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(this post was originally published on 29 june, 2006, with the title "one seam convertible dress".)
have you made a convertible dress? do you want to see other convertible dresses, share ideas on how to make them, and find ways to make your convertible dress even better? then hop over to flikr and join the convertible dress group.
PLEASE NOTE. the instructions for making this dress are available for free but are not to be used for commercial purposes. please do not sell dresses made using these instructions, and do not make copies of the instructions without asking my permission first. thank you!
over on the craftster forum we've been talking about variations on the infinity dress by lydia sylvestry. this type of dress has been around at least since the 1970's--i distinctly remember reading an article about dresses of this type in cosmopolitan magazine when i was about 14 years old--and i recently bought a pattern for something similar. recently this kind of thing has come back into vogue--spegiel's catalog currently has a collection of pieces by norma kamali called "convertible pieces ", and boston proper has a skirt they call a "three-in-one " (they used to have a four-in-one dress but it isn't on their website anymore).
but the version i liked best was the one by monif c.. a plus-size designer who makes AMAZING clothes that non-plus size girls can envy. (thank you keena for introducing us to monif c!). so. yesterday i had a free hour and some fabric looking for something to be, and this is what happened (click any image in this
post to see an enlargement):
and here, without further ado, is how to make this variation, using ONE SEAM:
you need four pieces: a circle for the skirt, two straps, and one piece for a "waist" band. to decide how wide to make your straps, measure from the center of your bust to just under your arm. to figure the length i just decided on 1.5 times my height, which i rounded to 90" because that was easier to figure out than 64.75 X 1.5. ) the skirt length is your choice. the band needs to be a little longer than your waist measurement--i didn't measure the length of my band, i just sewed it on and cut it off when i had gone all the way around the waist.
the next part sounds complicated but it is not. turn your skirt inside out--you are going to sew from the INSIDE of the waist--which means you don't need a free arm on your machine. overlap the straps 3"-4".
. and align the raw edges with the raw edge of the skirt waist. then fold the band in half and lay it on top of the straps, the raw edges aligned with the skirt and strap edges. you will have 5 layers of fabric on top of each other. START SEWING AT THE OVERLAP. (for now just ignore the fact that only one end of the band is in place). when you get around to where you started sewing, overlap the band and cut the excess band, then finish sewing. the band ends will not meet--they will overlap, but they will be hidden by the straps):