I have always loved a wrap dress. It always seems to make its wearer look so elegant and lady-like, when it fits well that is. I have owned several wrap tops and dress, but they were all off-the-rack and often left me very self conscious because the wrap portion would never stay where I wanted it to or stay as wrapped as it should be.
So, a wrap dress was a no-brainer addition to the Abbey 3.0 Wishlist. The real decision time came when I needed to choose the style. Real or faux wrap? Full wrap or just bodice? Original wrap or convertible/ infinity wrap? And it didn’t help that inspiration was abundant.
- Burdastyle – Wrap Dress Plus Size 02/2011 #139
- I Heart Jenny’s Art – Dita Von Teese Faux Wrap Dress
- IGIGI by Yuliya Requel – Isabella Wrap Dress
- Lirola – Wrap Dress with Flutter Sleeves
- Monif C – Marilyn Two Toned Ruched Convertible Dress
- Ashley Stewart – 10 Way Dress
Now, I had already decided that whichever style I choose, I was going to wear a wrap dress for my birthday dinner. So I wanted the style to be easy to achieve and quick to make. That’s how I finally chose to do an infinity dress, for which you can great construction ideas and tutorials here and here.
Introducing the Berry Birthday Infinity Wrap Dress:
An infinity or convertible dress (either name is correct) is essentially one of the easiest and quickest dresses to make as it is basically only a skirt with two very long pieces of fabric for straps. Honestly, the whole process took about 3 hours, most of which was spent meticulously drawing and cutting. I can’t seem to cut straight without guidelines and even then… smh… it’s so sad really… and time-consuming…
Most of the infinity dresses that I’ve seen (retail and DIY) were made using circle skirts and I really need to try those at another time to figure out which size circle (i.e. half, quarter or three-quarter) I really like first before I incorporate any circle skirts into my wardrobe. Yup, another sewing project for another time. So I settled on using my faithful grey maxi A-line skirt as the pattern, which I noticed was a common design on the original wrap style dresses. I added a small waistband about 3 inches wide and 1 inch less in length than my waist measurement so it would fit snugly.
I’m not going to lie. The straps were a pain to cut and then manage during the actual sewing process. But I got through thanks to several pins in strategic places along the waistline and by folding up the straps so they wouldn’t be so long to possibly get in the way while I was at the machine. My straps were about 14 inches wide by 120 inches long, and they overlapped each other 4 inches at centre front, so I wouldn’t have any wardrobe malfunctions or suffer from cleavage display overload.
I love my new dress, but there are a few things I would like to change:
- Most of the sewing bloggers recommend making the straps as long as one and a half times your height. I’m thinking that works out really well for any one with boobs in size D cup and below. As I’m not that fortunate to be small chested, I believe that making the straps twice or even two and a half times as long as your height measurement would help in ensuring that your goodies are securely wrapped up.
- Again, because of the bust, some kind of under top, like a tube or cami, is necessary to add some security and to help hide your bra at the back and under your armpit. I had to ask Mr. AD to help tug and pull the straps, especially in the back. Maybe next time I will sew a tube top straight unto the skirt and save me the stress. All night at dinner, I kept thinking that my bra was showing. Even though it wasn’t.
- Although this particular wrap was the look I was going for, I need to devote some Monif C YouTube time to watch some of the other ways this dress can be styled
- My skirt is too short. I’d prefer if covered most of my feet when I’m wearing heels and just had the toes peeking out. The base pattern skirt fits me at my ankles, but it is worn just above my hips. I’m thinking next time to add at least 4 inches to the hem of that pattern to account for raising the skirt to my waist.
Abbey 3.0 Sewing Birthday Challenge Status: Item 4 Completed!
And I joined my first link party…. which you can check out at The Train To Crazy.
P.S. For those who are wondering. No I haven’t skipped out Items 2 & 3. Well, not really. I just don’t have any pics to put up yet. So there’s going to be some backdated posts for them. Apologies in advance.
Update: Abbey 3.0 Wishlist Items 2 and 3 have been posted!