Tutorial: Amsterdam & Decorative Trim Straps

Amsterdam has quickly become a staple, summer pattern for many reasons. The design is perfect for those hot summer days, the back is delicate and unique and it is a simple sew with stunning results!!! As I began planning out numerous Amsterdam dresses and tops for my daughter’s closet, I began to think about ways to change the look. Surprisingly, I found a hack that made the Amsterdam even a little quicker and provides so many more design options.

In lieu of making your own trim, it states in the original pattern that premade trims can be used. For this Amsterdam, I did just that!! However, instead of attaching it as straps, I attached it to the exterior of the bodice neckline as one long piece once the dress was completed. I am in love with the final result and it’s such a simple hack.

Trim Calculations

To determine how much trim you’ll need, use the following formula:

(Strap length from pattern x 2) + neck curve measurement – 3” = strap length

You will also need to cut a piece of trim 1.75” long for the back bodice loop.


The only modification you need to make is to omit the strap construction and placement. When sewing the front bodice main and lining pieces together, sew along the arm curve and neckline as indicated in the instructions. However, the straps will not be basted in between.

When your bodice steps are completed it will look identical to the original except there will be no straps. Construct the back bodice as usual and sew the front and back bodice together at the side seam.

Adding the Trim

Find the center of your trim and pin it to the center of the bodice neck curve. Work your way out each direction pinning the trim to the bodice neck curve. Sew directly over the top of the trim from one end of the neck curve to the other in a coordinating thread color. Make sure to backstitch at both ends to reinforce it.

Make It Your Own

The trim option greatly expands the design options of the Amsterdam. Get creative. Add something dainty and sweet for a soft or vintage looks. Maybe add something larger for a unique look. Don’t be afraid to add suede, leather, or something more edgy. You could even add a few beads to the trim and hand sew it in places on the neckline. Just make sure to make it strong enough. Braid coordinating fabrics or add a crocheted bib with crocheted lave straps. Whatever you decide to add…..we can’t wait to see it!

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