Off the shoulder silk dress and a solution for strapless-bra haters

Can I just say how much I love this dress, perhaps even more so now because I have come up with an alternative to wearing a dastardly strapless bra.



First, let’s talk about the dress. I feel like these photos don’t do the fabric justice. It’s actually a slightly warmer grey, in a luxurious double crepe silk. It’s a beautiful weight, completely opaque, and perfect for Spring, Summer, or in between. I’ll be using this dress as a transeasonal piece, possibly layering it over jeans and adding a scarf until the weather warms up.

I used my Branson Top pattern as a starting point for the dress pattern. It’s a pattern that fits me well, and it had a front bodice and sleeve shape that gave me a good starting point for the shape of flare I wanted. You could easily use another woven shirt pattern though.

My first step was to remove the CF front placket to turn the front bodice into one piece. Then I extended the lines of the pattern to a dress length. I then simply slashed and spread all three pattern pieces (the front, back, and sleeves). Because the front of the Branson Top pattern is already flared somewhat, I only spread the front by a little. The same applied to the wide Branson sleeves, which I shortened before spreading. I left the back hem a touch longer than the front.




Now, about the strapless bra situation. There isn’t one (unless I want one of course)! My solution to the bra dilemma was to sew two tubes of matching fabric, press them, and thread them over the straps of an existing bra (I have enough bras in my arsenal that I won’t miss one for the time being). I machine basted the fabric tubes in place and I can remove them at any time or I can leave them on for as long as I want. Perfect!



8 thoughts on “Off the shoulder silk dress and a solution for strapless-bra haters

  1. Angela

    Another beautiful garment and such an amazing end product. You are very talented and inspiring Debbie. Meanwhile I am loving my wonderland skirts and the girls their daisy chain tops.


  2. Jillian - SewUnravelled

    I have a lot of love for this dress! It’s gorgeous. But I think I’m missing something. It’s not strapless, no? You’ve added straps to act as bra strap carrier for a strapped bra? Oh hang on, I think I get it! An off the shoulder dress with straps so us strapless bra haters can wear an off the shoulder dress. Am I right? xx


    1. Debbie Iles Post author

      Oh thank you so much. Yes, it is strapless, completely. Follow one of the links to my IG pics in the post to see the bra ;-). I used a regular old bra and covered those straps – so when I wear the normal strappy bra, it doesn’t look strapless, but if I wear a strapless bra, it does look strapless – am I being as clear as mud here? 😉 x


  3. Pingback: Off the shoulder dress and tutorial – LILY SAGE & CO

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