DIY Side Split Wrapped Bodice Dress – The Tutorial

Thanks for all your lovely feedback on my DIY side split dress. This is the tutorial a lot of you have been asking for – the side split dress with wrapped bodice. It’s so incredibly easy.

UPDATE: NOTE THAT SINCE I PUBLISHED THIS POST I HAVE POSTED A VIDEO TUTORIAL HERE ON A SIMILAR STYLE DRESS.

The first thing to do is to make a maxi skirt using the tutorial I gave here. Create the split by only sewing the top 30cm (or so) of the long seam together. To make the bodice you will need around 2m of fabric – preferably silk, with a width of between 50cm and 1m. In this tutorial I have a crop top on (admittedly not very sexy at all) but when you make yours you won’t be wearing a top of any sort underneath.
Here goes!

1. Place the strip of fabric over your shoulder.
2. Tuck one end of the fabric into the maxi skirt.
3.Twist and tighten the fabric over your shoulder, making sure to cover your breast properly.
4. Still twisting, bring the fabric around behind your back.
5. Bring the fabric across the front covering your other breast.
6. Bring the fabric around tightly behind your back again.
7. Keep wrapping tightly until you have run out of fabric. When this happens tuck the end into the wrapped fabric and stitch down.
You’re done!
This is the dress without the crop top on – I have done it a bit tidier here too.

It may take you a few tries to get the wrapping and gathering exactly as you like it – but just play around with it until it suits your style and your frame. Make sure you cover the top of the waistband of the skirt with the wrapped fabric for a more streamlined look – you can stitch these together if you want but I didn’t bother. You can even throw a belt or sash around the waist too. How nice is the side view and the back with the twisted fabric?

For those of you concerned about bursting out of the dress, if you wrap tightly enough and stitch down properly you should be able to do a whole night of dancing without any trouble. Women in South East Asia have been wearing saris for thousands of years using techniques like this so I promise you’ll be fine. Be sure to have a pair of scissors on your bedside table for when you get home – and cut the stitched thread and not the fabric.

I’ve made another one for the wedding I am going to but I still can’t decide which to wear. I’ll be adding a few little extra details on the day which I can’t wait to show you. Do you know what the best thing is about this dress? Once you’ve finished wearing it you can unwrap the fabric and use it for something else. You can even unpick the maxi skirt and use that too! That’s what I’ll be doing once I have worn these dresses… Talk about recession chic.