Self Drafted Cut-out dress

Self Drafted Back Cut-out dress

I feel like I’ve been slacking a bit with this blog the past couple weeks. Sorry peeps! But I’ve been busy with other stuff – painting my house, building nightstands, cleaning up post Christmas and sewing!

Self Drafted Back Cut-out dress

This is my first draft of a dress that you may have seen my sketch for. It needs some tweaks but other than that it’s not so bad for a first try.

Self Drafted Back Cut-out dress

Let’s talk features! This dress has:

  • a boat neck
  • angled side parts
  • short sleeves with a notch on the side
  • a side invisible zip
  • a 6 panel gored skirt that basically makes a half-circle skirt
  • a cut-out in the back with a button placket (non functional) holding the two back sides together
  • grosgrain ribbon to stabilize the back waist
  • bra-strap holders at the shoulders
  • and it’s fully lined!

Self Drafted Back Cut-out dress

Overall it fits great but the back needs adjusting, which I’m not surprised with, it’s the most detailed part of the dress. I was making the back cut out to be just high enough that I can wear a regular bra under it. As it is right now the highest part of the cutout comes right below the back of my bra so I’ll need to adjust by making that part lower and making the button placket a little longer.

Also since there are no darts in the back the lower back at the sides gaped so I adjusted by shaving off a bit from the sides of the back pieces. I’ll transfer that adjustment back to my pattern, too.

Self Drafted Back Cut-out dress

All in all I’m going to make the back cutout smaller. It’s one of those things where you can’t tell if you like it until you try it, ya know? In this case I think less is more but you get the idea of how it will look in later versions.

I think I’ll also make the neckline a little less wide.

Self Drafted Back Cut-out dress

Sorry about the kind of crappy pics. It’s cold-ish outside so I settled for indoor pics and I realized I should have ironed the dress a little bit. I even noticed one thing I hadn’t seen before taking pics – this is a yarn dyed ikat so it natually has some variation in it. It seems that I cut out my bodice pieces with a darker area running horizontally right across my bust and mid back. Hmm, kind of annoying. Oh well, it’s just a trial dress anyway!

So what do you think? Should I add any more changes other than the adjustments I’m already going to make? I already bought the fabric I’m going to use for the 2nd draft!

  • OMG, I love this dress! I have a shop-bought one that’s almost identical, but I’ve been wanting to copy it for ages! Any chance you’ll be releasing and selling this as a pattern? ;o)

    I don’t think you need any more adjustments, as it looks very close to perfect now!

    • thanks marie! i do have intentions to make a pattern for it. i’m working on a couple right now.

    • Yeahhhhh it’s so amazing

    • Yessssss! That’s so exciting…I’d be willing to pay good money for a pattern like this ;o)

  • So cute!! I love the cut out and the fabric. And the sleeves. (Basically the whole thing.)

  • I would love to make this! Please release it as a pattern!!

  • Looks good. I love the print choice.
    How does the side zip work with sleeves? I’m only familiar with how to put them in sleeveless dresses.

    • the top of the zipper doesn’t reach all the way to the armhole (or down to the hem, either). it stops short about 2 inches below the armhole. i’m sure there are big four patterns that have side zips but i know the colette macaron dress has a side zip.

  • Where did you get that fabric? I love it!

    • i bought it locally and the store is out. not sure what brand/company makes it. 🙁 I really like it and I wish I had more!

  • Very pretty! I like the shape of the cutout and the vee in the back. I’d love to be able to wear this style of dress but I’m not sure I could pull it off. I’d definitely need a smaller cutout 😉

  • Beautiful dress! I love the cutout! It’s a wonderful draft!!!!

  • Burke

    How much yardage does it require? It is super-cute!!

    • not sure yet, I managed to squeeze this dress out of 2 yards of 45″ wide but not all the skirt pieces were facing the same direction. If I used a fabric with a directional print or a nap it would probably take 3 yards, plus about the same amount for the lining.

  • Ok hurry up and finish this pattern because I want to make one 😉 🙂

  • This is SO CUTE! I love this on you! Beautifully done!

  • Gosh, this is a stunning dress, and looks fab even now. I never cease to be in awe of people that can design and draft…..

  • This is so beautiful! I especially love the fact that it has bra holders, and the sleeve detail, the back buttons…. well I love it all I guess! Will you be releasing this pattern soon pleeeease? LOVE the fabric too.

  • I love the symmetry of the back. So incredible. And that print is gorgeous. It’s a great design. I can’t wait to see the next version!

  • Gorgeous!

  • I would say pretty freakin awesome for a first try. its adorable. you should sell this pattern!

  • very cool to see your process! i love the way the cut out is balanced by the neckline, it’ll be interesting to see how it morphs…

  • lovely! can we see the insides? i am intrigued as you how you lined it with the back cutout. also, how did you do the bra strap holders?

    • !!! i used the bag method of lining a jacket ala grainline’s tutorial (i was seriously excited about that). without adding the placket the bodice was very much like a backwards jacket. (

      for the bra strap holders i took a length of serger chain, stitched one end to one half of a tiny snap and stitched the other end to the shoulder seam on the inside. the finished length is only about an inch. i then stitched the other end of the snap to to the seam.

  • Adorable dress! And woman — SLACKING on this blog — are you kidding?? Those pattern-making tutorials must have taken forever to write. Your slacking looks like my most productive days, like, ever. 😉

  • This dress is a dream! I can’t get enough of full-skirted dresses, AND cutouts, so this is perfection!! Beautifully done. I sure hope you’ll be sharing this pattern…I think I need at least 2 variations of this dress in my closet pronto! 🙂

  • Hi Dixie that dress looks great. I love the cutout at the back. My daughter would love this. She is really attracted to dresses with cut outs but they all have the cut outs in the wrong spot for her bra. Not that it stops her wearing them anyway with the bra hanging out. Yuk. If you want to make the space smaller at the back, have you considered making a band for the top of the skirt at the back. Not sure how that would look, but it might sit better into your waist with a band. Then you could just keep the angled bits going straight to the side seam instead of making another pattern piece that goes into the back skirt. If you know what I mean.

    • ah, i see what you mean. the hidden grosgrain gives the dress the stability of a waistband but a real waistband would give more coverage. i’m still going to have to lower that placket and make the cutout smaller because is it is right now the placket is barely low enough to cover my bra band but i might consider a back band at least, too. thanks!

  • Ooo so cute your so clever!! I love the style of it it’s really flattering and girly. I like that you can still wear a bra with it and not have the straps showing at the back. I hate how dresses loose that back part and you wonder how your going to pull it off. Photos are still lovely! You look gorgeous as always!

  • Check you and your rad skills out! This is such a cute summer dress!

  • This is beautiful! I love the fabric and I think the cutout with the button placket is perfect. It would look lovely with a contrasting belt x

  • Looks great for a trial dress, I really like the ikot!

  • cute dress girl!

  • That dress came out so cute. If you’re gonna work on the size of the cutout anyway, think about coming in a few inches from the side seam towards the back. In some of the pistures from the front the sides sort of gape and I think it might be a little better if the cutouts just started a little further back. Can’t wait for the pattern!

  • I absolutely adore this dress! I have been searching forever for dress pattern with a cut out back like yours 🙂 It looks great! Can’t wait to see version 2!

  • Eep! I’ve been thinking about making a dress with the same cut-out for weeks as soon as spring comes!
    It looks extremely cute, I really love it! Can’t wait the tweaked version!

  • The detail I’m loving the most here is the little snipout at the sleeves. Subtle, but noticeable enough to make you want to look twice. I also love the width of the bateau neckline and the depth of the v-back-neck, but I can totally understand the desire to want it a little less wide due to the increased possibilities of bra-wearability. It’s looking lovely so far!

  • Amy

    Dixie, this is so pretty. I love all the little details–especially the sleeve notch. So perfect in ikat.