Never discount the simple sheet, tablecloths, curtains and fine linens for dresses. In 2009 I made a series of dresses from sheets and tablecloths to prove I did not have to spend big money to make beautiful things. Today all of those dresses have sold.

Sheets are great to practice and play designer with. Unless you tell others, or someone owned that particular sheet, most times people will never know. This was also a wonderful way to practice matching plaid print in this case.

I found this girly sheet at my local thrift store for under $2 and was gifted the pattern from one of our local swaps.

I hacked this 1980s McCall’s pattern to make my plaid print match up by making less seams. The easiest part was the skirt of the dress. I made that skirt piece into one solid piece so that I only needed to match up the center back panel.

Unfortunately, matching up the bodice plaid print was almost a joke! The pattern said not suitable for plaids for a good reason. Trying any ways I cut out one piece at a time and marked where the 5/8 seam allowance would be with a water soluble marker. I used that one cut piece to match and cut out the piece it connected to. Good tip, pin it to where it’s going to connect at this time so not to get confused. I omitted the center front seam and 2 seams in the back because they had no purpose. I taped those tissue paper pattern pieces together at the seam allowance to make them one piece, making less seams for me to match again.

I got the outside matched as close as possible and then I needed to match the lining together too, because the sheet material was slightly see through. The lining’s florals could be seen from the outside if not exactly matched. This doubled my time although the challenge was a great learning experience. I used the sleeves lining pattern piece because I didn’t want puffy sleeves.


Before I stitch the dress together I like to pin it to the form and make sure there is nothing major I am missing. Missing pieces happen and this also helps me understand the construction better,

Above is the center back match up and applying the invisible zip. It’s not perfect but who cares, right, it’s a sheet?

Behind the scenes~

My first handmade shirt my mom helped me make was out of her yellow tablecloth someone spilt coffee on. Hilariously, she bought the same yellow tablecloth and everyone knew exactly where my shirt came from. It helped me build character in getting over myself.

Here is another dress I made in 2009 out of a sheet.


Thank you for reading!

Tracy McElfresh

Dream it! Sew it!