When I saw the new Alice halter dress, I absolutely loved it.  But, my daughter refuses to have something tied behind her neck. So, I tried to think of a way to change the straps so that she would love the dress as much as I do. I came up with a very simple little modification that changes this dress from a halter, into a dress that has straps that cross and tie into loops over the back bodice (similar to the Cairo dress). If you haven't picked up the Alice pattern because maybe your daughter is picky with halters as well, now you have no excuses to add this adorable little pattern to your library and get to sewing! 

With this mod, I also thought of another little something extra. I've added tassels to the ends of the ties and the end result might just make your boho chic loving heart flutter.

To begin, you will want to cut out all your pieces from the Alice pattern, except for the shoulder straps. 

Instead of using the cut chart included in the pattern, you will cut 2 strips according to this chart for the shoulder straps:

2 - 1.5" x 22"
3 - 1.5" x 23"
4- 1.5" x 24"
5 -  1.5" x 26"
6 - 1.5" x 28"
7 - 1.5" x 30"
8 -  1.5" x 32"
9/10 - 1.5" x 34"

You will also want to cut 1 (ONE) strip of fabric according to this chart below for your loops:

sizes 2 - 5 cut 1.5" x 8" 
sizes 6-9/10 cut 1.5" x 12"

Follow steps 1 - 9 in the pattern. 

When your main bodice completely done, and your shoulder straps basted in, you will want to grab your one piece for the loops and create them the same way you did the shoulder straps.

Fold both edges in towards the center, and iron, then iron in half again.  

Stitch down the open edge of the strap. No need to back tack either edge.  

Iron your loop to ensure it lays flat, and then cut it exactly in half. This will give you two pieces. For sizes 2-5 you will have two, 4" pieces. For sizes 6-9/10, you will have two 6" pieces. 

You will then fold each loop piece in half again and crease. 

Return to your main bodice and measuring from the raw edge, create a mark according to this chart, and then repeat for the other side of the bodice: 

2 - 3"
3 - 3.25"
4 - 3.5" 
5 - 3.5"
6 - 3.75"
7 - 3.75"
8 - 4"
9/10 - 4.25"

Lay down one of your folded loop pieces and angle it about 90° towards the raw edge. Make sure that one of the raw edges of the loop is flush with the top raw edge of your bodice, while the other tip will be hanging over just a bit. Pin in place. 

Repeat for the other side. Ensure the loop is facing towards the raw edge where the button will go, or your loops won't be the right direction. 

Baste the loops in place if you desire. 

At this point, you will pick back up at step 10 in the Alice pattern. One tip when stitching the lining to the main, is to back tack over each loop once or twice, and I even back tack over the seam that is sewing down the shoulder straps, just for some extra added durability. 

Your finished dress should look something like this :) 

How to create tassels - 

I have found a wonderful video that explains how to make tassels!  Here is the link to watch: 


Here are also some photos to follow. 

You will want to cut a piece of cardboard to the length of tassel that you want. I wanted 2" long, so I cut my cardboard 2". And then some regular embroidery floss, and scissors. 

Start wrapping the embroidery floss around the cardboard. Don't wrap it as tightly as you can, just make sure it's nicely wound on there. I used about half of the embroidery floss for one tassel. Make sure it's nice and thick once wound onto the cardboard.

Make sure both raw ends of your embroidery floss end up at the same end. Either both on the top, or both on the bottom.  Cut a piece of floss about 10", and fold it in half. 

Thread in the piece you folded in half, insert it at the top and tie a couple knots and make sure it's nice and secure. 

Slide your tassel off of the cardboard carefully. Cut another piece of thread 12-15" long and tie it onto the tassel about 3/8" from the top to start to form the "bulb" of the tassel. Tie a couple knots, and then wrap the thread around the bulb until it's almost used up. Make sure to leave a tail out (like I have done on the right side of this photo). Once you've wrapped all the floss around, use both tails to tie off a couple more knots to secure. 

Trim off the extra. 

use scissors to cut each loop at the bottom of your tassel so it will start fanning out.

You can leave your embroidery floss together in strands, or you can comb it out like I have done on these. Using a fine comb, gently brush out each strand so that all the larger strands break up and look more fluffy. (Hint, a clean wire hair dog brush works really well for this! )


Using the top string, tie it around a pen or pencil to create a loop. Tie 2-3 knots. 

Grab your dress, and make a crease in the end of one strap about 3/4" from the end. 

Thread the loop of the tassel onto the end of the creased strap and sew across where indicated with the black dots in the below photo: Trim off the threads that are sticking out past the strap. 

Repeat for the other side, and you are done! Now you have some beautiful tassels on your garment. They should wash up fine. You may need to brush them out after a wash to freshen them up again. 

Here is some inspiration for you of the finished product. 

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and I look forward to seeing your amazing creations! 




July 05, 2017 by Ashley Brostrom