Greetings gryphons! As everyone knows, those in the presence of gryphons are unable to tell a falsehood, and so I must admit that I was not 100% certain that I would like one of my recent projects: Kwik Sew 3610, the drawstring tank (AKA the pillowcase dress.) This is a super-simple beginner project that we’re offering as a class at Sewtropolis, and while I LOVE the potential for mixing fabrics, I wasn’t sold on the boxiness of the style or strap situation which didn’t seem to allow for the wearing of proper foundational garments. I have to a bit of surprise at how much I ended up liking the finished shirt!

Of course, part of the shirt-love is all about the fabric -e. Isn’t that the most awesome print in the history of prints (excluding polka-dots, of course!) Alright, moving on.

As I said, this is Kwik Sew 3610, a dress/tunic pattern similar to the pillowcase dresses that seem to be super popular for little girls and their dolls. Here’s a photo from the envelope.


[Kwik Sew 3610]

And in case you’re not up on shabby chic styles for the Amercian Girl doll set, here’s an adorable pillowcase dresses. I’m down with anything with so much potential for pattern mixing and rick rack usage.


[image from Etsy shop Creative Bee]

As you can see, this is pretty much two rectangles sewn together with some sort of casing and drawstring configuration, making it a great beginner project. The Kwik Sew version uses facings to finish the edges and create the drawstring channels. And it has a bow-at-the-shoulder and no-bow instructions.

So, great for beginners – learn about patterns and understitching and go home with a simple summer top. Of course, with the complete lack of shaping and odd strap configuration, leaving no coverage for straps, I really thought it’d look great on someone with a more lean, boyish figure than I possess (meaning, going braless is a viable option!) But when I actually put it ON and snapped a few photos I liked it way more than I anticipated! Even in its right-out-of-the box view! Here it is – untucked, unbelted and sans-sweater. It’s pretty cute after all!

Of course, that’s not my most favorite silhouette in the world. It’s a bit weebelow, after all. And good LORD, someone get me some sunglasses, my blindingly white legs are hurting my eyes!

But what REALLY struck me with the shirt was how well it worked when I tried it out with a few of my regular tricks… tucked, belted and sweatered. Look how nicely it pairs with a high waisted pencil skirt…

That’s a nice summer, look, isn’t it? The skirt gives me a waist, and the shirt has just enough blousiness to make everything look nice and balanced. When I threw a sweater on and fussed with the bow a bit to make a ‘corsage’ sort of look, I was doubly happy!

I’m digging the early 80’s corporate cravat look-meets-stewardess – meets tropicana look. I’d wear this to the office, if my office was something other than the sofa in the living room with a basset hound sleeping on it. I’d probably skip the necklace in real life, though. A bit too much going on in the neck area. Also, my fun grey flatforms are more orthopedic looking than normal in this getup.

Of course, as usual, my favorite version. Belt and short skirt. I tied the bow more towards the back. And, it doesn’t show a lot but with the non-sweater looks, I’d still prefer a strapless bra or one with either clear straps or lacy, bright, meant to be seen straps!

Seeing these pictures really struck me as to how even very simple projects can be made super cute by just adding a few accessories and wearing with the right garments. I’d NEVER try this as a dress. Well, maybe with a cute belt… But this could make an EXCELLENT second project in place of the ubiquitous pajama bottoms or apron and could jump right into a wardrobe!

OK, enough fun for the day. I’m off to the penury of quilting and burp cloths…

The last word – Kwik Sew 3610, drawstring tank


fabric: quilt weight cotton (Art Gallery from Sewtropolis)


pattern: Kwik Sew 3610

notions: thread, interfacing

time to complete: 30 minutes to cut, 60 minutes to sew, 30 minutes to mess with drawstring, 15 minutes to hem

likelihood to make another?: fairly low – it’s pretty unique! A great style for making a top from one of the super-cute printed cottons out there,though!

curvy girl score – 3. The lack of proper sleeves with coverage for straps PLUS the lack of any shaping make this one a tricky style. Totally cute if you use some adding-a-waistline tricks (belt, tucked) but will still need sweater coverage or special undergarments (strapless, clear straps) to not show off the intimates!

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