Make Your Own Backless Evening Dress

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Published: 27th June 2012
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There are times when being small-busted is a great blessing--especially if you want a backless dress, but don't want to wear a bra with it. One way to do this is to create a halter top with a fitted skirt. You can install some darts in the skirt and a zipper for maximum fit. The top will fasten with hooks and eyes at the back of the neck. Remember, double-stick tape is always your friend when you wear this sort of dress.

Make the Pattern and Fit it to Your Body

Take bust, waist and hip measurements. Measure the length of the skirt from the waist. Measure from the side seam at the waist across the midriff to the other side seam for the base of the halter.

Measure in a triangle from the side of the waist up around to the top of the shoulder and from the other side of the waist to the same spot on the shoulder. Add another 2 inches to the back of the neck where it will fasten. This is half of the halter top.

Take the hip measurement and the length from hip to where you want the dress to end. Add an inch or two of ease to the pattern for the hips. This is the simple rectangle of the skirt.

Cut the pattern from dressmaker's paper and then transfer it to muslin to shape the garment and get the correct drape. This is a cloth mock-up that will help you to understand the perfect fit of a garment. It will also be a permanent pattern for other skirts and halter tops. Start with the skirt. Cut it into a rectangle shape to fit the hip measurements. Pin the seams loosely and try it on. Use pins to form darts over the center of each hip and at the same place in the front. There must be enough ease to sit. The waist will have a -inch hem at the back.

Cut the two pieces of muslin halter tops and pin it at the side seams. Criss cross the two sides. Ease over the bust and pin together at the back of the neck, adjusting the fit. There will be extra fullness in the material across the bosom. Pleat the fullness at the waist so that it pulls the material enough to fit snugly across the bosom. Mark on the muslin how much material you needed to ease for fit.

Mark the darts and bust accommodations on the muslin pattern, lay out the pattern on the satin and cut. Be sure to make four halter pieces so it can be lined with the same fabric. Follow all of the marked guides on the muslin.

Make the Evening Dress

Sew the back seam of the skirt. Make a long running stitch down the first 12 inches to accommodate the zipper, and then finish with a regular stitch, leaving 4 inches open at the bottom for more ease when you walk. Install the zipper according the package instructions. Stitch the darts and then the side seams.

Make the soft darts in both the liner and the outside on both halter pieces. Stitch each halter around, leaving the waist side open. Turn and lightly steam. Pin the halter to the waist, right sides together so that they cross over each other. Adjust the fit and seam. Hand stitch the liner to the waist.

Finish the garment by stitching down the back waist seam, adding hooks and eyes to the back of the neck and then turning up the hem and hand stitching it in place. If the bust gaps a little bit at the front or sides, use double-stick tape to adhere it to your skin for a no-peek ease of mind.

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