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Julian Roberts style dress

Added Feb 11, 2012

by carmenhf

Brisbane, Australia






This college project is adapted from a Subtraction Cutting method invented by British professor Julian Roberts. It’s made out of 5 metre fabric rectangle. Holes are cut into the fabric and resewn. It’s shaped with self covered button badges and hooks up at the hem to an underskirt. Looks different every time it’s worn!

Material Notes

Fabric is Ikea furnishing fabric – watch out for matching curtains!




Spring, Summer
Garment Type

4 Comments Sign in to add a post

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    Aug 6, 2013, 07.29 AMby olac

    HELP! I am dying to try this technique, I have looked at some videos and blogs on line, but i am a bit fuzzy on some of the details… And the above link says page not found…

    So, Question 1: do you lay out the fabric right side out, or inside out, when you first start cutting? Question 2: the diameter of the circle – does it matter? Question 3: how does the dress actually go onto the body? I have seen conflicting accounts that have me utterly confused…

    Thank you!

    2 Replies
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      Sep 3, 2013, 11.16 PMby carmenhf

      Hi Olac, sorry to take so long to reply, haven’t been on burdastyle for a while! Regarding your questions – Q1 Just for convenience, I’d lay the fabric right sides together to cut out the circles, as when you sew circles together, you’ll be sewing right sides together. Q2 Circle diameter does matter as the widest part of your body must fit through the circles. So make the circle circumference your hip measurement plus a couple of cm ease. (To draw a circle of say 100 cm circumference, use high school geometry – Radius= 100/6.28=15.9 cm. Then use a compass (or a tape measure and awl to draw the circle.) Q3. You put on the dress by making a sort of tunnel of the holes you’ve sewn. Dive in the bottom hem, wriggle through all the holes and your head and arms come out the top as you emerge wearing the bodice section. Hope this helps. I got a book on Subtraction Cutting from Centre for Pattern Design (in America) which was useful. Don’t know if it’s still available, but some Julian Roberts patterns may be. Have fun! Cheers, Carmen

    • Cimg7747_large

      Sep 4, 2013, 11.03 AMby olac

      Thanks Carmen!

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    Feb 16, 2012, 08.05 PMby Anne Wagenhauser

    wow, looks cool, and i love the fabric!

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    Feb 12, 2012, 04.41 AMby urbandon

    Wonderful! Love his techniques and your interpretation.

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    Feb 12, 2012, 12.11 AMby zosews

    This looks great! I would love to hear/see more about how you made it.

    1 Reply
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