If you’re as old as I am, you might remember the Indian prints so popular during the 1970’s. About 50″ long, by 36″ wide pieces of fabric that was turned into billowing ceilings in our rooms, tacked onto walls for decoration, or made into shawls; long and drapey. And of course, there were the backless dresses!
You had to be skinny enough to make one of these, because the fabric was just 36″ wide and that had to go around your hips; the bust didn’t matter as part of it was backless. Steps are following.
First step, take the fabric, fold it down the straight grain (the long edge), and then starting at the top of one end, about half way in from the fold, cut an angle, about 30 to 45 degrees, down the distance from your neckline to the top of your hips. A good way to measure this is to place the measuring tape at your neck in the back and follow it down to the top of your hips.
To sew, finish the cut edge any way you want, fold over the top to make a casing, (this will what was left of the short edge and will be used to insert a drawstring), and then sew up the back seam, which will be the remaining length of fabric. Cut off extra at the bottom of the dress and hem it any way you want.
Take a look at this listing on Etsy (fourth photo) to see what it looked like from the back: https://www.etsy.com/listing/220815601/vintage-70s-floral-maxi-dress-with?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=backless%20hippie%20dress&ref=sr_gallery_1
Here’s one with a belt and a back zip: https://www.etsy.com/listing/194580217/resort-backless-halter-dress-hippie?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=backless%20hippie%20dress&ref=sr_gallery_18
And one with the very Indian print fabric: https://www.etsy.com/listing/102586895/hippie-chick-hippie-halter-dress-maroon?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=backless%20hippie%20dress&ref=sr_gallery_41
Of course, the ones we made back then weren’t as nice as the ones for sale. Match one up with a pair of Birkies, a cute boho hippie chic handbag, some bangle bracelets, and you’re on your way!
Well, I think I’m going back to that site where the fabric is and have a looksee. I’d like to stroll back down Memory Lane.