Sewing Pattern Tutorial for a Backless Dress: Part 3

This is the final installment of this pattern draping tutorial. In this tutorial I will go through how to make your fabric pieces into a paper pattern ready to use for your final design. Short and sweet – like all good things! For the first two tutorials clicky here for Part 1 and here for Part 2.


What you will need

– Your fabric pattern pieces

– Pencil

– Pattern paper – I use a roll of medical paper that you can get from amazon, you can also use parchment paper

– Scissors

1. The first thing we are going to do is pin all our fabric pieces together to check the fit and seam placements. Choose either the back or front and fold over the side seam and shoulder seam on the lines you drew and pin the edge of the fold to the side seam and shoulder seam line of the other piece. You will then have a complete half bodice that you can alter and check the fit before you go ahead and make the pattern.


draped sewing pattern


2. Slip your design back on the dress form to check for fit. Make any fitting adjustments you need to. Check that all your seam lines match up, for example the arm hole front and back seams match and look correct. I usually don’t have matching seams so I pencil over where the back and front meet to get a perfect seam length match.


free sewing tutorial backless


3. Once you are happy with the way everything looks its time to make our paper patterns. Remove all of the fabric pieces from the dress form and separate them. I like to neaten up all my pencil lines at this point. Use a ruler to draw a straight side shoulder seam. I use a french ruler to make lovely pretty curves on my arm holes. Also at this point you want to double check that your seams true up i.e. that your front side seam is the same length as the back and the shoulder seams are the same width.


french curve sewing pattern


4. For the front you want to make sure you mark out your pleats or front design nicely so you remember how to get this right when you make the final design. Mark the edges of your pleats and also the direction to fold into.


sewing pattern making


5. Now we are finally ready to trace our pattern pieces onto the paper. Remember to add the grain lines which you can see from your fabric and include all markings you made. Add seam allowances to all your edges – I usually use 3/8″ but you can go with whatever your used to. Once you are done cut your pieces and you will have something that looks a little bit like this. Label each piece clearly so you don’t forget whats what.


backless bodcie bow dress


sewing pattern making dress


And that is that! Pattern for backless dress completed. Now go forth and make your creations! If you have any questions about these tutorials feel free to comment.

I would love to see your creations so get posting and sharing!

3 Responses

  1. Christopher Clack
    | Reply

    What a fantastic design tutorial!

    Sent via the Samsung Galaxy Note® 4, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone

  2. Jae
    | Reply

    God bless you! I’ve always wanted to learn draping as i never got to go to design school, and everything i always want to sew is either out of print paper pattern (aka jacked up 200% on etsy and amazon). Always felt like youtube videos and books left out crucial details, now i just need a mannequin! Thanks!

    • beuniqueclothing
      | Reply

      I’m so glad you found the tutorial useful. I would love to see your designs once you get the dress form!

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