Sunday, August 10, 2014

Easy Infinity Maxi Dress DIY Tutorial

I've long been enamored with the concept of infinity dresses, but was a little wary of the open back.  So instead of the typical 2 strap version - I used 4 straps - 2 in front and 2 in back - for more complete coverage.  I also made the fabric overlap deeper to ensure the "v" didn't cut too low on any given side (the thought of wardrobe malfunction terrifies me).


Difficulty: Easy

Time: ~2-3 hrs

Materials:
  • 4 yards 56-60" width chiffon fabric (I wear a strapless dress or full slip underneath)
  • 1/4" elastic
Due to the length of the post and number of pictures, please see the rest of the tutorial after the jump.



Steps:

  • This dress is essentially composed of 6 rectangles:
    • 2 for the skirt
    • 4 for the straps

  • SKIRT
    • Measurements are 28" x desired length (desired length depends on where you'd like the skirt to sit - either empire waist - good for tummy camouflage! - or natural waist.  Measure from the sitting point down to the floor and add 2")
    • Cut 2 with the measurements determined above
      • Mine were 28 x 45"
      • Note: 28" was chosen so I could use exactly half the width of my fabric and also allow enough room to take long steps.  Please feel free to customize to your needs.
    • Measure under your bust and divide by 2.  Mark this on your skirt panels and cut diagonally from the top to the bottom.
    • Place right sides of fabric together and sew down each side.

  • STRAPS
    • Measurements are 14" x your height (you can adjust the length to whatever you prefer, but it seemed like this was an easy way to get proportionate straps)
    • Cut 4 with the measurements determined above
      • Mine were 14 x 62"
      • Note: Similar to what I did for the skirt, I used 14" so I could quarter the width of my fabric.  Yours should cover at least 2/3 of your torso width.
    • Place the right side of one strap against the right side of your skirt.  Make sure the width overlaps the center front of your skirt as well as the side seam.  Pin in place and repeat for the remaining 3 straps ensuring they are evenly spaced and overlapping each other.  Stitch across allowing 5/8" seam allowance.
    • Each side should look like this:
    • And the dress in total should look like this:
Um, please disregard the renovation materials!
  • DRESS
    • Measure your elastic by placing it against your waist comfortably.  Cut and sew ends together with a zig zag stitch back and forth.
    • Place elastic where the straps meet the skirt.  You are essentially going to case the elastic by pushing the seam allowance material up and over the elastic and then stitching in place.
      • Alternatively, you can case and insert un-sewn elastic before sewing the elastic ends together.  I prefer casing after the fact because I hate threading the elastic through.
Push seam allowance over elastic and stitch into place taking care not to sew into the elastic
  • Finish your raw edges.  I used a rolled hem, but you can also do a narrow hem if preferred.
Rolled Hem
    • Hem to your desired length.
You're finished!  

Now it's time to play with how to wear it!


Per request, here are the pictures individually - please click to enlarge:


 


If you have questions on how to tie certain styles, please let me know!  I just didn't want to extend this post if no one needed it :)

UPDATE: How-to for the sleeved look
1.  Throw the back straps up and over your shoulders
2.  Criss cross at front and tie loosely at waist
3.  Throw front straps over shoulders and criss cross at front
4.  Join the strap ends of both front and back straps at waist and tie in a knot


53 comments:

  1. Would it be possible to upload larger pictures. It's hard to see some of the details of the different styles due to the size of the images and print of the fabric.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sure thing - I added individual photos that can be enlarged upon clicking :)

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  2. Wow! That looks great. I've always wanted an infinity dress. I think I'll just purchase one though -- I don't think my sewing skills are up to par with yours if you can create that!

    Vessi :: arts & petite style blog

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Vanessa! If you sew even a little, I think this is very doable for you!

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  3. I saw the smaller image on IG and was waiting for this post. Simply amazing, S!

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  4. Wow! The dress is stunning, I love it. How I wish I could make my own dresses :(.

    Anne
    www.liebeladies.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should give it a try! Let me know if you have questions!

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  5. Very cute and interesting. This will be a workhorse in any closet.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! Am hoping to get a lot out of it :)

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  6. Looks great! Unfortunately, I dun sew clothes, only sew bags and other crafts.....

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Leia! Maybe one day you'll give clothes a shot! :)

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  7. Love this type of dress, had one when I was younger, easy to follow will make for daughters and granddaughters. Good job!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Replies
    1. Hi Leigh! Is there a particular style you were interested in? Most were a result of me just playing with the straps rather than using an existing guide.

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  9. You are such a good seamstress & so creative! I love your Draped Maxi Dress & this Infinity Dress, especially the sleeved version. You said to "see the rest of the tutorial after the jump"? Also, could you explain how to tie the sleeved version? Thank you & keep up the good work!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your kind comment, Sharon! Sorry, the jump only refers to when you land on my homepage and the post is truncated to save on loading time - that was unclear!

      For the sleeved version, I took the front straps, pulled them up and behind my shoulders and then wrapped it around my upper arms. The straps are then brought back to the front to tie. Hope that helps!

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  10. Beautiful! I like how you use your own measurements so this will fit all sizes. As a plus size woman this type of pattern is perfect. Thanks for sharing.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Kathryn! I would love to hear how this turns out for you!

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  11. Thank you very much for this pattern. I can't wait to give it a try.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're very welcome! Thank you for taking the time to leave me a note :)

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  12. this is great and thanks I can't wait to make but I'm having trouble understanding some of the direction, Are the straps finished at 14 inches wide or are they folded in half making them 7 inches . then 2 are sewn on the front and 2 on the back and you over lap them on the front, sides and back ?how much will they over lap.?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello! The straps are finished at 14" wide and the overlap depends on your under bust measurement. For example, the width of all 4 straps = 56". If your under bust was 30", you'd take 56" - 30" and divide by 4. This gives you overlaps of 6.5". Since this is total overlap for each strap, you'll divide by 2 to get overlap at each side equalling 3.25".

      All in all, the math itself isn't as important as spacing out the straps symmetrically which a little easier when sewing than in theory. I hope that helps! Please don't hesitate if your have further questions.

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    2. got it thanks, I might have more question when I start making it :)

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  13. Thank for sharing your design. I never saw one with the 4 strap. Only 2 straps...They were longer and only attached to the front. I'm gonna try this and see how to tie with 4 straps.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're very welcome! I like the 4 straps for the maximum coverage and the many tying options - I hope it works well for you!

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  14. i cannot possibly style this dress without detailed instructions for each style. sorry, but i need that. could you post such directions? or send them to me? thanks.
    cgreer5188@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi - I'll try to think of the best way to do all styles. Probably a new post? Stay tuned.

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  15. Replies
    1. Thanks Faith - let me know if you have questions!

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  16. hi, i was wondering, can i use a different fabric? like 100% cotton? that's pretty much all i wear, but i LOVE this dress and will probably make it in many colors with scarves to match for my hair!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Deidra - you can definitely use a cotton. I would just make sure it's a softer, thinner type that has some drape to it. Stiffer / thicker cottons might create too much volume when tying the straps.

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    2. could you show us what the sleeved looks like from the back please?

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    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    4. Hi! I *finally* added a how-to for the sleeved look to the bottom of the post and it includes a pic of the back - hope this helps!!!

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  17. Hi!! I'm glad Deidra asked about the cotton, I am going to go pick up some to make this dress for a wedding I have coming up. Could you possibly go into some more detail about how you do the different tops on the dress, especially the sleeved one which is the likely contender for the wedding. Also, did you just tie the straps or secure them some other way?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi! I just added a how-to for the sleeved look at the bottom of the post. All of the straps are tied / knotted, though I think a brooch might look nice with solids. Hope this helps!

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  18. THANK YOU SO MUCH!! I AM ACTUALLY MAKING MINE FOR MY WEDDING DRESS IN WHITE.I JUST DOUBLED UP SOME OF THE CHEAPEST 100% COTTON I COULD FIND AND IT'S COMING TOGETHER QUITE NICELY. Going to be sleeved. I am so impressed and thankful that you actually check your blog; so many do Not do this. THANK YOU AGAIN!

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    Replies
    1. You are so sweet, Deidra - I'm happy to help! Best of luck with your dress!!

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  19. I love this dress. I am music director for a choir and our 'performance' colours are red, black and white. As my back is usually towards the audience I'm always looking for something with a bit of detail 'out back' to take their minds off our singing. This really fills the bill and I'm going to make it in red in the first instance as I have very little in that colour in my wardrobe. As you may guess from my spelling ('colour'!!) I'm British so your fame has sailed across the pond to good old blighty! Thanks again for a wonderful post!

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    Replies
    1. Oh Maggie, you made my week! I'm so happy that this tutorial is going to help you with a new dress for your performances! Best of luck and thank you for your kind words!

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  20. Thank you for the great tutorial! Very easy to get the gist of the math, I know I will have to adjust as I am busty and plus-sized. I will definitely make this in a lightweight stretchy fabric. If I use chiffon I would probably not be able to pull it over my head...it would get stuck on my chest! Thanks for the great pictures, too, you have definitely inspired me to get sewing again.---Bev

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    Replies
    1. Wow, I'm so sorry for not replying sooner - this must have gotten lost in my inbox. Thank you, Bev, for your kind words! I'm so very glad that you liked this tutorial and hope the project went well!

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  21. lovely dress you are very talented

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  22. I am going to give this a go tomorrow once I have sorted out how to use my overlocker!! I am going to try it with some lovely material that I have with a bit of a sparkle!! Thank you Lizzy xx

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  23. I am new to sewing and see that your instructions state to creat 2 rectangles for the skirt, then it says measure under your bust, divide by two, mark panels and cut diagonal. I am not 100% what you mean, is there to be 4 skirt pieces you sew together then?

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    Replies
    1. Fold the fabric for the skirt panel length ways the open edges become your side seems. You divide by 2 because your halving the width of the material. Hope this helps��

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  24. would a stretch sateen with a stretch lace overlay work for the skirt and just the satten on top?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Lori - it should! What I like about this particular style is that it will work with just about any kind of fabric. With sateen, I would just make sure that the fabric has enough give to fold in well and not look bulky at the gathers.

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I'm the type of gal who gets giddy when I receive mail - it's no different with comments! I really appreciate the feedback and love hearing from you :)

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