DIY wrap dress tutorial

Infinity Dress - free dress sewing pattern

Twist it, drape it, tie it… one dress, countless ways to wear it, and we’re here to show you how to sew it! Portia Lawrie has designed this convertible wrap dress tutorial for a clever multi-style frock that makes party dressing a doddle. Read on to find out how it’s done…

With a multitude of configurations giving you lots of different looks, this one dress will see you through many parties! Whether you go demure, vampish, classic or asymmetric, this style gives you oodles of options to suit any occasion. What’s more, it’s simple and quick to make. You’re welcome…

DIY bridesmaids dress: 6 ways

6 ways to wear it: {top row} 1: Twist the straps at the back and waist for a statement look 2: Give a one-shoulder style a try 3: Dare to bear & go strapless {bottom row} 4: Try a cross back and sweetheart neckline 5: Cover up with a crossover neckline 6: Wrap over a necklace to add a unique detail.

This dress is bespoke to you and can be worn differently each time, so there’s no chance of another partygoer wearing the same frock as you! It’s a great choice if you’re looking to sew your own bridesmaids’ dresses too: each dress can be made to measure in the same fabric, then worn in a different way: so each member of the bridal party can style it to suit their personality and body shape.

An added bonus of this project is that it’s pattern-less – making it a great choice for those of you who are new to dressmaking. You can see more of Portia’s designs over on her website www.makery.uk and check out the rest of our free sewing projects for more like this.

How to sew your own infinity dress

You will need

  • Jersey fabric: 150cm (60in) wide x 3 metres (314yds)
  • Tracing paper
  • Tailor’s chalk
  • Ruler
  • Basic sewing kit

Choosing your fabric

Select a medium-weight jersey with a good drape and a minimum of 20-30% stretch. We used Milano jersey in purple from Fabric Godmother, which comes in several gorgeous colourways. It’s soft, drapey and has the right amount of stretch and recovery for repeated tying.

Notes

  • When stitching on jersey, select a narrow zigzag stitch width with a regular size 3 stitch length setting for the seams. Finish by zigzagging or overlocking.
  • Use a 1cm (38in) seam allowance.

Making the pattern

Step one: The basis of this dress is a circle skirt, with a folded jersey waistband and two long panel ties attached at the waist. To start, you’ll need your waist measurement and the desired length of the skirt (this can be no more than half the width of your selected fabric).

Take your waist measurement, say 30in, and calculate as follows: 30in÷6.28 = 4.8. This is the radius of the waist opening you need. Add this to your desired skirt length, say 24in, and calculate as follows: 24in+4.8 = 28.8in (rounded up to 29in).

Infinity free dress sewing pattern step 1

Step two: To make the skirt pattern, mark two lines at right angles to each other on your paper, that measure 29in long. Mark a point 4.8in (your waist radius) along each line from the corner and join with a short smooth curve for your waistline. Join the far ends of each line with a long smooth curve (that’s your hemline).

The easiest way to do this is to tie a length of string to a pencil and anchor the other end to the top of the line with a drawing pin to the length of the straight line, then draw the curve.

Infinity free dress sewing pattern step 2

Cutting out the fabric

Step three: Cut out your pattern piece. Fold your fabric in half selvedge to selvedge, then in half again in the opposite direction. Place your pattern piece on the fabric so the straight edges align with the folded edges of your fabric, and pin or weight in place.

Infinity free dress sewing pattern step 3

Step four: Cut through all four layers of fabric in one go; one cut along the waistline curve, and one along the hemline curve. Open out and you will have a complete circle with
a hole in the middle for your waist!

Infinity free dress sewing pattern step 4

Step five: Cut two panels the full width of your fabric and around 30cm (12in) deep. The depth of them will depend on your bust. Measure from your side, across your bust point and about 2.5cm (1in) past the centre of your breastbone. Cut these sections carefully as the edges are unfinished.

Infinity free dress sewing pattern step 5

Making the dress

Step six: Mark the centre front and sides of your waist opening. Pin the panels right sides (RS) together on the skirt (with the panels laying towards the hem of the skirt) between these two marks, overlapping them at the centre front waist so they fit between the side marks.

Infinity free dress sewing pattern step 6

Step seven: Machine or hand tack the panels in place so they lie flat.

Infinity free dress sewing pattern step 7

Step eight: Next, cut your waistband. This is a band of fabric 16cm (638in) wide. The length should be slightly shorter than your waist measurement to allow for stretch (try it on to get this right) with 1cm (38in) added either end for a seam allowance.  Stitch the short ends RS together to make a tube then fold it in half lengthways.

Infinity free dress sewing pattern step 8

Step nine: Attach the two raw edges to the waist of your skirt, sandwiching the tie panels between the raw edges of the waistband and the skirt itself. Stitch together, easing the waistband on.

How to sew an infinity wrap dress step 9

Step 10: As sections of the skirt end up cut on the bias, by nature they will have more stretch and over time the hem will stretch out unevenly. Therefore, if you hem it straight away, the hem will end up wonky, so leave it for a day or two and let it do its thing and stretch out.

ow to sew an infinity dress step 10

Step 11: When the skirt has finished stretching out, find the shortest part of the hem. This should be where the fabric was cut on the grain. With the dress on a dress form (or on you with a friend to help!), use a ruler to measure up from the floor, and make
a note of this measurement.

Infinity free dress sewing pattern step 11

Step 12: Mark all the way round the hem with pins the same distance from the floor. Keeping your scissors parallel to the floor, cut all the way round that line of pins as smoothly as possible, then remove the pins.

How to sew an infinity wrap dress step 12

Even out any ‘scissor jags’, turn under and stitch to hem. You’re done, now grab a clutch and go party!

Top stitching tips

  • Leave the ties off the dress and you’ll have a classic circle skirt! 
  • Make this up in black for the ultimate Little Black Dress.
  • Use a simple rectangle to create a gathered skirt if you want a maxi length .
  • This multi-way frock would make an awesome bridesmaid dress. Make them all in the same colour and allow your bridesmaids to personalise each one by tying them in different configurations!
  • Try using alternatives to the circle shape such as an oval, square or rectangle for different drape and hemline effects.
  • Use good quality thread and a ballpoint or jersey needle that is rounder at the top. This will slide between the fabric threads rather than piercing them to avoid snags.
  • For a two-tone look, make the panels and skirt from different coloured jersey fabric.