When my friend sent me a link to an amazing ‘Infinity’ dress at a less than amazing price, I wanted to find a way to make it myself. Infinity refers to the countless ways the dress can be worn and it’s basically a full circle skirt and two very long straps that wrap around your body in different ways.
There are quite a few tutorials available on Google or Pinterest, if you want a step-by step tutorial. I studied them and got the gist of it, but pretty much improvised my way through it. The main change I made was because I didn’t trust the straps keeping my modesty intact, so I decided to add a little ‘boob tube’ to make sure it all stays inside the dress.
I chose a viscose jersey and out of 5.5m, at 1.5m wide, I managed to make two dresses out of it.
I mostly eyeballed the measurements, and here’s the rule of thumb. As the fabric was 1.5m wide, I made a square by cutting 1.5m out of the fabric length, for the circle skirt. Out of the remaining fabric, I took out 30 cm for the boob tube. For the straps, I used all the remaining fabric (3.7m), which is a little bit over 2x my height. I think some tutorials suggest 3x height, but that was all the fabric I had.
For the skirt: I folded the 1.5×1.5m piece of fabric in 4, ending up with a 75cm edge square. I’ve used a calculator to find out the required radius. A very good post here on how to calculate it, if you are seriously into your maths. I just googled ‘how to calculate the radius for a circle skirt’ and a calculator is what comes up first. I just put in my waist measurement and came up with the radius, in my case 10 cm. The fabric will stretch, so if anything, round down rather than up. I have a funky way of measuring the chunk that needs to be cut out, by using my tape measure and a pin stuck into the carpet, then tracing the semicircle that will need to be cut out for the waist.
For the total length, I measured the distance from waist to where I wanted to skirt to end and added the radius, then followed the same methodology to trace a larger semicircle, ending up with a doughnut-like shape.
For the boob tube: No rocket science here, just a few things to watch out for. Make sure it’s (self) lined, make sure the back is slightly lower cut than the front (like a corset or strapless top), to make sure the waist lies at the same level back and front. I had not done it in v.1 of the dress and ended up with fabric pooling above the waist. Obviously, the boob tube needs to be fitted, to stay in place. To ensure it’s even snugger, I added a bit of cord elastic into the overlock stitch between the lining and main fabric, using a bodkin. I also understitched the lining to the seam allowance, making sure it stays on the wrong side.
The straps: Rule of thumb for the straps is that they cover you from center front to shoulder. In my case, I divided my remaining fabric in 4 length-wise and ended up with a 37.5 cm strap give or take, which was more than sufficient. Plus I also had the boob tube for extra cover. They will need to overlap at centre front and will have to be pleated or gathered, as they will end up wider than the front of the skirt waist.
Putting it all together: I warmly recommend basting the straps to the skirt, right side of the skirt to wrong side of the straps. You will see why when you join it to the boob tube, as the right side of the straps will be showing when you tie them up. Don’t forget to quarter the waist circumference and mark it. The straps will need to overlap about 5 cms over the centre front and finish at the side marks. All the excess fabric will need to be pleated or gathered. Then baste the whole lot together. And then add the boob tube, right side to right side with the skirt, sandwiching the straps in the middle. The straps will have the wrong side toward the boob tube. As it is jersey, I overlocked everything and there was no need to hem. Check the resulting seam to have nothing caught in the seam, and you’re done.
All you have to do now is figure out the million ways to wear the dress. I wore it once already and had a lot of fun popping into the powder room and changing the way it was tied to see who notices the differences.
All in all, a 2-3 hour job and a very satisfying result!
Until next time, happy sewing!