Seven Ways to Personalize Your Bridgetown Dress

It must be springtime in the northern hemisphere — this month’s Project #SewMyStyle challenge is the Bridgetown Backless Dress from Sew House Seven!  Sorry Australian friends, you’re headed into winter…

The Bridgetown is such a fun project for the summer.  It’s the kind of dress I’d throw into a bag to take to the beach, or wear for a night on the town.  It’s got a great basic silhouette, and the back is a special enough feature on its own.  But if you’re looking to add a little extra (or a little modesty), I can help!  Here are seven great ideas for some Bridgetown Backless Dress inspiration.  These are all images taken from my Pinterest board for the dress, too — click on any one of them to be taken there!

*some of the links on this page may be affiliate links.  this means that I may get a small commission from purchases you make using them, but doesn’t cost you anything!  of course, I only share things I love and that I think you’ll love too.*

Adding Modesty Panels to the Bridgetown Backless Dress

The back of the Bridgetown Backless Dress is, well, backless.  That’s an awesome look for lots of people, but there are folks out there who that just doesn’t work for.  Here’s a couple of options if you’re looking for some more coverage.

1.  Add a lace panel

Adding a lace panel will give you some coverage, but maintain the sassy/sexy feel of the Bridgetown dress, if that’s what you’re looking for.  A thinner and wideset lace may still need an opaque lining for you to feel comfortable.  However, a crocheted lace like this floral one or this chevron pattern may not need a lining at all!

2.  Draft a tank underneath

Maybe you’d like to keep the Bridgetown a little more casual, and don’t want lace.  In that case, you could add in a tank top back to the dress.  This could be a great choice for southern hemisphere friends, too!  I think that the Rumi tank back would be an excellent choice if you’d like to replicate the inspiration pin.  Wouldn’t you have a cozy secret pajamas dress if you used a sweatshirt fleece?

Have Some Fun!

If you’re down with the open back (or still want to jazz things up a bit with a covered back), I’ve got some awesome details you can add to your Bridgetown!

1.  Pom poms around the back

To me, this dress seems like the perfect thing for a beach.  And few things say “beach” to me more than an adorable pom pom trim!  How cute would this pink trim be on the back of a blue or white linen dress?

2.  Tassels

I think tassels are going to be a huge thing for this summer.  I’ve seen some packets of tassel trim at JoAnn Fabrics in my area, but they’re not showing up on their website.  This Etsy supplier seems like they have lots of colors to select from.  I’ve never used them before, though, so proceed with caution.  So many Etsy sellers are awesome folks, but I always read reviews before purchasing, especially when items are coming from outside the US.  No one wants a surprise month-long package en route, do they?

3.  Lace trim

Yep, back with more lace.  There are two ways I’m envisioning a lace trim being added to the Bridgetown.  One is to insert it in between the back and the back facing, so that it peeks out onto your skin.  Depending on the width of the lace you use, this could provide a little more coverage for you.  You could also attach it so that it lays on the fabric instead of your skin.  It could be a thin trim that just provides visual interest, or a wider trim that adds some texture and movement, like this one with dangling elements.

4.  A strappy back

Straps are another thing I think will be big for the summer.  The Bridgetown is a great canvas for you to play with them, too!  Depending on how you gather the back, the straps could help make sure the sides don’t become too (ahem) flappy, if that’s a concern of yours.  One thick strap across the top or center is cute and on trend.  Criss-crossing straps are a little more work, but definitely in style as well!

5.  A lace up back

Almost the same as straps, except with eyelets!  Or buttonholes, whatever’s your groove.  Lace up tops have been super big since last summer, and I don’t see any reason why they should go away.  Like the straps, a lace up back can help keep your dress from billowing open if that’s a concern of yours.

Okay guys, I’m cutting myself off here — but my Bridgetown Backless Dress pinboard has even more awesome ideas for you!  That includes more back options AND styling inspiration.  You can check it out by following this link.  Remember, I do this every month (and have some awesome inspiration boards for other garments!), so if you like this, be sure to follow me there.  And if you use one of my suggestions for your own Bridgetown, I’d love to see it!  You can tag me on Instagram or use the hashtag #maddiemadethis, or email it to me.


  1. Thank you for the lovely inspiration! I think the pom poms are definitely my favourite!

    1. Thanks Anna! Aren’t they just adorable?

  2. I love this post! I never thought of doing a coverup with this dress but a cute linen coverup with tassels is sounding SO CUTE now!!

    1. Thanks Allie! I don’t know why, but this dress totally says “cover up” to me. Now I need a pool to wear it to…

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