Do you remember my friend, Kata, who I visited in Copenhagen in May? Well, while I was there she kind of asked me/I sort of offered to make her a bridesmaid dress for a wedding in July. It’s going to be a rather hipster wedding taking place in the countryside, with quite a few bridesmaids in all different kinds of dresses, but with similar headpieces, handmade by the bride. Everybody could pick their own dress, the only restriction is the colour: it has to be either blue or orange.
As we were looking for the dress for Kata, I realized that even though her usual style is rather global-laid back (she owns beautiful jewellery, scarves, and harem trousers from all over the world and pairs them with good quality modern basics), she was looking for a more traditional bridesmaid dress. I was thinking about making the backless dress I made last summer, but that needs to be fitted on several points of her body, and being thousands of miles away, it was out of question, with most patterns with a fitted bodice. This is why the convertible/infinity dress popped into my mind (apparently not only into my mind, as Etsy is full of infinity bridesmaid dresses).
All you need for that is the waist measurement and the height really (and it helps if you know how big a bust you are about to cover). So with this information, and help from the 4 most popular tutorials on Pinterest (Sew Like My Mom, Cut out + keep, Rostichery and Knuckle Salad), off I went for fabric hunting.
I was looking for a silky, 2 or 4 way stretch jersey fabric, that is not lycra and does not cost more than £3-5, as I needed about 4 metres of it. I sent Kata some pictures of the ones I found, and we both picked that cornflowerish/light blue. But when I returned to the shop I realized that it was more like a T-shirt matt jersey, a lot lighter than on picture and was not even cheap, so I decided to look for something on Ebay. I’m pretty sure that I found around 15 shades of blue silky jersey, but none of them were similar to the shade that I agreed on with Kata. Long story short, my fave fabric shop saved me, as I found two pieces (1.5 m and 2 metres long) of light blue 2 way stretch jersey in the mighty remnants box for £7 altogether. The colour is nice, although I’m afraid a little too light, but in terms of shinyness and the weight of fabric, this is pretty much what I was looking for.
The tutorials I found made the construction look a lot more tricky than it is, but they are helpful for your first attempt. It was done in about 1.5 hours, with cutting and sewing, although I did not hem the skirt, and I had to reinforce the seam, as probably because of tension issues there were some holes in the zig-zag stitching which was visible from the other side.
What didn’t work out quite as well as I wanted, is the (only) seam actually. Since there is no opening on the dress, the waistline needs to be stretchy enough to go over your top half, so you can’t sew a straight seam (am I right?), and as you can see my twin needle attempt on hemming the waist part was a failed one too, but the zig-zag stitch is not invisible in my case, making the dress a lot less elegant. I would also be happier if I could have found a nice way to hem it invisibly.
Apart from these hiccups, I tried the dress on (like a bad seamstress :p) to see if it works at all, and could not wipe the smile off my face. I would love to make myself a jumpsuit version, a black midi dress, something from those nude/soft pink fabrics I found and maybe a maxi one as well… I think it’s the most flattering, most versatile dress ever, and the short construction time makes it a dream!