corecouture

Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane

Anyway but Loose..

8 Comments

I have not been posting (or sewing) regularly as this is a very busy time for me – end of term and sending students off to university (makes the hard work worthwhile) and the relentless marking of examination papers with all the bad hand writing and the rubbish that some people put on a page thinking it’s worth a mark!

I promised a make-it-yourself-without-a -pattern infinity dress – so here it is…….This is not a new idea but I only found it a few months ago, so it’s new to me.

Made in stretchy, non-fraying jersey, or similar fabric, this dress can theoretically take you all through the day and into evening; changing its style by just rearranging the endlessly long ties. Adjust the straps to suit your mood, the weather and the occasion – hence the name – an infinite way to wear this dress.

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I’m not so good with measuring and calculating so I have many internet sewists and inspirational people to give thanks to – use this post as a springboard to some others who are much more accomplished than me.

First up:Selky Moonbeam with downloadable instructions

Diaryofamadcrafter does something different with her skirt

Sewlike my mom with amazing step by step photos and Benny from tallthanthou, both of these sites have clear directions for cutting and sewing the skirt bit.

There is an infinite amount of sites (LOL) for infinity dresses and my gratitude goes out to every one of them. Most of the dresses consist of a skirt with ties – mine has bodice for extra coverage and not all of us are comfortable with being bra-less. So this version is a bit more wearable for those who carry a bit more at the front.

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Donna Karan came up with idea years ago and you can still buy the original if you have £678.97 | $995.00 to spend, otherwise follow these instructions.

Ingredients:

A lot of fabric – aim for 4-5 metres and as wide as you can get. Choose a stretchy, drapey, silky type of jersey or other knit-type fabric. You want one that doesn’t fray or curl too much at the edges because you are NOT going to hem anything! Also a fabric that is the same on both sides is best. I had 4m of a printed cottony-type of jersey that was purchased on the internet and didn’t quite live up to its photos in real life, so I used it as a test run – a muslin of sorts.

A measuring tape (and honesty)

Knicker elastic long enough to go round your upper bust.

Thread etc, but no zips, buttons, snaps or other closure devices. This is a good project to make if your notions cupboard is bare.

Method: Cutting Out

The dress has three parts: skirt, bodice and ties.

SKIRT: I used Paco Peralta’s pattern for his half circle skirt for mine because I wanted longer than knee-length, not a full circle and I know this skirt looks great. Otherwise, follow some of the instructions on the links above for measuring and cutting out a full circle skirt from your fabric.

BODICE: Measure around your bust. Allow a little for negative ease (stretch). Measure from above bust to waist and add 2″ (6cm).

TIES: Cut 2 – At least 1.5 times your height and the width is up to you. No less than 7″ (18cm)  but 10-12″ (25-30cm) allows you to make sleeves. I’d reckon no wider than 12″ otherwise they are unmanageable. They are incredibly long – here’s mine going down the stairs – so it makes for clumsy sewing later when you attach them to the skirt.

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Method:Assembly

1. Make your skirt in whatever style you are following. For mine I sewed up the two side seams. Try it on! This has to be able to pull up over hips or down over shoulders.

2. Sew the single seam on the bodice rectangle.

3. Overlap the ties at one end of their length by about half their width and stitch in place.

4. Decide where the front will be on the skirt. Flip your ties wrong side out and sew the overlapped tie ends to the front of the skirt.

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5. Turn down a hem on one edge of the bodice and stitch in the measured elastic with a zig-zag stitch. This will be the top and the elastic just offers that little bit more security and neatness. The bodice covers the bits under your arms at the sides when wearing, and covers the bra strap across your back.

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6. With the bodice seam to the back, turn inside out and attach to the skirt + ties at the waist. I sewed this twice just to make sure it wouldn’t come apart with all the pulling on and off.

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You’re done!

No hemming, just put on and have lots of fun with those ties!

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The bodice is useful, not only as extra protection, but it can be pulled down over your hips, the ties arranged over the bust and back and now you have a maxi skirt! So the length can be altered too. Brilliant.

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Most of the dresses I’ve seen are in solid colours and they look great. I don’t mind mine in the print but the fabric is thin and see-through, I think another in a rich blue or teal would be worth it.

For more ideas on how to wear, check these out:

Video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6z1VqoQqXHw

http://fashioninmotion.wordpress.com/2009/06/11/the-7-way-dress/

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Oh PLEASE! if you make one, please please make sure your skirt hemline is straight – it’s not hard.

This picture is just a rectangle slung around the waist.

Unless, of course, you are deliberately going for the asymmetrical hem or a tablecloth skirt. But this hemline will do nothing for less-than slender legs at the back.

Regardless -enjoy!

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8 thoughts on “Anyway but Loose..

  1. No hemming?! That’s music to the ears!

    Good luck with end of term shenanigans. Don’t get thrown in the fountain/pie in face from 6th form (I’m sure they wouldn’t do this to you?).

  2. Hi there Ruth, what a fabulous idea and thanks for sharing.
    Think it could be fabulous for my teenage daughter…..1 dress, lots of looks. LOL. I know 1 dress will be can I have it in lots of different fabrics!!

    Hope you get through the marking and enjoy a much deserved summer break.

  3. I attended a wedding where the bridesmaid’s wore these dresses. They were each tied a different way. I thought they all looked so beautiful. The dresses were the same solid color.

  4. OOH, I love this, super fast, super easy and so gorgeous. I may just have to produce one this weekend! Thank you!

  5. I always find these designs so cool, but fear looking like a well-festooned barrel. I think I may have to enjoy these from the sidelines!

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