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Need to freshen up your little black dress with some sexy flair? Is that bridesmaid dress just a little too tight across the chest? Try spicing up your old dresses--and making them a little more comfortable--with a corset-style back. This flirty lace-up closure also provides some figure support, giving you a sleeker, sexier figure.

Remove the zipper

Close the zipper and turn the dress inside out.

Use the seam ripper or the sewing scissors to rip out all the threads holding the zipper in place. Be careful not to tear the fabric.

Set the zipper aside and pull out any threads still in the fabric.

Use the iron to press down a 1” hem on either side of the opening where the zipper used to be.

Using the needle and thread, make a straight stitch along the bottom of the dress opening to secure the fabric.

Prepare the dress opening

Using the old zipper as a guide for length, cut two 1-inch wide strips of interfacing.

Using the straight pins, fix the interfacing onto the inside edges of the dress opening, directly on top of the 1-inch hem.

Use the iron to fuse the interfacing to the dress.

Use the ruler as a guide to mark dots at 1-inch intervals down the center of one of the strips of interfacing. Place the sides of the dress opening together and use the marked side as a guide for marking dots on the opposite edge. Make sure the dots line up evenly.

Use the seam ripper or sewing scissors to cut very small holes at each of the dots.

Apply the eyelets and lace up.

Push the eyelet through the hole so that the flat “head” shows on the outside of the dress.

Place the fabric and the eyelet head down on the anvil. Place the eyelet tool on top of the eyelet and tap the eyelet tool with the hammer until the eyelet is secured.

After applying all the eyelets, turn the dress right side out.

Thread the ribbon through either the top or bottom two eyelets. Thread the rest of the ribbon through the eyelets in a crisscross pattern.


If you do not have an anvil, substitute a large, clean river rock.

Practice using the eyelet tool a few times on a piece of scrap fabric before attempting it on the dress.

Lacing the ribbons from the top down will give the dress a classy look. Lacing from the bottom up makes it flirty.


When using an iron, always check the fabric instructions on the garment tag before selecting the heat setting. Test the iron on a discreet section of the dress.