Maxi dress with open back and underbust cut


Style analysis: maxi dress with flared skirt and high-low hemline, shorter on front left side. Deep U neckline on back, sweetheart neckline on front with underbust cut and dart manipulation. Wide shoulder strap.

Fabric: any light to medium weight fabric, cotton, viscose, polyester blends, silk satin or crepe...there are lots of possibility as long as the fabric is not sheer (there's no lining in the skirt) and has a drapey hand.

Draft the pattern by starting from a contoured block (=basic dress with darts and no wearing ease) - you can learn our method for drafting made to measure patterns in our basic blocks course/module 1.

Step 1

Trace back and front separate, highlight underbust line, then mirror front to have it full.


  • flare 12 to 18cm in center back, blending to zero at hips
  • flare 8 to 12cm on front and back side seams, blending to zero at waist
  • make sure front waist darts are 3cm wide at underbust and shaped as ‘rockets’
Step 2

Now draw back neckline and shoulder strap:

  • in center back, drop 2 to 3cm from waist and starting at right angle from cb draw a curve
  • curve intersects waistline approx at waist dart
  • close upper part of waist dart in a temporary way and continue the curve in direction of the shoulder
  • shoulder strap is 3 to 4cm wide – you can draw it plain as shown in this image or you can discard 1cm from shoulder tip and then measure 3 to 4cm strap (in this second version, straps sits a bit closer to your neck and you have to redraw armhole a bit inwards).

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