Introducing the Endless Dress

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I was doing some internet research looking for one of those convertible dress things that you can wear many ways, but the couple that I found and that have been heavily retailed really don’t work for my body type, let’s just say I’m bigger on the top than the bottom and over 40, so those strapless/backless things aren’t my best look.

I doggedly persevered and found this little beauty by Emami, a European design group. Their stuff is beautiful, but especially intriguing is the multi-functional collection.

There are a couple you tube videos on ways to wear the limitless dress, but here are a few images for you.

I studied the pics and videos and after a couple prototypes, believe I have come up with a fairly reasonable facsimile. Which cost way less than 130 euros (or even more American dollars) that you’d spend to buy an original.

Mine cost considerably less and I’ll even tell you how to do it. Or, if you prefer, visit my Etsy shop at http://www.etsy.com/shop/EndlessDressing?ref=si_shop and pick one up today!

Get yourself 3 yards of a 60″ wide knit with about 50% stretch and 4 yards of matching cording. I used a flat 1/4″ wide braided trim. I’m thinking I’ll prefer a one directional stretch fabric rather than all over so you don’t get a vertical stretch, but either would probably work just fine. I used a t-shirt weight jersey knit for the example here, but it works really well in a slinky knit or ITY type of thing as well. As long as you’ve got a 50% crosswise stretch and a wrong side that looks very close to the right side, you’ll be fine.

This one garment can be worn as a skirt, a top, a poncho, a dress, even pants. And it doesn’t look like one lame thing that’s trying to be something else, which I found to be so with many other designs I looked at.

So, here we go!

Fold the fabric in half length-wise and measure down the folded edge 30 inches. Place a yard stick perpendicular to the fold out the the selvages. Now use some chalk and mark a curve from the left end to the yard stick so you end up with a half of a 30″ circle skirt. Back at the fold, at the 30″ mark, cut a semi-circle with the 30″ mark as the center point. I have no idea what the math is here, but I have a 30″waist (dear god, when did that happen?) and cut a 7″ diameter hole. Depends on how much your knit stretches. Where you see my scissors, I have folded up the fabric so it fit on the table so I could show you the whole thing. You’ll end up with something nearly the full 3 yards long.

Continuing on the other side of the semi circle, measure another 54″ or so. Then cut straight off. Then, on the selvage edge, you’ll want to curve it off for the last 12″ or so. I took off about 6″ while it was folded, so 12″ off the bottom edge all together, like this:

The last thing you need is a strip 12″ long and wide enough for your waist. You should have enough left for that. Make it longer if you want a longer waistband, which sometimes becomes a tube top section, or cowl neck.

This might make things clearer:

The rest is simple; three seams and you’re done. Fold the waistband strip in half width-wise and sew the raw edges so you have a tube 12″ long. Fold in half length-wise so now you have a 6″ tube with the fabric doubled. Pin this evenly around the cut out waist circle and sew in place. Fold under enough fabric at the bottom edge to make a casing for your cording and feed the cord through (be sure to make the casing wide enough that the cord slips around easily. Makes it much easier to adjust while you’re wrapping and tying) and finito, done!

If you give this a try, I’d love to hear from you about how things worked out and if you figure out any new and interesting ways to wear it!

You have, as my daughter said, “the ultimate hippie garment” . With it, a pair of leggings, a tube or tank top and a long sleeve T, you can go away for a few days and be comfortable anywhere from the beach to a nice restaurant. With the proper shoes and jewelry, of course. A girl always has to have the right shoe.

Take a look at it on a real live body (the kind I wish I still had) here: Brenna modeling the limitless-type dress.

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38 responses »

  1. I love love loooove this! I’ve seen things like this around, but have never considered making my own- it seemed too daunting. Thanks for posting such simple instructions! I’m going to have a go at this.

    (Mrs. A)

  2. i’ve been looking for help on a pattern for this dress for the past 6 months (because i also agree that 130 Euros is a bit out of my price range). haha!!! you’re amazing. thank you so much!

  3. Thank you so much for sharing. I’ve seen other patterns (the one that is a long rectangle) but the drape doesn’t drop properly. After a lot of thoughts myself, I figured out that you must have pinpoint what the right shape is and will try it soon !

  4. Hi there, as a non-native English speaker, I have been looking at these instructions for some time now, and would appreciate some help on where to create the casing, and where the one or more openings on the casing should be, to be able to pull the cording.
    Any chance you can mark that in the pattern drawing as well?

    Thanks a thousand times!

    • Important little detail, that casing! The casing is stitched across the entire straight end of the extension, so, looking at the pattern, the far right end. . Just fold over about a half inch to the right side and sew very close to the edge using a zig zag stitchband I do mean that you should fold it to the right side. Since the extension is drawn up and pulled close to the body, it’s the wrong side that will be facing out when all is said and done. The casing should end just as the fabric starts to curve up into the long sides of the extent ion.

  5. I love this dress! Would you please provide pictures or instructions on all the different ways you wear this dress, including pants. Thanks!

      • I got lost at the waist. Please help. I’m not clear… you fold the waist fabric at the width not the length and then fold it again??? I’m lost after that. Would it be possible to show a picture of these steps. I absolutely love this dress and think in the right size anyone can wear it!

      • Hi! Fold in half so the short ends are right sides together and sew to make a circle. Then fold in half so the long edges are together with the seam you just made on the inside. Baste the long edge. You’ll sew those long raw edges, spaced evenly to the waist circle of the skirt. Make more sense? If not, let me know and I’ll try to explain again. I’m sorry, but I won’t be in a space to take pics for you for a few days, but I’m happy to help this way. If you have pics of what you have, I can tell you what’s right or wrong, ok?

  6. Pingback: » Klänning till mig! NiLLiN

  7. Pingback: Klänning till mig! @ NiLLiN

  8. hi! this is amazing. I just stumbled on Limitless Dress recently and decided to try making it, and here you are. fell from the sky for me :}. I have one question though – how long did you make the cord? I suppose it’s lenght is optional, but with so many combinations of the dress what basic lenght do you recomend?

  9. Marybeth, you are genius!!! I just found this Emami dress on internet, and was thinking how can I get it cheaper, and then I found your instructions… I going to try it soon! So happy!!! ❤

  10. I saw it in Threads and loved it. I tried Googling to find out more, but with no luck. What a happy coincidence that I stumble upon you blog via a search for Vogue 1159! I’m so glad you’re sharing the instruction for this convertible dress. I’m definitely making one and sharing this page on my blog too.

    Thank you so much!

  11. Pingback: Make yourself an Endless Dress! « The Overflowing Stash

  12. Pingback: Make myself an Endless Dress! « The Overflowing Stash

  13. I just got my fabric to make this dress and got home to realize I didn’t get enough. I only got 2 1/2 yds… do you think it is still going to turn out right?

    • You will have to make a shorter skirt, so the length can’t go from fold all the way to the selvedge; you’ll have to figure how long you can make it and then draw a radius with chalk from the center point of the waist circle, and you can skimp a bit on the waistband tube. I guess the answer is if you are shorter than average and not big busted you will probably be ok. Give it a shot, what the heck!

      • Ok, thanks! Could you tell me where you found directions on how to tie this dress? I want to know how to tie the poncho, Perfect for yoga class!

      • There are a couple you tube videos showing a model changing the garment to different looks. Just look up emami on you tube and you should find them pretty easily. Best of luck!

  14. Pingback: The Love for Convertible Dresses | A Mind of My Own

  15. Pingback: Made myself an Endless Dress | The Overflowing Stash

  16. Pingback: Make yourself an Endless Dress! | The Overflowing Stash

  17. Pingback: Limitless | Κερασόπιτες

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