Open Back Lace Up Top or Dress

This tutorial is using a pattern I created from a store bought dress.  You can see how I made the pattern here.  You can use just about any pattern you’d like and adopt this technique to fit the pattern.  This tutorial is a basic building block for this style alteration.

First decided how low/ wide you want your back opening to be.  Then cut an even “U” shape from the back.  Since this is a cami style dress I straightened the curve from the side to the center back.

Creating the back binding

  • Measure the “u” shape you created
  • Cut a long strip 1.5″ wide by the length of “U” shape.
  • Clip in about 1/4″ at the center of the “U” shape.  This will help the binding take that curve easier.
  • With right sides together, match up the center and the top of the binding strip to the “U” shape.  Pin in place.
  • Sew/ serge the binding in place.
  • Fold the binding over the center, leave about 1/8″ of an inch between serged edge ( fold that up towards the binding fold.
  • Fold it one more time over the Serged/ Sewn seam- covering it completely.
  • Sew with a straight stitch along the binding.
  • For a cleaner “U” shape, pinch the binding in about 1/2″ and sew a few stitches to secure. Doing this will help prevent any sagging in this area.

Shoulder Straps/ Back ties

  • I cut my straps 1.75″ wide by 60″ long.  I know that seems really long but you want them longer than you think you will need.  You can always make them shorter, but you can’t make them longer 😉
  • Take your really long strip and lay it, right sides together, with your back section.  Leave a 2″ extra over lap, you will need that later.
  • Sew it to the back and up to the front.
  • Now you will fold the binding 2x just like you did with the back binding.
  • Pin this in place and continue the same folding method the entire length of the strap/ tie.
  • Sew along the edge with a straight stitch.
  • Go back to the 2″ over lap.  Fold it over to the inside of the dress making a 1/2″ loop.
  • Sew it in place.  Sew right on top of the back “U” binding stitching.  This will hide your loop stitches.

Making the loops

  • Cut a long strip ( I don’t really know how long I made mine.)  by 1.5″ wide.
    You are going to place your loops 2″ apart, so if you want to measure your back “U”, you can use that to figure out how long to make your strip.
  • Sew your strip right sides together.
  • Turn it right side out.
    You can use a turning tool, I do sometimes- when I can find it.  Usually I use a safety pin.
  • With your long tube turned right side out, cut it into small pieces 1.75″ long.
  • Fold the small pieces in half and pin them evenly along the back “U”.  Space them 2″ apart.
  • Sew these in place.  Sew right on top of the binding stitches to hide the loop stitches.


Now lace up the back however you like.  After you are done with the lacing, trim any extra.  Remember to tie your ties too before you trim them.  After you trim them, fold the ends over about 1″ and stitch in place to finish the straps.


Like my lace boot toppers?  Here is my DIY Boot toppers Tutorial.

Did you know I have a shop?  Yes, you can order you very own Little Ragamuffin Original.

Need more help?
Join me in my Facebook group.

Like my fabric?
All the fabric used here is from So Sew English and is double brushed poly.

More tutorials:
Basic tips for sewing with knits
Quick & Easy three step hems
Super Easy Invisible Stitch Bias Binding
Knotty Top Tutorial

Comment and let me know how you like my tutorial.  If you use my tutorial or sewing tips and share them, please link back to me or use the hashtags  #LittleRagamuffinTutorial #LittleRagamuffinTip

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