October 23, 2014

Party Dress TIme! How to Make A Bustier Party Dress

Making a bustier has been on my to-do list for a while, so when I had a wedding coming up I pounced on the opportunity.

Photos: Michael Dooney

Here is a summary of how I made the dress

1. First step is to find an old bra and pull out the cups.

2. I used the pattern from Burdastyle NR. 144-122008-DL. And made a muslin version. 

3. I chose to use a taffeta for the main fabric

4. Once I had the individual cups, I placed them in the muslin cup and checked for the fit. I marked the alternations and transferred it to the pattern pieces.

5. I then re cut the muslin with the altered pattern pieces to check the fit. Once I was satisfied I cut the lining (the apricot satin) pieces and sewed it all together.

6. Now that I had the lining completed and the fit perfect, I started cutting out the dress fabric. 

7. The next step was to sew all of the cup fabric together and cover the cups, then sew the bodice sections together.

8. I then inserted the cups into the bust and sewed. This bit can be a little fiddly and tricky.

9. I was contemplating whether or not to add the under wire. I thought I would give it a go to see whether it was worth while. Of course it was! If you look at the second image below you can see the difference between the left cup and the right cup. The left has the under wire inserted and the second lies flat without it. Plus it offers extra support. I sewed a channel under the bra cup for the wire to be inserted, then pushed the wire through.
Visit the clothhabit for more detailed instructions on how to insert the bra cups.

10.I then gathered the skirt piece and attached it to the bodice.

11. At the moment I am rather anal with regards to finishing of garments. I used to be kind of lazy with linings and finishings, but now I love to make quality garments from the inside out. The garments last for longer, they feel nicer to wear and it looks a lot more professional. 

Photos: Michael Dooney

Yay! For a fun party dress!


  1. This is absolutely stunning. Gorgeous photos too.

  2. This is gorgeous! I love the idea of utilising bra pieces you already have in the bodice cups - such a great way to make the fitting process easier :D

    1. It was good to refashion some old bras. Thanks!

  3. This looks so great!

  4. Christy this dress is STUNNING! Aside from your wedding dress, this is my favourite dress you have ever made! The fabric is really pretty too! Perhaps I can borrow it for Brendan's wedding? heheheheehehehehhe

  5. this is gorgeous. i want to steal this!

  6. Would you mind me sharing this on SSB? I link to your post and let you know when shared. https://www.facebook.com/SassySewingBees