Apr 16, 2014
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The Convertible “Infinity” Dress: How it almost defeated me, and what you need to make one


I made this thing. It’s pretty cool. It’s a convertible dress that’s basically a circle and two straps, so it’s really easy, inexpensive, and crazy versatile. It’s been around forever and everyone seems to love it (in fact, part of the reason I’m posting this is to answer some questions for people I’ve run into), and I can hardly believe how close I came to not making it at all.

I first found the instructions at a blog called rostitchery, and then I came across a second set at Cut Out + Keep. It sounded so easy. Cut out a circle with a hole in it, sew on two straps, and voila, a dress you can wear a hundred different ways. Sign me up! I have a sewing machine! Sure I can sew a straight line! Let’s get this done!

So I bought some material, spread it out in the living room, cut out my pieces, and…

…stopped.

I didn’t understand the next step.

Turn the skirt inside out? But it’s just a circle. I can turn it… upside-down I guess. That doesn’t seem right. Why would I want to sew the straps straps to the back of the skirt instead of with the right sides facing? If I do sew them to the back, should I pin them flush with the waistband, or should they overlap the waistband and hang the other way?

And what’s this about making them overlap each other? By how much? Why?

There’s, like, a band of fabric involved? It goes around your waist somehow? And its only purpose is to create a finished edge around the back of the dress? So it’s supposed to go behind the straps instead of below them? And you’re supposed to pin it and sew it all together at once? Even the overlapping straps? With one seam?

What?

I figured I was just being thick. Other people had figured this dress out from the very same instructions. So I googled every blog and article I could find and looked at every available photo of the dress, but there wasn’t much in the way of diagrams or clear photos of the process. I read about 15 pages into the 140-page forum thread on Craftster. I saw people who seemed confused like me. Unfortunately, the craftsters clever enough to figure it out were posting photo after photo of their successes, and didn’t go into much detail. The photos showed the dresses in action with the straps wrapped all around the area I needed to get a look at. There just wasn’t much to grab on to, for someone as dumb at sewing instructions as I am.

So I folded up my circle and my straps and I put it all back in the bag it came in. Cheerfully, I declared, “This isn’t fun anymore,” though I felt heavy with disappointment. “I quit.”

And I went upstairs to watch TV.

A couple of hours later, some of the concepts had settled in a bit, and I thought I might finally be able to make some sense of things if I stopped worrying about the words and tried to put the dress together the way it seemed like it should go. I decided to go back and give it a shot.

I was wearing my new dress after about half an hour. I’ll be honest… I still don’t understand the part about turning the skirt inside out, but I do know that even without understanding everything, I was finally able to conquer the project and ended up with something lovely. There was a whole lot of research involved on the way, though. And a lot of frustration because I hadn’t really ever sewn anything without a pattern. So here are the things I wished someone could’ve told me before I started (and a few answers that I was able to find, but didn’t realize the importance of until later). Start by reading the original instructions at rostitchery and/or Cut Out + Keep, and then use the information below to hopefully help clarify anything that might’ve gone over your head.

  1. Select a stretchy knit with spandex in it. The straps have to be super stretchy to form and twist around your body. And choose a fabric that doesn’t have a distinguishable reverse side, because you’re going to see the back of the straps.
  2. The fabric-choosing rules don’t really apply to the skirt. If you want to use a material that doesn’t fit the bill, you can use it for the skirt as long as you can find a complementary samey-sided stretchy knit for the straps and waistband.
  3. Here’s how you figure out how much material you need.
    - A square for the skirt (so if you’re using 60″-wide material, you need 60″ length), plus
    - 1.5 times your height (if you’re five feet tall, that’s seven and a half feet, or two and a half yards… but you can round down if you’re five and a half feet, no problem), plus
    - about 20″ for the waistband.
    So for me, using a 60″-wide knit and being 5’5″, my dress takes almost five yards.
  4. You’ll have a bunch of leftovers, because the straps have to be cut along the length, which leaves a big rectangle of material. Want to be clever? You should have plenty left to cut out a second set of straps/band. You can then pair it with a square of any coordinating material for a second skirt and make another dress. Thrifty!
  5. It’s going to be a pain in the butt to cut your straps. That’s not a tip… I just don’t want you to be surprised.
  6. Subtract about three inches from your waist/underbust measurement and cut the waistband to that new number instead of your actual measurements. It’s stretchy!
  7. Although this calls for a single seam, it’s tough to pin four (and in some places, five) layers of fabric all correctly at once. If you, like me, have a geometrically-clumsy brain, you can sew your straps to the front of the dress first, and then do the waistband separately with a second seam over your first.
  8. The straps have to overlap one another in the middle, but it’s hard to tell how much. Plan on about five inches of overlap at the seam, but angle them slightly so that there’s only a 5″–7″ triangle of overlap above the skirt. This part isn’t an exact science, but if you overlap too little, you’ll have to wear something under the dress because it won’t cover anything.
  9. Oh, and if you use a jersey material that’s likely to curl up at the edges, take that into consideration when determining your overlap.The width of your straps might end up smaller than what you cut. (Typically, cutting the straps along the length should keep them from curling in that direction, though.)
  10. You’ll end up pinning your overlapping straps to your circle skirt with the right sides facing and the cut edges aligned. See diagram below.
  11. On the finished dress, the band will hug your middle and be visible above the top of the skirt, but only in the back. In the front, it’ll be hidden behind the straps. The top edge of the dress, therefore, will be the folded-over edge of the band, and below that will be the nice finished seam that’s created when you sew it to the skirt. Make the band wide enough so that when you turn the dress backwards, it will cover your bust.
  12. Then you’ll pin your band, folded in half (with the “right” side out—although of course there should be barely any difference between the right and wrong sides), over the seam where you just sewed the straps. The cut edges will again line up with the cut edges of the straps and the circle-opening.
  13. Even if it’s three inches smaller than your true waist measurement, the inner circle cut to the new measurement will be too big. It’ll probably fall right off your hips. But the waistband, cut to the same measurement, should fit nicely. So you have two choices: either cut your circle-hole even smaller in the first place, or gather the circle evenly around the waistband when you pin it together. I like the second option, because it makes the skirt fuller.
  14. You’re going to sew the waistband into a ring. Plan for its seam to land behind one of the straps, but just barely. Try to get it as close to the side of the dress as you can. It should be under your arm, but slightly forward so it’s hidden by the strap.
  15. I think this diagram might help:Infinity Dress Diagram

Mind you, in spite of all my whining, the original directions from rostitchery and Cut Out + Keep are extremely helpful, and I would never have known where to begin if it hadn’t been for both of those posts. I’m pretty sure it’s my impatience and lack of experience that made the project so tough for me to figure out. However, if my diagram and the links I’ve collected below can save at least one person from the frustration I experienced, then it’s all been worth it. It really is a simple project that anyone can make.

Even me.

And once you’ve finished yours, bully for you! Check out all the ways you can wrap it. And these are just the basic ones! It’s fun to stand in front of the mirror and make up new styles. You can twist the straps or not twist them, wear them in the front or turn the whole dress around backwards, and choose between keeping the waistband at your waist, hiking it up above your bust to make a minidress, or pulling it down just above your hips to wear as a skirt. Cross the straps? Knot them? So. Many. Options!


The design itself has dubious beginnings. Some call it a classic, other cite a designer. This blog talks about that a bit, and one designer who’s been credited with first designing the dress (for “Butter by Nadia,” as pictured, left) chimes in to explain her role in the story. The fact is, lovely and simple as this dress is, a lot of people have probably designed it independently from one another. It brilliantly sort of strips the idea of a dress down to its most basic concepts. Surely by now it belongs in the crafty version of the public domain, at least for sewing-types (and the rest of us) to make their own.

Since you’re not using an actual pattern, I guess it’s even okay to sell your own version of this dress, and many people certainly do. I’ve posted a couple of links below as examples. As for me, I’ll continue making them for myself and friends until everyone I know is sick of it and doesn’t ever want to see a dress again as long as they live.

Good luck!

Collected links:
Rostitchery blog instructions
Cut Out + Keep project page
Craftster thread
Origin story
$895 somewhat-comparable version of this dress from Donna Karan
List of infinity dresses for sale on Etsy, from $30–$200

About Kristina

Kristina Ackerman is a busy freelance web designer living and DIYing with her boyfriend John in a little house in Atlanta, GA, USA.
  • Kat

    That is really cool. I appreciate hearing that I'm not the only one that reads directions and thinks, huh? Great job, it looks fantastic.

    • Andi Roth

      Thank you so much for this! I made this dress last night and wore it today. I got DOZENS of compliments! I absolutely would not have been able to do it without your awesome directions and the diagram! This is my new favorite dress, and I can’t wait to make about a million more!

  • Laura

    Thanks a ton! Found this via Craftgawker. I've always wanted to do this but stopped reading after the second or third step of the directions. The layout drawing looks like it will be a huge help. now if I can figure out how to wrap it in all those different variations!

    Have a lovely day!
    laura
    http://www.currykaydesigns.etsy.com

  • Kristina

    I really hope it helps. Once I finally figured out how simple it was and let go of trying to make perfect sense of the directions, I thought this dress was an absolute snap. And I don't even sew. Good luck to both of you, Kat and Laura!

  • Kevin S C

    how did you fixed the search bar on your blog? i'm having trouble with my site and i hope you would help me.

  • Kristina

    Kevin, that was no problem. I based my Blogger template on the Mahusay theme, which had been translated to Blogger from a WordPress theme. When the Blogger theme was taken offline, I simply googled "Mahusay," found a demo of the original WordPress theme, and saved all the CSS images from that theme to my own server. Once I edited my CSS to reflect the new URL of each image, everything looked just as it did before. Very easy.

    Best of luck!

  • Kevin S C

    how do you get the link of the search bar image?

  • Kevin S C

    ah, nevermind, i got it. thanks for the tips :)

  • Sydney

    Where did you get the bottom picture showing the version of the dress in red and all the ways it could be worn? I opened it in another tab and it's not that much bigger than it already appears, but I'd love to be able to see the options up close!

    • Anonymous

      That graphic belongs to Butter by Nadia, who make a designer version of the dress. They have a nice big version of the graphic in a PDF download here:

      http://www.butterbynadia.com/W

      You also can see the beautiful variations of the dress that they offer here:

      http://www.butterbynadia.com/w

  • Kristina

    I'm not proud to say that I borrowed it, without permission, from Butter by Nadia. They have a nice big version of the graphic in a PDF download here:

    http://www.butterbynadia.com/WARPit.pdf.zip

    You also can see the beautiful variations of the dress that they offer here:

    http://www.butterbynadia.com/wrap.html

  • k8et.com

    I marked the instructions on one of the crafty sites but didn't get around to it, then found out Avon has it for $30. Bought that one :D

    I may make more, but was thrilled to have it for a cheaper price. I have seen a bridesmaid version that was over $200, and yes – the quality is better than the Avon's, but I didn't need it for a formal occasion.

  • Kristina

    You are absolutely right! I just found it for $24.99 on Avon's website!

    http://shop.avon.com/shop/product.aspx?pf_id=38818

    Kinda looks like it only comes in cyan, though, so fabric choice is still a motivator for the crafty types. Still, I'm tempted to buy it just because I know what a good price that is…

  • Veronica

    that’s pretty awesome! i’m heading to the fabric store to make me one of them dresses :D thanks for the post!

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  • PersuasionX

    Good post

  • http://www.danaisawesome.com Dana M.

    Wow, I stumbled across this and I am so glad I did! I think this dress would suit one of my friends perfectly! I hope she will like one! Thanks for sharing!

  • texas cinyd

    You wrote and excellent tutorial and great graphics. The dress is gorgeous on you. I’m going to try and make me one. Hope it turns out as good as yours. Thanks so much…..texas cindy

  • http://lawinjury.com/ Robert

    Wow, really great! stumbled…

  • Sheri Johnson

    Your post is extremely informative and encouraging. I just bought 2 different colors of fabric yesterday in hopes of making a few of these dresses though I think I am going to attempt full length dresses and now looking for more information about “how to” cut the lower portion to make it look best.

  • http://likeahouseonfire.com Kristina

    Hooray! If you post any photos of any dresses you’ve made, I’d love to see them!

  • Sheri Johnson

    I stayed up late last night working on dress #1. I kept thinking of your dress and instructions as I was working. I did end up sewing the straps to the skirt before the band because my band was quite thin. I didn’t know till I got home that the lady who cut my fabric didn’t give me what I thought I was getting, so I ended up with a lot less fabric. Of course because of this, I feel that I may need to go and start all over again with this, but the great part is that I can at least play around with this “test dress” before deciding what I would change on the next one I make. I already know that I messed up the skirt a little bit because it just didn’t work the way I thought it was going to, but I will still be able to wear it.

  • Sheri Johnson

    I made another dress, this one for my daughter, did it a little differently than the one I made last night. I think hers turned out great. I took a few pictures http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=245707&id=66205022463&l=ec2646db57#!/pages/Sheri-Johnson-Photography/66205022463

    Let me know if the link doesn’t work.

  • http://likeahouseonfire.com Kristina

    Sheri, I think that looks fantastic. Great work! Thanks for sharing!

  • Jennifer

    Thanks so much for this tutorial! I found the rostichery and other infinity dress posts to be extremely confusing, yours cleared up a lot of questions I had about making this dress!

  • Rach

    Thank you for that i was thinking the same as you i’m so happy i found this page now i can get my sew on and have a lovely dress today.

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  • Suzie

    Wow, that looks very nice! And nice job with the choice of wedges. Adds a lovely summery feel. Great job!

  • http://likeahouseonfire.com Kristina

    Awesome! Thanks, and I’m glad it’s becoming useful for so many of you guys!

  • http://fitness-blog-site.info?p=15129 Lanie Barabas

    agree with you more! People are bound to find this really important. Wow is all I can say. Thanks again.

  • Scarlettb

    Your is gorgeous, and I’m incredibly jealous, but I have to ask: what is the situation with bras? I’m a K, so clearly going braless is not an option, but I don’t really see ANY configurations where my bra isn’t going to be sticking out at the sides. What do you suggest?

  • http://knucklesalad.com Kristina

    Good question, Scarlett. I’ve been able to accommodate a convertible bra pretty easily, in both the criss-cross and halter configurations. I just wrap the dress’s straps to cover the straps, with the waistband at bra-level. It can be tricky getting the waistband to stay up so that it covers the back of the bra, but since that’s the plan, try making your waistband an inch or two wider (which means cutting your material two to four inches larger, since that piece will be folded in half). That should be enough to help it stay up, and if it isn’t, you can always pin or tape it to the back of your bra if the occasion warrants.

    Also—and I wouldn’t do it with the dress pictured—my first attempt at this dress, using a casual jersey print, looks terrific with a matching solid-color tank top underneath. Part of the reason it works so well is because I mistakenly attached the straps too far apart and then the edges of the material curled, so it almost looks more like a jumper than a dress. It’s super cute, though, and I imagine you could do something similar in an evening style if you chose a material that would look nice with, say, a sequin tank, and deliberately sewed the straps about 1/2″–1″ farther apart than recommended.

    Hope this helps!

  • Christine

    How do you make the circle skirt? Or where do I buy a giant circle of fabric? Or is that a stupid question haha

  • http://likeahouseonfire.com Kristina

    Not a stupid question, Christine! I omitted a lot about the specific method of making the dress because they’re well documented on the other sites I linked to, but that’s a really important detail. It’s tough to make a circle. First, you have to start with a really big square, the whole width of your fabric.

    In looking for a complete circle skirt tutorial for you online, I found a whole lot that didn’t seem right, but eventually I came across this: http://www.ehow.com/how_7848371_tutorial-circle-skirt.html. Steps 3 through 6 in that tutorial describe precisely how I cut out my circle skirt. Disregard the rest of it for this dress, because it doesn’t apply, but 3–6 are where it’s at, my friend. Does that help?

  • wendy

    wow.

  • http://mcrawford678.posterous.com Geraldo Jennison

    What i find troublesome is to find a blog that may seize me for a minute however your weblog is different. Bravo.

  • Monica

    I was wondering if anyone has made the blouse version. I saw one that I really liked in Avon and want to attempt it. Has anyone tried? How did it go? Thanks I was really confused until this site, I have been looking for the “infinity dress” pattern and this is tops, by far!!

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  • Jessica Deck

    My friend is getting married this summer and we came across this kind of dress and really like the idea for the bridesmaid dresses. We ordered one online and when we got it in the mail, we were a little disappointed. It was not exactly what we had imagined. My friend noticed how easy it looked though to make and so I decided to search the web for directions. I came across your site first and read all about how you were able to do it. I then looked at the real directions and decided I would give it a try.

    Using some scrap fabric my friend’s mom had we made a sample dress. We made some modifications on it to make it more the way we wanted it and it WORKED! We were so excited. Then we decided to try it out with the more expensive fabric for the wedding. It took us a few hours and we love the outcome! Now we only have 4 more dresses to go :-) Thank you for your great blog, not sure I would have had the confidence to do it without your help.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you, Jessica, that’s the best story ever. Your friend’s wedding is going to be so crafty and cool! I bet everyone will be talking about those dresses. (Wait, but don’t tell the bride I said that. I mean, obviously they’ll be talking about her, too. Hey, have you thought about doing a long white one for her to change into at the reception? It’d be much comfier to wear to a party than a fancy wedding dress that she can’t spill drinks on!)

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  • http://www.dollardressfriday.wordpress.com Kirsten

    I can’t believe I wasn’t the only one defeated by the infinity dress. Just knowing that you finished it (not to mention your tips) helped me suck it up and muddle through it. I wore mine to work and got a fair amount of compliments on it. Thanks!

    • Anonymous

      Nice! That’s awesome. Congratulations on pushing through.

  • http://withlovebyrach.blogspot.com Rachel

    Thank you!

    I discovered the craftster thread last night and suddenly had a desire to make this dress. Like you I didn’t get the directions though. I can’t wait to try it out.

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  • Jessica

    Wow, I loved your explanation thanks so much, and the ways you tied your dress are the best I’ve seen. I was wondering how you were able to tie it to be strapless cuz I noticed that all other tutorials have the strapless like a sweet heart, but yours is straight, I know this is probably obvious to everyone but I’m confused lol.

    • http://likeahouseonfire.com Kristina

      Hi, Jessica! Don’t worry, it’s probably not that obvious: I sewed my waistband wide enough that I can turn the dress around backwards and the waistband will become a tube top, turning the dress into a sort of babydoll. Then I just twist and secure the straps around the waist a few times.

  • Sarah

    What kind of thread/stitch did you use?
    I was using the Rostitchery pattern (I agree. inside out? That makes no sense for this pattern), and I don’t know if it’s just that the band I made was a tad too tight, but the stitches popped pulling it over my chest/shoulders. My waist it very tiny compared to my bust and hips, so that might be part of it.
    Any advice would be great!
    I might try a bigger waistband, and then putting elastic in it if I find it’s falling down.
    Also.
    The band you did. Does it cover your bust under the straps, or do you scrunch it down underneath? I feel like wearing it as a “tube” style, then the straps over that would eliminate the nice v neck shape. I’ll have to see.

    • http://likeahouseonfire.com Kristina

      Hi, Sarah! I used all-purpose thread (if there is such a thing, but that’s how it’s sold—as thread-for-people-who-don’t-know-one-thread-from-another thread) and the most medium-length straight stitch my machine could do, which I think—not that it’s relevant—is a #4. I didn’t have anything to go on, so I figured staying in the middle on everything was the next best thing to not making any decisions. In your case, elastic sounds like the right choice. But if your fabric is otherwise stretchy enough, would a zigzag stitch give the seam enough stretch? I’m just guessing, and you may have tried that already.

      (Also, I usually scrunch the waistband down, for exactly the reason you mentioned. Sometimes I leave it up for sort of a preppy layered look, but it’s definitely less graceful.)

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  • Leigh

    I have been wanting to make this dress for years! However I like yourself thought, bugger this after reading the 3rd or 4th step! I like to sew..with patterns but am rather scared about doing it pattern free.
    But with your help and that of many others I don’t feel so dumb and will attempt making this dress in the weekend… fingers crossed eh^^

  • http://www.facebook.com/pages/cecilias-crafty-mom/178090585564962 Cecilia’s Crafty Mom

    I honestly don’t know how I stumbled on this site Kristina, but thank you.
    I bought this dress from myself to learn how to make it. :)
    As both an Etsyian and an Avon Lady, I just wanted to note:
    Avon has carried several versions of this dress, lately they have been in outlet not the regular brochures. Please select a local representative to order from, not just the website. Avon lady’s work hard, and although we love our corporate support system (it is one of the most charitable and has true integrity), the little fish could use the money more.

    As an Etsy shop owner we make things with alot of love and effort, everything is handmade or vintage. There are so many amazing people in the etsy community who could use your support if you are ever looking to buy, well just about anything…someone will have it, or can do it.

    If any one wants help navigating either site I am on Facebook as: Cecilia’s Crafty Mom

    • Anonymous

      Hi, CCM! Avon’s version of this convertible dress (when it can be found) is around $25–$30, isn’t it? For those who (a) can’t be bothered to try to sew it and/or (b) like the material that Avon offers and don’t need any custom options, that is a freakin’ unbeatable price.

      What’s your Etsy shop called?

  • Rebekah

    Thank you so much for this tutorial! I am very excited to sew my own convertible dress. I would love to make this with an elastic-ruched skirt like this Victoria’s Secret version, but of much better quality fabric! I am new to sewing, so does anybody know how to make a pattern for an elastic-ruched skirt? Thank you so much!

    Link for the Victoria’s Secret Ruched Convertible Dress:

    http://www.victoriassecret.com/ss/Satellite?ProductID=1265435975241&c=Page&cid=1300105512409&pagename=vsdWrapper

    • Anonymous

      I’m not sure exactly what the skirt should look like (VS changed the link) but elastic ruching is pretty easy (hand-wind a bobbin with elastic thread, then put regular thread on the needle and sew with the longest stitch on the machine; afterward, gently push the fabric up the bobbin-thread to gather, and secure both threads by hand). If you’re looking to ruche the sides of the skirt, your pattern will depend on what shape you ultimately want, but since it’s a stretchy fabric already, I imagine that sewing a tube-skirt would work.

  • http://twitter.com/prettycanhurt Debra Wilson

    I also read the directions, was horribly confused, and decided not to make it at all before I had even begun. Then, in a bag on hand-me-downs, I got (in my size) a black infinity dress… lol. I still do want one in a fun print or maybe just a red one.

  • Clarebear885

    hi i love this dress and have got fabric to make it but was wondering how u finnished the edegs on the straps and hem of the skirt ?

    • Anonymous

      It all depends on your fabric. I chose a stretchy jersey fabric specifically because I wasn’t planning to finish the edges, and unfinished jersey edges simply roll or hang.

      • Clarebear885

        thanks have my dress finnished now and love it :)

        • Anonymous

          Hooray hooray hooray! I’m so excited for you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kandicetheriot Kandice Theriot

    I wish I had seen this before I sewed my dress. I made mine to measurement instead of making it smaller like you said and it came out to big in the waist. When I wear it the skirt looks uneven because of the sagging from the waist being to big. I must have made my straps to narrow also because they barely cover “the ladies.” I might need to take it apart and make new straps out of the left over and put a little of a gather in the skirt to make it fit better. I think I will eventually make another dress like this and use your tips. Also I just used my serger to make my stitches. I felt like they would give a little more than a straight stitch.

    • Anonymous

      Rotary cutter is the way to go, for sure! I have a serger now, but I haven’t gotten up the nerve to take it out of the box yet. It’s too scary. I mean, have you SEEN how many spools of thread go on one of those things?

  • Stevievanb

    My grandmother made one in the seventies, it now belongs to me. this is s homebrew heritage invention. It looks awesome.

  • Jill McFee

    Hey, thanks for the deconstructed instructions! It helped me a lot. If you want to see what I came up with I wrote about it here:

    http://favorthebrave.blogspot.com/2011/06/i-made-it-infinity-dress.html

    I even figured out how to do the whole thing in 2 yards of 60in fabric!

  • elise M

    I’ve spent all day looking at tutorials etc. and was about to throw in the towel . Tried one more time and , yippee Skippy got your blog ! I don’t even know what I put into the search the last time, lol.
    Of all the versions I’ve seen , I really have to say I like yours the very best so,I’m extremely happy you continued on heroically ! You look stunning in this dress and the using of two different fabrics, brilliant !

    Best,
    Elise

    • Anonymous

      Thank you, Elise, you’re too sweet! I hope your dress goes smoothly, too!

  • Hannah ♥

    Thanks soo much! This was very helpful! Another blog I found very useful is: http://sewlikemymom.com/little-red-infinity-dress-tutorial/
    Thanks soo mcuh! :)

  • Barbara Lamar

    Very instructive diagram and beautiful choice of fabrics! I have some striped silk jersey I wanted to use for this dress, but the stripes would have looked weird for the straps. That’s a great idea to do the skirt and bodice from different fabrics. Thanks!

    • Anonymous

      Striped silk jersey sounds beautiful as a skirt. Good luck!

  • Anonymous

    Awesome! I’d love to know how you fare!

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  • http://vintageorigin.3dcartstores.com Runway Diaries

    Love this. Thanks! I also write for a blog, The Runway Diaries. While researching for a post, I came across a great Interactive How-To-Style photo tutorial on styling the infinity dress.

    Go to http://www.VintageOrigin.com and click on “how to style” in the upper left hand corner, in the menu bar. You can’t miss it. Anyway, it has front and back photos on a mannequin, so you can’t get lost mid-step!

    They also have gorgeous infinity dresses for sale in the VO BOUTIQUE (click here: vintageorigin.3dcartstores.com | or click on “BOUTIQUE” from http://www.VintageOrigin.com). These infinite dresses work for pretty much every single occasion you can think of.. casual, cocktail, formal… spring, summer, fall, winter… every color & every size! And they are MUCH less expensive than every other company I’ve researched. I’m pretty much obsessed! Can’t you tell!?

    Hope this adds to your blog!

    Happy Posting,

    The Runway Diaries

  • Brood

    Too bad it’s ugly

  • Em

    I just completed my first infinity dress, thanks to you! The diagram on step 15 was REALLY helpful. Thank you for posting this!

    • Anonymous

      Awesome, I am so glad to know that! Congratulations on your dress, Em!

  • Jebug5

    I really want to make this dress but I have an ancient sewing machine (literally, its from the early 1900s I think) and it doesn’t do zig-zag stitch like most people say to use. any hints? =/

    • Anonymous

      Oh, you can definitely get this done with straight stitch! The zigzag stitch is recommended because it helps the knit material retain some of its stretch. But stretch isn’t everything. At worst, I think that without the benefit of stretch, you might lose out on some of the strapless options, because you may have to make the waistband of the dress a little looser in order to get in and out of it. There are plenty of strap/halter options, so that’s not a humongous loss.

      At the end of the day, the project is so simple that there isn’t really a very big risk involved. I hope you decide to give it a shot!

      • Jebug5

        oh I’ve actually got the fabric already and have it all cut out and ready! I just got stuck on the sewing part. but thanks for the advice, I’ll probably be up late tonight sewing it because I’m really excited about the finished product =]

        • Anonymous

          So am I! I will keep my fingers crossed for you!

  • Jackie F

    This is a great project. I will be going on a cruise in September and this would be such an easy thing to take and so fashionable. I was thinking, though, that you could recycle a circular skirt you already have and add the stripes for the straps. I look so forward to trying this and taking it on my trip. Thank you for your work and making this easier for the rest of us.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Blank-Slate/100002259563806 Blank Slate

    -_-

    • Anonymous

      Que?

  • kirsten

    After making my first infinity dress I recently made another out of old tee shirts! http://dollardressfriday.wordpress.com/2011/07/08/project-thirty-six/

    • Anonymous

      Awesome idea! I’ve been heavy into refashions lately, and I’ve been going to town on a bunch of old t-shirts myself, so I love to see new ideas for ways to use them. Great job. :)

  • Mac

    Hi there,
    First thank you for the great help! I do have a question. I do not sew my sister does and I was hoping to have her make these for my bridesmaids. If I wanted the dress to be full length do you know what I need to change?
    Thanks again!

    • Anonymous

      Hi, Mac! Yes, I do: the skirt length! That can be accomplished by making the diameter of your outer circle GIGANTIC (twice the length you want the skirt to be), which is only possible if you have amazingly wide fabric, unless you actually cut two half-circles and sew them together at the edges (right sides facing of course) to make one very, very large circle skirt.

      You can also replace the skirt with any other skirt you like if a full-length circle skirt is too voluminous for you. Skirts are fairly simple to make up as you go along, and anything will work (even a tube made out of one or two rectangles of fabric), as long as your bridesmaids can slip in and out of it (otherwise you’ll have to add a zipper) and the waist measurement matches up with what you’ve got for your waistband.

      This tutorial looks like it might give you a skirt in the appropriate style, and the design even includes a waistband similar to the style used in this dress:
      http://www.makeit-loveit.com/2011/03/womens-skirt-with-yoga-style-waist-band.html

      Good luck!

  • Deehinds

    Just finished mine within 2 hours….changed the skirt pattern thou’ mines a straight mini and it looks great….thanks so much for the diagram it really helps. Dee

    • Anonymous

      Hooray! Good for you!!

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  • Ecschulte86

    I tried the other two sites you mentioned, but in my opinion, your instructions were, by far, the most clear and easiest to read and understand! I went into this project thinking, “great, another project that I’m going to start, get halfway through, and quit because it’s too tedious or hard” and it totally WASN’T!!! I finished my dress, following your instructions, in about an hur, start to finish. I can’t wait to wear it and show it off at work tomorrow! Thank you so much!

  • http://www.facebook.com/chandra.rogers Chandra Rogers

    I’m really glad to read this as I had a heckuva time figuring out how to make an infinity dress, too. Mine’s still sitting by its lonely little self on a shelf in the sewing room. Maybe I’ll be able to finish it tomorrow!

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  • Stephanie Cooper

    THANK YOU!!

    I’m so glad I’m not alone in thinking this is not as simple as it sounds. I did figure it out eventually, but the dress was way too short because apparently I can’t do basic math. Next time I will do 2 half circles so the dress is longer and sew side seams in the skirt that will be hidden in the folds.

  • http://www.tiecoon.com/howtotieatie How to Tie a Tie

    Nice, our how to tie a tie videos are pretty informative too.  Not quite as fun as a black patent platforms, though.

  • Ben

    Anybody know where I can get these at wholesale prices, would like to sell them on our site http://www.discreettiger.com.au/ Thanks

  • Becky

    Does anyone know how to convert this down to a child’s size? I would love to make one for my super creative kindergartner–she would love it!!

    • http://knucklesalad.com Kristina Ackerman

      Cute idea! It shouldn’t be difficult to convert at all. Measure from the waist to where you’d like to hem to fall, and that’ll be the radius of the circle for the skirt. Then measure from the center of the chest (at waist level) around to underneath the arm, and add an inch or two to get the width for the straps. (The formula will be the same for the length of the straps as it is for an adult, I would imagine.) You can hold the pieces up to her before you sew, just to check that you like the way it’s looking—so when in doubt, cut big, because you can always trim pieces smaller without wasting fabric.

      Good luck!

  • marisa

    if you pick a non stretchy fabric for the skirt do you still have to minus 3 inches on the inner circle?

  • Jillian Danae

    This dress looks awesome, but to me, it makes me wonder….how easily (if at all) do the girls fall out??  If I want to wear one to a wedding, and there’s dancing, am I going to have to worry about pulling a Janet Jackson??  Thanks!!!

    • http://likeahouseonfire.com Kristina

      Hi Jillian! Haha, it really depends on how (and how tightly) you wrap the top, and the size—objectively—of the girls in question. A good knit material will stretch and form to your body so that you can secure it and there should be no jailbreaks, but to be on the safe side, I’d definitely choose a non-strapless tying strategy if I knew dancing was a possibility!

  • Roxy

    I just came over from rostitchery, and then google, because I just didn’t get how to do this dress. Your instructions are very very helpful! I finally understand how to make this dress and can’t wait to give it a try. Thanks so much!

  • missstarlamae

    I just ordered an infinity dress and was looking online for ways to tie it when I stumbled across your post.  How wonderful to know I can make my own!  As a beginner sewer (I just started in January of this year) I know your post will be extremely helpful.  Thank you!

  • Alice Camerlingo

    Hi there thankyou so much for the tutorial!  I was wondering… when I went to the store, the clerk was asking if I wanted a 2 way stretch jersey vs a 1 way… I just said “huh”? what do you suggest? Please help!!!

  • Julietfayexo

    How did you end up measuring the size of the hole for the waist since you chose something that wasn’t a stretchy fabric?

    • http://knucklesalad.com Kristina Ackerman

      Good question, Juliet. I followed the same instructions, because for the most part, the rules still apply: cutting a circle to the same measurement as your waist will somehow result in a waistline too big for your body, so cut it smaller and plan to gather any excess.

  • Anne

    Hi there!

    I’m 17 and my cousin has an upcoming beach wedding, is this project doable without much prior sewing experience and a sewing machine? Thanks a lot! x

    • http://knucklesalad.com Kristina Ackerman

      Hi, Anne!

      This dress is definitely doable with little sewing experience (I’m no expert myself, and can only manage simple projects without feeling overwhelmed). I’m not certain how it’d turn out without a sewing machine, though. Hand sewing is an option, but you’d need to be extremely neat and make your stitches very, very, very straight and uniform in order for the finished dress to look nice. If you can do that, then there’s nothing standing in your way!

  • Lisa

    Kristina, I don’t know if you’re still reading these comments or not, but I figured it was worth a try.  I understand the need for overlapping the straps (I’m doing 5″), but what is the purpose of angling the straps leaving only 5-7″ triangle of overlap.  Where does that provide more (or less) coverage as opposed to sewing them on with the raw edges flush?  Thanks!  Mine’s all cut out and ready to be assembled.

    • http://knucklesalad.com Kristina Ackerman

      Hi Lisa! 

      It may be debatable. I angled the straps because the most coverage is needed in the place where I’ve put the overlap, and to be honest I wanted to give myself the sometimes-option of wearing a bra rather than creating a deep plunge all the way to the waistline. 

      But I suppose that if your material is good and stretchy, you could overlap the straps and leave them parallel, essentially overlapping them for their entire length, and not lose any shaping potential. In fact, if that worked, you’d be gaining shaping potential when wrapping the front straps in a criss-cross motion. But I haven’t tried it that way, so this is pure speculation. 

      Have you tried pinning your pieces in both configurations and trying the dress on to see what you prefer? That’s my recommendation, definitely!

  • AlsGal

    My body has no shape.   Iʻm 5ʻ2 and measure 44-40-38.   Can someone like me successfully wear this?   Seems every picture I see the model at least has a waist of some sort – I have none.   Help, please.

    • Lisa

       Check out this site.  http://www.monifc.com/marilyn-convertible-dress.html They sell the infinity dress for plus size (non-model shaped) women.  All of their how to wrap videos offer a little more coverage than other videos I’ve seen.  Click on one of the dresses to view it, and the link to the you tube videos are on the item page.  I’d just recommend that you be sure to make your straps wide enough and use stretchy fabric.  I made my straps 12″ wide and am a 34D.  Depending on how busty you are, you probably want to make them wider than that for more coverage.

    • Bianca Simone

      You can DEFINITELY wear this!!!!  I made mine to fit me under my bust instead of at my waist (because I feel more comfortable like that).  My straps were 12″ as well and I am a 42F (baby boobies… damnit…).  I’m about to start into my 2nd dress and making the straps 14-15″ wide.  However I did make my straps LONGER (by about a foot) on the first dress so they go around me more times.  You can toy with the length and then trim your straps down if you think they’re way too long.

      If you don’t like it coming in at your waist (I do because it makes me look like a grape wrapped in floss :-P) you can make it fit higher (under bust) instead of lower (waist).

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  • Donna

    I was shopping in FL. and saw this dress at a beach store.  Came home found your site on how to make it.  Great information.  I went back and noticed they had 2 different verisons wide. Your way which is mostly backless.  Which I will make.  Here is how this dress was put together.  So simply… Skirt is 26″ long, band is 14″ wide.  After it was folded in half ready to attach to the skirt, they  ran a piece of elastic around the top and sewed to hold in place only on sides.  Ties are 44″ each.  Sew them in the center or make one long piece.  Gather center alittle for look and sew right to the front side of band.  Makes it not a back less dress and can wear bra with it.  But I thought attaching tie right to front of dress was great idea.
    Happy Sewing
    Thanks Again

  • Mizteejay

    Thank you for this post.  I’ve been sewing a million years but I use patterns for everything (even cobbling three or four together to make something I can visualize in my head) because I just cant wrap my brain around stuff.  (and even with patterns I follow the pictures because a lot of the time the written instructions confound me). 

    Did I say THANK YOU? :-D

    • http://knucklesalad.com Kristina Ackerman

      You are so very welcome!

  • Shanteruss

    Do you have a picture of the dress laid out flat?

    • http://knucklesalad.com Kristina Ackerman

      Hi Shanteruss! I actually don’t, because my apartment isn’t big enough to lay this entire dress out flat without moving furniture. I’ll try to come up with a way to take a flat picture when I get some time, though. Would you like me to send it to you?

  • Cathy

    Hello,
    firstly I want to say I sad to hear you say you thought yourself dumb for not getting it. I was called dumb during school and later found I am dyslexic. So you are a great person who has overcome a problem. Congratulations. I am not sure it would suit me. I am a very large lady (125 kg) and have not worn a skirt or dress for years – except for a dress my sister bought in Dubai that the Muslim women wear outside the house. It is large and lovely to wear in our hot summers. I used to do a lot of knitting and saw a lovely pattern for a jacket. It has an ancient geometric pattern and I used a gray ordinary 8 ply and a maroon 8ply mohair. It also has shaped front with rounded corners. As I said I considered myself an experienced knitter and was happily knitting away and one day my brain could not get around maintaining the geometric pattern, changing the wools and increasing the stitches to make the rounded corner. I undid it, knitted again, undid it etc  until in absolute desperation I threw it on the floor of the lounge. If anyone in the family went to pick it up I barked at them ‘leave it there’. The next day I picked it up and was able to do it as though nothing had gone wrong. So experienced people can have days when things do not go as wanted. 
    Again, congratulations on overcoming that hurdle and remember you are not dumb, you can talk (the literal meaning of dumb) but also you were having a bad day. 

    • http://knucklesalad.com Kristina Ackerman

      Cathy, thank you for that story! You’re right—I think we can all be way too hard on ourselves sometimes, and it’s really important to be able to take a step back and look at things from a new perspective.

  • Lilymeadows

    I am still confused by where the waist band goes in relation to the straps when sewing this. Do the straps get sewn below the waist band? I am a visual learner. Can someone post pictures of the process?

    • http://knucklesalad.com Kristina Ackerman

      Hi, Lilymeadows,

      There are process photos to be found around the web. Unfortunately, they tend not to be super helpful, since all you can really show in a picture is a whole lot of fabric pinned to other fabric. Looking at photos was, to be honest, a huge part of what confused me about this project in the first place.

      I recommend studying the diagram above, and thinking of it this way: The skirt has a waistband, which is sewn to it with just one seam; the straps are sewn behind the waistband, with their seam in the same place as the seam that holds the waistband to the skirt.

      If that doesn’t help, definitely visit the links at the bottom of the post, because most of them have at least a few photos of the process that you can check out.

  • http://www.glorybyjeannielee.etsy.com/ Jeannie

    The diagram was AWESOME, thank you!!

  • TINY7298

    LIFESAVER!!!
     

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  • Rachel

    I love what you did by using a non-stretchy material for the skirt. But I couldn’t figure how you attached it to the stretchy knit if the circle is smaller than the waistline. Did you gather the skirt portion? Cos somehow I keep imagining myself to be stuck when I tried pulling it over my shoulders, since there’s no stretch in the skirt portion… Thank you so much!

  • Kitty

    Thank you for these instructions. I relied on them heavily plus information gleaned from other websites. I folded the skirt material in half and in half again and pinned it to keep all four layers flat and steady. Then I pinned the four-fold corner to the bed (don’t try this with a waterbed.) I poked the pin through a measuring tape then through the material and into the bed. Then using a red pen, I marked an arc 24″ by swinging the measuring tape across the material. That is the bottom of the skirt. I cut the arc and made a perfect circle.

    Now the waist. I looked at all the websites and they all had different instructions. So I measured my waist (30″, let’s pretend), minus three inches as you suggest (27″) and then divide that by 6.28 to find the radius of a circle (4.30). So I rounded that to 4″ or 4.25″ and pinned the measuring tape through the material corner and into the bed. Drew another arc and cut the arc to form the waist hole in my circle.

    My heart dropped to my feet when I tried on the circle skirt and it fell to the floor. Back to your instructions and #13 gave me hope. I cut a nice wide waistband at the 27″ waist length. I pinned the skirt to the band and stretched the band a bit as I was serging the seam to make it fit the circle skirt.

    Success!! I can’t tell you how excited I am. This is my first project on my brand new serger and it is great. I decided to put the straps on the inside of the waistband as I think they are too wide and I may have to trim them. With them inside the waistband, no one will be the wiser.

    By the way, I chose a black, red & yellow plaid with silver threads in it for the skirt and a shimmery medium grey for the straps. It will be great for the holidays. I feel so domestic! Thank you for your great instructions. Kitty

  • Maria

    Thank you SO much! You have litterally just answered all the questions I had in one go :D I haven’t found the fabric I want to use yet, but I think I may give this a go sometime soon. Can’t wait to wear it, looks amazing :)

    • http://likeahouseonfire.com Kristina

      That’s excellent, Maria—good luck!

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  • Twinkie

    Thank you so much! I found the same instructions and was confused too. Especially with the waistband. I first thought it was because English isn’t my first language and I couldn’t find Instructions in German. But now that you cleared everything up, i feel optimistic that i can master the infinity dress. I wouldn’t even start, had I not found your tips. Thank you!

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  • Emma

    OMG, this is the best dress I have found, especially when it is made by ourselves! I am going to try to make one following your instructions. Actually I am browsing http://www.foryoudresses.com for a special-occasion dress. I will contact them and share your ideas with those guys, who are claimed professional tailors. I will come back if there will be other inspiration.

  • Eunice

    Hello,

    First off, thanks so much for your tutorial. I made my first version of the infinity dress last night. I followed your instructions and it came out nice… but I couldn’t fit it through my hips or shoulders! I then widen the middle circle by 1 inch an started again – this time, it fits through after a little struggle, but once it’s on, the waistband is a little loose (the waistband sits on my waist). I used a 100% polyester stretchy material, but sewing the waistband onto the inner circle using a running stitch made it not stretchy (at least at that part). What should I do?

    Thanks!

    • FrugalSheila

      When I make mine, I’ll be using a zigzag stitch for the waist seam, so that is CAN stretch to fit over my hips. I hope you haven’t given up on your dress!

  • Shakezula

    This is great, one of those online coupon sites has a deal on these but it would be so much fun to make my own. Many thanks.

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  • Ms. May

    Thank you so much for clarifying the horrible instructions! This helps me SO MUCH!! Can’t wait to make this now!

  • vuocime

    Recently I was REALLY low on cash and debts were eating me from all sides! That was UNTIL I decided to make money.. on the internet. I went to surveymoneymaker dot net, and started filling in surveys for cash, and surely I’ve been far more able to pay my bills! I’m so glad, I did this!!! With all the financial stress these years, I really hope all of you will give it a chance. – 7dpy

  • http://www.fafafoom.com Mira Musank

    Thank you for this post; I almost gave up halfway when I made this high-low circle skirt dress: http://www.fafafoom.com/2014/02/14/high-low-circle-skirt-dress-diy-fashion/

    Good thing I stumbled upon your post and picked up some pointers to continue!

    The plain knit fabric for making a circle skirt was difficult to work with, but in the end I’m really glad I continued until the end :)

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  • Elizabeth Pastore

    What a lovely blog post. I was getting so annoyed because I wanted to make this dress and no one was saying what fabric to use. Glad I found you.

  • StevieM

    Hello!

    I’m really really happy I found this website! I’m trying to find a dress to wear to three weddings this summer and am coming up empty! I really want an infinity dress, the only problem is, I’m pregnant (and plus size) and going to be SUPER pregnant this summer lol. I’m worried about that aspect and making sure that there’s enough fabric to cover me. Any suggestions?

    Thanks!

    • http://knucklesalad.com Kristina Ackerman

      Congratulations!

      The important thing to remember is that it isn’t the skirt that makes this an infinity dress. The skirt isn’t even very convertible. So you can apply the basic waistband/straps construction to virtually any skirt (a pattern, a tutorial, even an existing purchased skirt).

      The way I see it, you have a few options. If you’re digging the full circle skirt, you can just make a longer one by cutting two halves of the circle the width of your fabric, to make sure you’ve got enough length, and sewing two seams down the sides of the skirt to hold them together as one circle. Now, this option is best if you’re digging the high-low trend and don’t mind your skirt being shorter in the front where your belly is gonna hold it out.

      If that bugs you, you’ll need to tailor a maternity skirt (which may be tricky, since your bump measurements will change throughout the summer), or buy a skirt to build on, or do some tricky geometry to figure out the shape of your ideal simple circle skirt.

      But since you can choose any kind of skirt you want, I bet you’ll figure out what works best for you! I’d start by googling for simple maternity skirt DIYs and looking for anything with a stretchy waist. Good luck!