DIY Tie-Front Midi Dress

DIY tie front midi dress her petite closet pinterest
DIY tie front midi dress her petite closet DSC_2269

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t is on tops and skirts. It is on bathing suits. Even sandals! The tie-front trend is everywhere. The best part is that it speaks directly to the petite lady who needs some love in the bust area. The tie on the front has the same effect as ruffles. It creates dimension at the bosom. At the same time, you won’t have to worry about spilling out and having a wardrobe malfunction. Who’s with me?

I designed this dress with a few things in mind:

  1. The exposed midriff looks incredible on some ladies. But personally, a little hint of skin is more sexy and tasteful. The longer bowtie serves this purpose by hiding the cutout. Yet, there is still some skin exposure as you move around.
  2. Over the years, I’ve come to appreciate the midi length on the petite frame. In this case, the midi length balances out the skin exposure at the top.

To keep the focus on the dress, I added a simple necklace. A pair of simple, nude heels I picked up on a solo trip to Singapore last year completes the look!

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[button url=”” target=”_self” size=”medium” display=”inline-block” float=”center”]PIN IT FOR LATER[/button][button url=”#video-tutorial” target=”_self” size=”medium” display=”inline-block” float=”center”]SKIP TO THE VIDEO TUTORIAL[/button] DIY Tie Front Midi Dress Materials
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[/one-fourth-first] [three-fourths-last align=”left”] You’ll need the following:

Because the front has a both a cutout area and is secured with a bowtie, the cut of the bodice is a little bit different from the traditional top. I strongly suggest using scrap fabric or pattern paper to play around with the fit. Try it on and adjust it to your body before cutting into your fabric. My pattern went through three revisions before I was satisfied with the fit![/three-fourths-last]

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There are two bodice patterns.
Pattern A: Front bodice
Pattern B: Back bodice
Pattern C: Straps
[/one-fourth-first] [three-fourths-last align=”justify”]STEP 1. While wearing the tank top, mark the smallest part of your waist. Trace out half of the front and back.

STEP 2. On the front bodice (Pattern A), create a sweetheart neckline.

STEP 3. At the bust area, draw a horizontal band that is 1 ½ inches wide. Taper the end into a point. This band will become the bowtie.

STEP 4. At the bottom of the center front, draw an arch that is 1 ½ inches wide by 3 inches tall. This arch will become the cutout.

STEP 5. Blend the neckline and the arch into the horizontal band.

STEP 6. Add ½ seam allowance. Cut two pieces of the front bodice on fashion fabric and two pieces on lining fabric.

STEP 7. On the back bodice (Pattern B), add 1 inch seam allowance to the top. Add ½ seam allowance to the remaining edges. Cut one piece on fold.

STEP 8. Cut 1 inch strips for the shoulder straps.

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The skirt is an A-line skirt. There are two patterns:
Pattern D: Skirt
Pattern E: Waistband

[/one-fourth-first] [three-fourths-last align=”justify”]STEP 9. Measure the widest part of your hips. Divide it by four.

STEP 10. Take a rectangle that is the same width as the measurement in Step 9. Leaving the top intact, cut the square into equal strips. Spread out the strips to create an A-line shape.

If you don’t have enough paper to create a full skirt pattern, overlap pieces of paper to achieve the desired width and shape. At various points along the waist, measure down and mark the desired length. This will still create a circular curve for the waist and hem of the skirt.

STEP 11. Cut two pieces on fold (Pattern D).

STEP 12. Cut a 3 inch strip for the waist (Pattern E). The length should be equal to the waist of the skirt.
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[/one-fourth-first] [three-fourths-last align=”justify”]STEP 13. Fold the shoulder straps in half and sew. Trim down the seam allowance and turn it right side out. Topstitch to keep it flat.

STEP 14. Place the strap upside down in between the two layers of the front bodice. Sew along the top, bowtie, and center front.

STEP 15. Snip into the seam allowance all around to add ease. Snip off the tip of the bowtie to eliminate fabric bulge when the bodice is turned right side out.

STEP 16. Open up the bodice. Fold the seam allowance onto the lining. Topstitch close to the seam.

The bowtie is quite narrow, so you won’t be able to topstitch along the entire bowtie. Sew as far as you can.

STEP 17. Attach the front bodice to the back. Leave the one inch seam allowance at the top the back bodice unfinished.

STEP 18. Flip the seam allowance onto the back. Fold the raw edge of the back bodice over twice to cover the side seam allowance. Topstitch in place.

STEP 19. Create the back part of the shoulder strap. To do this, take two small rectangles that is 1 inch in width and prepare according to Step 13.

STEP 20. Loop the strip through the O-ring. Attach to the back of the bodice.

STEP 21. Finish assembling the shoulder straps. Pass the long part of the strap through the slide, through the O ring, and through the slide again. Secure the end.

STEP 22. Finish the hem of the bodice with a zig zag stitch or a serger.


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[/one-fourth-first] [three-fourths-last align=”justify”]STEP 23. Attach the front skirt to the back skirt. Sew along the sides.

STEP 24. Sew the ends of the waist band together. Fold the waistband in half lengthwise. Attach it to the skirt. Leave an opening for the elastic.

STEP 25. Thread an elastic through the waistband. Secure the ends of the elastic together. Close the opening from Step 24.

STEP 26. Distribute the elastic evenly along the waist. Top stitch vertically at each side or each quarter of the waist to keep the elastic in place.

STEP 27. Line up the side seams of the waistband to the bodice. Pin the waistband directly on top of the bodice.

On the front, gauge how wide of a cutout you want. Distribute the elastic waist accordingly. The more elasticity you allocate to the center, the smaller the cutout will be when the dress is worn. In other words, because there is more elasticity at the center, the cutout will stretch less. Secure with a zigzag stitch.

STEP 28. Hem the skirt by folding under twice and topstitch in place.


[box-1 align=”left”]Will you be trying this out? Pin it for later and share it with someone who might enjoy it. Tag me in your creations so I can find you. I wish you the most beautiful of days and remember to smile often!

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DIY Tie-Front Midi Dress
Forever 21 Necklace
Singapore Heels

Sew it Yourself is a series where I create chic garments from scratch. Check out Thrifted Revamp to upcycle existing garments into chic clothes!



  1. April 16, 2018 / 1:49 am

    This is a gorgeous dress. I especially love the length and textile design.Beautiful job! 🙂

    • Momo C.
      June 4, 2018 / 8:42 am

      We think the same, hehe. Thank you so much for reading and watching!

  2. April 15, 2018 / 8:56 pm

    Love this DIY! The dress is super cute, I would have never guessed you made it, looks like you just went to the store! Turned out really nice and your right, the tie front is so on trend now a days! I’m looking forward to giving this a try 🙂

    • Momo C.
      June 4, 2018 / 8:43 am

      You’re so sweet, Shelby. The perks of DIY is you get to customize the project to how you like it. 🙂

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