We have talked about several variations of straps you can use to freshen up a strapless dress or a tube top. Today we tried something a little bit different – adding DIY criss cross straps to a strapless dress. Trust me, it sounds complicated, but in reality it is one of the easiest, quickest, and most “newbie friendly” do-it-yourself projects. So even if the thought of using a sewing machine intimidates you and dampens your DIY enthusiasm, read on. (Hint: You will not need a sewing machine or sewing skills)
Let’s start off with a few of things you will need for the DIY criss cross straps:
- A tube top or a strapless dress you’d like to shape up
- Fabric you’d like to use for the straps
- Thread matching the color of the dress or top
- A needle
If you don’t have these things handy, check out some of our suggestions below:
For this project, I will sew four straps – two on each side – and cross two of them in the back. I will be working with a strapless pink dress and white lace. The white elastic lace can be used to make the straps and sew them on the pink strapless dress. I love using elastic fabric for the straps, because any mistake in terms of length can be easily corrected, which works quite well for the sloppier do-it-yourself-ers like me. Also, the soft elastic lace just sits better on your skin.
Once you have all the materials ready, follow these 4 steps:
- Determine the length of the straps
Put the dress on and use pins to mark the length of the straps. I suggest measuring only two of the four straps (or only one strap if you want to sew two straps instead of four). Once you have measured the length of two of the straps, cut the fabric and use the straps to measure the two additional straps. By doing this you will make sure that the straps are of equal length.
Since I will be crisscrossing two of the straps behind my neck, they will be longer than the regular over-the-shoulder straps. For a more detailed and visual instruction on how to measure the necessary length for each strap, check out this video tutorial.
- Fix the position of the straps
Once you have the four straps ready, attach them with pins to the dress to mark where you want them to start and end. For best results, wear the dress while doing this – this is the only way to make sure that you like the end result.
- Sew the straps
Reverse the dress and sew the straps on the dress using a matching thread. I always try to sew the straps on the lining so the stitches are not visible. If you are sewing the straps on the lining, the color of the thread will not matter. If you have a sewing machine, you can use it, but the sewing takes less than 20 minutes, so it might be better to hand stitch instead. In any case, if you are not confident you’ll like the final look, start by hand stitching – it is easier to remove the stitches if something looks funky. For a more detailed instruction on how to sew the straps, check out this short tutorial.
Always check the position of the straps as you are sewing. You can fold the dress in two to make sure the straps on the back and on the front are symmetrical. You can also use the zipper of the dress as a guide.
- Make any necessary adjustments
Once the straps are sewed on the dress, you can still make minor adjustments. If they end up being a bit too long (which has happened to me a time or two), fold some of the fabric and sew it over the original stitch. This will help reduce some of the length.
Below you can see the final result: