January 16, 2012

X Out Challenge: DIY Belted Cross-Back Dress

X Out, the makers of Proactiv, asked me and other DIY bloggers to DIY a dress, drawing on the letter "X" and X Out, that inspires confidence and individual style. X Out stands for confidence and putting your best face forward with just one simple step, like putting on a dress. They sent me this dress from American Apparel as a blank canvas and the means to alter, modify, and DIY to my heart's content.

When thinking about design ideas for a dress brought to you by the letter X (hello, Sesame Street!), I instantly thought to dresses with fun cross strap backs. Sleuthing around for some inspiration, I found this gorgeous number from Michael Kors, with not one, but two X's! It's insanely do-it-yourself-able with just a white dress and black trim. See how after the jump!
(images from Michael Kors)

Tools and materials:
Plain white dress with an open back (X-Out sent me this one)
Black faux-leather trim or ribbon/fabric trim
Strong fabric glue (I used Magna Tac) or needle and black thread (if using ribbon)
2 D rings
Measuring tape

The dress is rather... long. I didn't think the maxi look would work with the belt details. First order of business was to shorten it: cut, fold, pin and sew.

I went a little crazy and bought several yards of the faux leather trim because I wasn't sure how much I would need. I ended up using about 4 yards plus a few inches.

Try on the dress and place the trim along the neckline of the dress. The trim should be off center, with one end about a foot shorter than the other for the end with the belt hardware. Use straight pins or binder clips to hold the trim in place.

Use the glue (or hand sew) to attach the trim to the dress neckline from shoulder seam to shoulder seam. I chose glue because the faux-leather I had was too thick for me to sew by hand.  If gluing, place the clips back on to keep the bond strong. (I placed folded up paper towel in between the trim and clips to avoid making an impression in the faux-leather while it dried.)

On the shorter end of the trim, slide D rings about two inches down, and fold over and glue the trim to itself. 

Let everything dry overnight. (Obviously an unnecessary step if you're sewing.)

To tie, bring straps over shoulders, cross in back bringing the belt to in front below the bust, cross again as you wrap the ends behind you, and around the the front once more. Fasten the loose end in the buckle.

For a little versatility, it can be adjusted to be fastened off center. This is my expression when B told me the dress was very "Princess Leia." Silly boy. But I see the resemblance.


  1. You had a great inspiration and did a great job with you DIY. I love it!

    lily atlantic

  2. this is so great! I love the final product!! can you make me one in my size???

  3. This is my favorite TIMI since I started reading! It looks fantastic!

  4. Great job, Erin! I'm still waiting for my dress to come in... I love seeing what everyone else came up with!

  5. Great Job! I love the belted idea! I dyed mine black...such a fun challenge.

  6. Such a cute idea!

    - Sara @ Gameday Stylist

  7. I just saw this Michael Kors dress on "Revenge" and I have to tell you - although MK's is beautiful, yours is better IMO :)


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