I made another couple of things for SEWN recently, and though they’re not for me, I think they’re worth sharing.  I’ve really enjoyed making things for this store even if they don’t end up selling (I hope they do!).  It’s good to work with fabrics that I love even if they aren’t things that I would personally wear.  So it is with all of these back cutout dresses.

Bow back refashion

My lovely friend D agreed again to be my model.  She modeled some of my other dresses for SEWN here.  We’ve decided it’s fun to play dress up and no doubt I need to properly just make her something as a treat!

back cutout dresses


This stripe dress was a RTW dress I found.  I had an idea for a back cutout with bows that bridge the gap.  One of my son’s friends has a dress like this and it seemed a fun style for an adult as well.  I kept the front neckline the same and simply cut the back.  The back neckline is bound with foldover elastic.  For the bows, I cut bits of hot pink rayon/lycra from an old wrap top that I made eons ago.  Little strips of the navy stripe gather the centers of the bows.

back cutout dresses

The bows are simply attached behind the foldover elastic by stitching over where I attached the elastic and then right on the edge.  The only tricky bit was making sure that the bow was not too floppy.  No doubt this would’ve been easier on a dress form.  As it is, I tried it on, trying to imagine that my shoulders were as wide as this dress requires.  It fits D in the back really quite well.

Umbrella drink dress

back cutout dresses

I couldn’t believe my luck when this fabric showed up at the thrift store.  There’s a LOT of junk at thrift stores, but if you’re willing to look regularly, sometimes you find some gems.  This cotton is one of those gems.  All I could think was that this fabric needs a pina colada.  If ever we took a cruise, this beachy print sprinkled with sand and starfish punctuated with red and teal would seem completely appropriate.

The pattern has a great back cutout that’s gathered into the front waist.  It manages to show some skin at the back while not being distasteful.  Pair it with the high/low hem, and this dress is really perfect for summer.  I love it so much, I will literally cry if someone doesn’t buy it.

back cutout dresses

Geo squares and zigzag wax print dress

back cutout dresses

Can you believe I found this fabric thrifting too?  Who in her right mind throws out real wax print fabric?  After working with it, I get why people love this fabric so much.  It manages to be structural and yet it drapes really well and handles more delicate things like gathers.  Plus it’s easy to sew and press.  Combine that with the vibrant prints and I will never pass up a chance to work with this stuff!

back cutout dresses

The same Burdastyle 08-2014-116 looks really different in this fabric.  The wax print gives it a little more drama, and my addition of the coral foldover elastic on the sleeves and neck edge break up the print a little.

I’ve been excited to share these dresses for a while!  Thanks for reading!


    • elizabethmadethis Reply

      Thanks Tomasa! They were all really fun to work with.

  1. Wow, wax print at the thrift store is an amazing find! The cutouts are so fun. I actually missed the bows on the striped dress when looking on Instagram, so I’m glad you pointed them out here.

    • elizabethmadethis Reply

      I love the back bows too–I should put that on a tee for myself. Someone who regularly donates to my local thrift store has to sew. I often find really great stuff there. I’ve found anything from wax print and wool melton, to Amy Butler fabrics. The goods are sometimes odd, but it’s almost always worth a look.

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