Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Candy Corn pillowcase dress tutorial

A candy corn dress?  What could be cuter?  
I saw this adorable dress on Pinterest and was inspired to make one for my little girl.  
It turned out so well that I made some for a few friends.  I just finished my final order and decided to make a tutorial in case you want to make one.  

My daughter loved modeling this dress for me.
To achieve this cuteness, you need some fabric and some time.  This took me about 2 hours.  I don't like long projects so two hours is my max!  To begin, here are a few sizes and how much fabric you'll need for them.  

18-24 months - 18" wide
  • (2) White 8 1/2"
  • (2) Orange 6 1/2" 
  • (2) Yellow 6 1/2" 

2T - 19" wide
  • (2) White 9"
  • (2) Orange 7"
  • (2) Yellow 7"
3T - 19" wide
  • (2) White 10"
  • (2) Orange 7 1/2"
  • (2) Yellow 8"
For the tie, cut a 4" wide strip that is the length of the fabric (about 44")
You'll also need bias tape (tutorial here) for the arm holes.  Now for the dress!

Lay your fabric out and iron it.  

 Lay the orange fabric over the white and pin in place.  
Sew using a 1/4" seam and then cut with pinking shears (the best tool for people who don't have sergers!) or serge/zig zag stitch the seam.

Open up your fabric and make sure the seam is on the underside.  Lay the yellow fabric over the orange and pin.  You can do a quick fabric flip to make sure the seams will both be on the inside (see second picture).

Sew that seam with a 1/4" seam allowance and use pinking shears/zig zag stitch/serger to prevent fraying.

Repeat these steps for the other side of the dress and then lay the two sides together making sure the seams are on the outside.   Pull the sides of the dress up to make sure the seams are lined up and pin the dress together leaving some space between the pins and the edge. 

Now that everything is lined up and pinned together, make a mark 2 inches in from the side on the top of the dress. 
Lay the yardstick down so that it creates a diagonal line from the mark you make down the corner of the dress.  Trace the yardstick to make a line.
I made armhole templates based on other outfits.  I'm going to try to scan them for your use, but I don't know how to do that right now.  In the meantime, trace an armhole from a sleeveless dress and add a 1/4" to the side for a seam allowance.  Trace the armhole on to the dress. 

Sew down the side of the dress on the line you made, starting at the bottom of the armhole.  After you sew both sides, cut out the armhole and use your pinking shears to cut off the excess fabric on the sides.

It looks like a dress now!  We have a few final touches.  At this point, I like to finish the armholes using bias tape I make.  See tutorial here.  Pin one edge of the bias tape to the inside edge of the armhole and then sew.  

Flip the bias tape over and pin in place.  Sew it as well.  Repeat on the other side.

Use pinking shears on the top edges of the dress.  Flip the dress so the seams are on the outside and then fold the top edge over (about a cm).  Sew in place. 
Fold the top over again to make about an inch tube for the tie to go through.  Sew along the line you already sewed (in the previous step).  Repeat on the opposite side of the dress.
 Get the tie fabric and fold it in half.  Perhaps you should pin it, but I never do.  Sew along the entire edge of the tie and the bottom (make sure you leave one end open to flip it). Cut off the triangle on the corner so it will make a point when you flip it.

Flip the tie, iron it flat, and fold in the top edge.  I use seam tape and iron the tube closed so there won't be stitches on the end of the tie.  

With the seams still on the outside of the dress, we're ready to make the bottom hem.  Fold over about a cm of fabric and finger press down.  Fold that over again (so the raw edge will be enclosed) and pin in place.  Sew that up!


We're done with the dress!  The final step is to pull the tie through.  Use a safety pin in the corner of your tie and thread it through the channels we made.  

Now stand back and admire your work!  This dress was a custom order for a friend of mine.  She wanted the letter "m" for her niece.  It turned out pretty cute!  Please don't take this pattern and list your dresses on etsy.  It wouldn't be fair to the original creator, or me! 



  1. I bought fabric to make a candy corn pillowcase dress and sat down today to find a tutorial and found yours first...I just got done and the dress turned out perfect!! Thank you for posting!!

    1. I'm so glad you found my tutorial and that your dress turned out exactly how you wanted it. Thanks for letting me know!

  2. Ironically another Jenny leaving you a note to say how amazing your tutorial is and so easy to follow. I used it to make a "caterpillar" dress and linked over to your blog from my post. Thanks so much! Hope more people use your blog for inspiration.