Sacramento’s Thrifty Thursdays, and owns GNJ Consulting which handles Public, Social, and Media Relations for Thrift Town Stores. Gina lives in Northern California with her amazing husband Josh, and is constantly on the go with three “very active” and “strong personality” bambinos; aka Team Nielsen, and loves every minute of it.




  1. Thanks for posting this! I remembered watching this a while back, I can’t wait for your Thrifty Thursday segment each week on GDS! But I wanted to make a few of these for my niece’s bday coming up….so glad I found it on here. Thanks! Love your ideas.

    • Hi Coty!
      OMG, I am so sorry this just got routed to me after being released from my spam filter. Thank you so much for taking the time to read the blog and for watching our Thrift Thursday segments. You just made my day! I would love to see a photo of your completed project. Again, my sincerest apologies on just now getting this. Have a great day and happy thrifting!

  2. Cymthia Martinez

    Thank you so much for sharing! This looks simple enough! I want to make my daughters pillow case dresses but do not have hours to spend or a sewing machine to making them dresses! This is so super awesome!

    • These are super easy and fun to make! Good luck and thanks for checking out my blog!

  3. Fabulous and cute.

  4. I sure wish the video was still available! I know it has been a while since this was posted, but if you could do a new video for those of use who are “written instructions challenged” (also known as visual learners-lol!), it would be awesome!

  5. danielle

    The video says it is gone. Is there any way you could upload it again if you know of another link?