sewing the Naomi Dress with strappy back options
Fabric | Patterns

A Wedding Guest Dress with 9+ Strappy Back Options!

October 16, 2022

My September “Make My Stash” fabric choice was a really beautiful cut of soft, warm sand colored knit with just a hint of gold metallic thread woven throughout. I purchased this from Measure Fabric in 2021, always thinking it would make the perfect “secret pajamas” wedding guest dress, but I didn’t have a particular pattern in mind at the time. Nor was I in need of a wedding guest dress! So of course, onto the shelf it went to wait. When we learned a friend of ours would be getting married in October, I put this on my make my stash sew list right away!

When I’m low on inspiration, I usually take to pinterest to see what jumps out at me. This often helps me identify a silhouette, and more often than not I have or can find a similar pattern to work off of. As I started looking through pretty dresses, I kept coming across a similar silhouette – deep plunge front, strappy back, long skirt and high slit. Most of these appeared to be made with satin or silk, but would you believe it – I had almost an identical pattern already in my stash, meant for knits! Meant to be!

I’d sewn the Made for Mermaids Naomi Dress pattern once before, last year when I was pregnant with my son. It is a very forgiving pattern that required no alterations for my very pregnant belly, at the time, but I’ve been able to wear it comfortably this year, as well! Unfortunately, since I’d bought my fabric with no particular pattern in mind, I’d only purchased 2 yards – a little less than the pattern was called for. I laid out my pattern pieces and started looking for ways to tetris it all together. I ended up cutting all pieces just as they were, aside from the main front skirt. This piece is meant to be either pleated or gathered per the pattern instructions, so I knew there was width to be played with if I omitted those details. 

I cut the skirt piece as wide as I could with the fabric I had left, and still had some room for some soft gathering. I think the overall outcome is great, and I’m glad it worked out the way it did! It left me with a slightly sleeker silhouette and I think it looks so nice.

OMG did anyone watch Love is Blind??? I seem to be practicing my Shaina Squint…

This project was a little out of the norm for me, and I’ll be honest – I’m not sure what it was that drew me to this fabric originally! I’m usually a vivid colors and bold florals type of girl, so this more neutral shade was a departure for me. That being said, I felt so glamorous in this dress. It certainly didn’t hurt that this fabric is incredibly soft, so I truly felt like I was just in loungewear all day long (if it weren’t for those heels!) ((Side note, Measure Fabric specializes in beautiful deadstock fabrics, so their quantities are very limited. While this fabric isn’t available anymore, they do have LOTS of other beautiful things for you to check out!))

Last weekend, we got to finally attend that wedding. It was SUCH a joyful day of celebration! The day included a ceremony at noon and a reception later in the evening. While many of our friends chose to change outfits, you weren’t going to drag me out of this comfy dress! Instead, I chose to change up the look slightly in another way. For the daytime wedding, I chose these wine red heels, loose waves, and a natural colored lip. For the reception, I came ready to dance – I switched to a more comfortable pair of black heels, pulled my hair back, added some earrings and a pashmina, and switched to a dark burgundy lip color. We didn’t get too many pictures of the evening look, but at least one cute couple pic!

This dress is fantastic. As a knit it came together fairly quickly. However, I would HIGHLY recommend heat n’ bond soft stretch (linked below) if you’re making the slit skirt version especially – it allows you to create a nice, clean hem all the way around the skirt without the wobbliness you sometimes encounter with knits! The strappy back allows for lots of different styling options with the straps, and overall this dress is pretty versatile. I’m thinking it would be great for a date night dinner on the beach… If only we could find our way to a beach sometime soon! Or even a date night! Our in-laws recently moved away and we’ve learned that date nights are incredibly hard to come by without some family around!!

I find it so much more rewarding to wear things that I’ve sewn for myself, so I really enjoyed this process of finding something ready-to-wear that caught my attention and coming up with my own version of it! I’d highly recommend it if you have any fun events coming up!

Dress: handmade by me

Pattern: Made for Mermaids – Naomi Dress

Fabric: Measure Fabric – Metallic Gold on Brown Ottoman Knit

Key Ingredients: 

Brother XR9500PRW Sewing Machine 

Brother 1034D Overlocker 

Schmetz Jersey Ballpoint Needles

Dahle 36×48 Self-healing Cutting Mat

Heat & Bond Soft Stretch (Lite)

Thanks for reading my thoughts on this pattern! Both the patterns and fabric used in this garment were purchased by me. All words and opinions expressed throughout this post are my own, as always. Links provided throughout this post may be affiliate links – if you choose to purchase any products through these links, I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you. This simply helps me justify the costs of my sewing habit and the time it takes to share it with you!! Happy Sewing!

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