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Backless dresses come in many styles, from fancy ballgowns to casual summer sundresses.The most common backless dress is the halter style, which is held in place by a neck strap. With some basic sewing skills and a couple T-shirts, a backless dress can be sewn together rather quickly.

Making the Dress

Turn the T-shirt that you want to use for the top of your dress inside out and lay it flat on your work surface.

Cut off the sleeves just inside the seams. Remove the bottom hem and the neckband, using the seam as a guide.

Lay the second T-shirt flat on your work area. This shirt will be the skirt portion of your dress.

Draw a line across the T-shirt, just below the sleeve arm holes. Cut through both layers of the T-shirt on this line. Now you have a rectangle of jersey that is hemmed on the bottom.

Pin the top of the dress to the bottom of the dress, right sides together, and sew together. Double stitch for durability.

Remove the pins and then turn the dress inside out. Push the seam you just sewed up toward the top portion and stitch the seam flat.

Making Your Dress Backless

Put on the dress and decide how low you want the back of your dress and make a mark. If you are happy with the front neckline, remove the dress and proceed. If you decide you want the front neckline of the dress to be lower, or if you want a V neck rather than a U-shaped neckline, mark it as you wish and then remove the dress.

Lay the dress front side up on your work surface and cut along the line you drew for the new front neckline of your dress. Be sure to only cut through the front layer of the T-shirt.

Lay the dress, back side up, on your work surface. Follow the curve of the back neckline and draw a line 2 inches away from it. This will be the neckband for the halter top of the dress.

Use the mark you drew on the back for how low you want your backless dress to be and draw a line, straight across the width of the jersey.

Cut away the back of the dress between the 2-inch neck band line and the straight line you drew across the width.

Find the center of the back neckband and cut it in half. This will give you a neckband you can tie and adjust for a better fit.

Put on the dress -- if you are happy with the look, you're good to go. If you'd like a more finished look, then fold the raw edges of the dress to the inside and stitch down. Double stitch for durability.


Leave the sleeves on the top T-shirt if you want sleeves on your dress. Be sure to save the sleeves, neckband and hems you cut off the T-shirts. There are lots of other project you could use them in.

About the Author

Amy Lyn

Amy Lyn has more than 20 years of experience in marketing and development. She has worked with nonprofit, arts, education and technology organizations. Lyn holds a B.A. in journalism from the University of Massachusetts.