Ok, first of all… SORRY! I have been SO busy the last couple months, that I kind of put the blog on hold. Between exams, a Belly Dance Show, trips, *weddings*, and what not, I have been swamped. I have not had an open weekend since like… February? ._. WOW… Well, anyways, I am back. And I have an awesome thing for you! I made an infinity dress! You see, my mom gave me a sewing machine back in November for my birthday. For those of you who may not know, I took sewing classes back in Mexico and can more or less make some wearable garments 🙂 So, I decided to make an infinity/convertible dress for my mom and I liked how it looked so much that I decided to make one for myself. I made this dress before Christmas, but I wanted to share with you how to do it, so here is a step by step! I will say, though, that I wanted mine to be floor length and discovered I did not have nearly as much fabric as I needed, which was a dumb mistake. But it is going to be around knee-length and I hope you guys like it. 🙂
Step 1: Edge the fabric
So first thing first, I stretched out the fabric out and folded it in two. Then I pinned around the selvage. This is to make sure the fabric is as straight as possible. I also cut off the little strings at the edge because this is the part I am going to use for the long straps. And I really don’t want those to be poking out of the dress. I didn’t cut them all off though, I just shortened them. I did the same with the other selvage.
Step 2: Mark and cut the straps
I really improvised at this point. You see, my fabric is kind of silky, so it got unaligned very easily. So I got a cardboard box, and I pinned the fabric (where I had already pinned the selvage) down to the box. Then I smoothed it out and started marking the width of the straps. I placed more pins on the outside of the straps so that I could keep the fabric as aligned as possible, and then I cut. I did the same with the other selvage.
Step 3: Mark and cut the skirt
I then folded the fabric over once more, in the same direction as it was already folded. I made a square-like shape. Basically, the normal edges of the fabric and the fold that divided the fabric in half was the bottom, the fold that divided the fabric into fourths was on top, and the edges I had cut out (where the selvages were) ended up being the sides of the ‘square’. Then I moved and sat in front of the top of the square. I did the same thing with the cardboard box and pinned the corner that was to my left up to the box. Remember, facing me are the folds that divide the fabric into fourths, and to the left is the side I cut one of the selvages off from. Then I went to By Hand London to do the math for my skirt. This circle skirt calculator is amazing! I basically said I wanted a full circle skirt and it asked me for my waist measurement and then it gave me how much I had to mark on the fabric and the app is a genius! So I marked my fabric with the circle, and then I marked the hem allowance. Then I used my measuring tape as a compass and marked the length of my skirt. Because I didn’t want to waste that much fabric, I cut off the remainder fabric into a neat rectangle. I don’t know what I will do with it, but I will think of something. Then I cut off the skirt.
Step 3: Mark and cut the waistband
You know those pieces of fabric that look like triangles that were left over from your skirt? I used them for the waistband! Basically, I pinned them together as evenly aligned as possible, put them up on my cardboard box and measured 3 inches from the curvy edge all around. I cut that out and made 4 curvy rectangles of 3 inches by 17 inches. 😀
Step 4: Sew the sides of the skirt
Ok, back to the skirt, I unfolded the fabric only once! Remember it was folded so it looked like a quarter of a circle, but it was folded in fourths. I unfolded it once and made it looked like half a circle. Then I sewed along the straight edges, which would become the sides of my skirt.
Step 5: Sew the top of the waistband
Here is where it got a little bit tricky. I separated the four curvy rectangles into pairs. Now, two at a time, I aligned the concave sides and placed them right side facing right side. You see, the concave side will be the top of the waistband (towards the straps), and the convex side with be the bottom (towards the skirt). So, when I aligned the two concave sides, I made the nice shiny side of the fabric face the other nice shiny side so that the nice sides would be inside, and the ugly sides would be outside, and I sewed straight through. That way, when I turn it right side out, the stitches will be covered. I don’t know if my explanation makes sense, but the pictures might!
Step 6: Sew the sides of the waistband
Then, I closed the waistband or, in other words, make it actually circular. This was quite easy. I just measured half of my waist circumference in each of the pieces I had, placed them right side facing right side, and sewed the exterior. Here is the picture anyways 🙂 When I turned it correctly, all of the sewing and strings and markings and stuff were inside and the only thing visible is a nice fold. 🙂
Step 7: Hem the straps
Like I said before, the fabric had a lot of loose strings, so I hemmed the whole thing, all around the rectangles that would form the straps. It took a bit because the straps measure about 3.5 yards, and well, each strap has two sides, so I hemmed 3.5 yards per side per strap which is 3.5 yards times 4… But who’s complaining? Not me…. I didn’t do it….. x.x BTW, I didn’t take pictures of this because well… I think you know what I mean. xD
Step 8: Align the skirt to the waistband
Ok, then I turned the waistband inside out again and marked 2.5 inches down if the stitches. That way, when I finished the waistband, it would all measure 2.5 in width. After this, the actual tricky part started. I wanted to have all of the ugly strings hidden, so I tucked the ends of the fabric in towards the waistband. Let me elaborate. I extended my skirt the correct side facing outwards. Then, I slipped the waistband inside out over the skirt. Basically, the skirt and waistband were now right side facing right side. Then I aligned the seams so it looked nice. Then, I aligned the markings I had made on the waistband with the markings on the waist of the skirt. And I pinned it all around. (This was still right side facing right side. Then I made some hand stitches to keep everything in place. (As you can see from the pictures, if you grab the waistband at this point and pull it up it looks very neat, but I wasn’t done so let’s continue xD ) Anyways, from there I turned the skirt inside out and pulled the waistband up so I could see everything from the inside. I folded the waistband along the seam I had made, and I folded it once more along the markings on the waistband and aligned that new fold with the markings on the skirt. I know this sounds confusing, but look at the pictures and they will make sense! xD Note: I did not make hand stitches on the other side because this is is not ready! I still had to tuck in the straps.
Step 9: Align the straps to the waistband
After I attached the waistband, I marked straight lines at one end of the straps. This was to make sure I attached them as straight as possible. Then, with the skirt turned inside out, I aligned the bottom and pinned part of the waistband with the markings I made on the straps. Now, the whole point of this is to have all of the strings and stuff folded INTO the waistband, so it is not uncomfortable on the skin, so after aligning is as best I could, I took off one pin, tucked the end of the strap into the loop the waistband made and pinned it back. I started at the side seams to make sure I got as much *sideboob* coverage as possible, and since I made the straps quite wide, I knew they would overlap in the middle anyways. I continued all the way to the end of the strap, and then I did it on the other strap starting from the other side seam. A couple of hand stitches to keep it all in place, and voila! Ready for machine sewing!
Step 10: Hem the ends of the straps
Well, hemming the ends of the straps is very e y, so I won’t go into detail, I just folded and sewed to keep the fabric from fraying. Anyways, the hem of the circle skirt is the big problem! Read on!
Step 11: Hem the bottom of the skirt
Ok, I hated hemming the bottom of a circular skirt because I could just never get it right. It always looked rolled. I don’t know, I did not like it… UNTIL I discovered this trick! It was the best thing to ever happen to me! So, instead of folding the fabric in and staring to sew, I sewed all around the edge of the skirt. No folding, just one long line of stitches as nice and circular as I possibly could. That way, when folding, the stitches that were made allow for a better guide than any written markings. Anyways, once I finished sewing all around, I folded the fabric ON the stitch line (to make it have a nice and strong hold) and then I folded once more. This actually gives the fabric that curve that is needed to make sure the skirt looks circular after the hemming! It is super easy, and saves a lot of time and stress!
Step 12: Learn how to wrap, and enjoy!
I spent days watching videos on how to wrap an infinity dress. This is actually my favorite! So, I learned a couple of ways to wrap and I have used it two times: one of Christmas, and one to go out dancing with HIM <3. In hindsight, I would not have used a fabric so silky, because the straps slide and I have to re-wrap every couple hours, BUT it looks amazing! Friends, this is actually one of the best projects I have taken upon. And since I made this dress, I have felt more confident in making other and slightly more difficult dresses. For example, since making this dress, I have made a couple Belly Dance and Renaissance themed costumes that actually came out very well! Guys… Making this dress was awesome, and I hope you guys make one too!