May 22, 2012
Last February when I competed in the So You Think You’re Crafty competition, I made an infinity dress. It was “Go Red for Women” week and I thought a sweet little dress for Valentine’s Day would be perfect. I scoured other tutorials for convertible dresses, but I was confused and frustrated, and decided make my own. My dress had a few mistakes as I was figuring out the best way to make it and upon its completion, it was unwearable for me. I was newly pregnant and the dress accentuated my belly (that we hadn’t told anyone about) and was much shorter than I prefer. Then I discovered the complete lack of modesty in the bust region and lets just say that one the whole, it was better suited for the bedroom than the blog. But since I won the challenge that week, I published my tutorial and went on about my business.
Over the last 15 months, that has been the most popular post on my blog! I’ve been absolutely blown away by the number of views, comments, and pins! The love for my tutorial has been overwhelming, to say the least. And it’s made me even more frustrated by my crap-tastic first dress. Don’t get me wrong, the math and the technique are spot on. But the dress I produced was a flop. And for 15 months it’s eaten at me.
I’ve gotten many comments and emails asking me about the top half of this dress. Many of you, like me, have to wear a bra and have discovered it’s just not possible. I’ve said many times, “Oh, just make a bandeau top for it” and left it at that. Well, I’m proud to say I’ve finally put my money where my mouth is and made a convertible dress with a bandeau style top for full coverage.
And this dress is wearable! I’m so in love with everything about it.
Adding the top piece to this dress has opened all sorts of amazing wearing opportunities for me! Areas that would previously be exposed are now nicely covered and allow a bra to be worn.
It’s so much more comfortable for me to wear this dress, knowing I’m fully covered. And the styles look just as good!
When you see the dress from the front, you don’t notice just how much shows when you turn to the side! I know I didn’t when I made my first one, anyway.
The steps to make this version are exactly like my first one. There’s just one tiny, simple difference.
Ready to make your own? You’ll need to first read my other tutorial as it contains information about how to cut the pieces to your right size.
Now, here’s the trick. The waistband on my other dress was 1 piece I folded in half and sewn to the skirt. For this version I made it 1 layer thick, but taller, so it would come up higher. That’s it! So my “waistband” piece became the bandeau piece. For me it was 30″ wide by 13″ tall.
To sew, gather your 4 pieces. One skirt piece, 2 straps, and the waistband/bandeau piece.
Just as before, cross your straps over each other and pin to the skirt.
Sew the straps on. Then take the bandeau piece and fold it in half and sew down the side. This will be a side seam in the top of the dress.
Leaving the bandeau inside out, pin the bottom of your piece to the skirt/straps and sew all the way around.
When you’re finished, pull the bandeau piece up and your straps will be sandwiched between it and the skirt with the seam on the inside. It’s ready to wear!