The 3 Pillowcase Dress

I’ve been playing around with the Burda 3477 pattern. The design of this pattern is for three panels to the front, and four at the back (with a zip in the centre back). On the pattern is a mark line where the length/fit can be adjusted.  I used this marker point to cut the pattern into two, providing separate bodice and skirt sections. This dress is very simple to make, and by not always using the same fabric for all the sections offers easy variations for your wardrobe.

I had three bright pink pillowcases (I think originally Ikea), and I have picked up similar pillowcases from Emmaus for just 50p each. Pillowcases cut easily into long strips of fabric. For a pattern like this where the pattern pieces are narrow, they fit easily onto the pillowcase lengths.

3pillowcase dress

With the pink pillowcase dress I added a band of plain pink fabric to provide detailing at the waist. I also left this dress unlined, so it’s super cool for the summer, though it does have facings to the armhole and neck sections.

I then went on to experiment with the pattern as you can see in the other photographs. The dresses using brown fabrics all have lined bodices, so there was no need to make facings, making for a much neater finish.

The Buzz Lightyear dress was great fun to make. Originally a duvet with the single Buzz motif on the centre, I carefully aligned the pattern pieces to make the most of retaining that image. The pieces have also been kept whole, not divided into bodice and skirt. This time I added tiny cap sleeves (the pattern piece taken from another pattern, though it would have been easy enough to draft one up). I love the bold colours of the finished dress! I still have the reverse of the duvet, with a star and rocket design to work with on another project.

Last week I picked up a lightweight skirt with an oriental pattern for just £3.50 at Emmaus because I liked the design (it’s not as pink as it looks in the photograph below, honest!). The skirt itself was too small for me to wear comfortably. Combined with some plain red sheeting I took out my Burda 3477 pattern once more to see how it might work.

oriental dress

I cut the waistband away from the original skirt, which also had narrow band a few inches above the hem, then laid the fabric out as one piece . There wasn’t enough patterned fabric for the whole dress, but there was, with some joining of pieces for the main front, and back panels. But it did mean retaining the ‘hem’ band, which now is a feature on the right hand back panel. To emphasise this further I sewed on three pearly buttons with red thread. I also retained the original lining of the skirt and have used it behind the patterned pieces to give a little more weight to the garment, and in doing so it also meant that the zip was neatly closed in!

There was little fabric left after cutting the main sections but just enough to cut a narrow binding strip for the cap sleeves, and a narrow trim for the hem of the new dress. The dress could have been sewn much tighter on the sides, but as this is for summer I didn’t want to feel too restricted so opted for a slightly fuller cut. I’ve also added a slit on the centre back seam for ease of movement. I’ve been wanting to make a red dress for ages, and this one fits the bill nicely!


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