Thursday, November 16, 2006

How to Make a Modest Wrap Skirt - Part 1

A couple years ago, I had had a discussion with some ladies in an online forum, about how simple it was to make a modest wrap skirt with no pattern.  Some of the ladies asked me to post a tutorial the next time I made one.  I did, and these instructions were later published in "Making It Home" magazine.

Since making the original instructions, I have been asked for variations, such as how to make if for "fluffier" ladies, and how to make one even smaller for girls.  So throughout the instructions, you will see additional notes and such for those variations, including a whole post just for "personalizing" the skirt to fit you.  I am no seamstress, and don't sew a whole lot, so if *I* can do it, you can! :-)


How To Make a Wrap Skirt - Part 1: Cutting

First of all, you want to purchase 3 yards of 58-60" fabric.  The fabric pictured here is a green denim.

After purchasing your fabric, take it home and launder it the way you will your finished garment.  I washed it and dried it in the dryer.  You do this so that the colors will not bleed, and the fabric is now "pre-shrunk."

I have received several requests for information regarding the size of this skirt, and how to make a larger version.  After some thought and a little geometry here are the updated instructions with additions for a larger size.  This skirt shown fits approximately a size 8 - 16.  It allows for 43" of waist length, and this INCLUDES the portion that will overlap.  The instructions for the larger size will have up to a 75" waist length, including the overlap.

For the larger size skirt, you will need 3 3/4 yards of 58 - 60 inch fabric.  You will also see a sketched diagram of the cuts for the larger skirt, below.

Step 1:  Iron!  You have to start with smooth, wrinkle-free fabric.

Step 2:  Now you want to lay out your fabric, folded across the middle (cut edges matching).  Lay it smooth, edges lined up.

Step 3: Marking fabric.  Now, take a measuring ribbon and measure from one folded corner, along one side 50 inches. (58-60 inches for the larger.)

Mark it with a pin.  (If you don't have a measuring ribbon, you can use a measuring tape, or even a 50" piece of yarn.)

Keeping the measuring ribbon at the corner, move the other end over a few inches, and mark again.  You will continue to do this, and will essentially be forming a perfect curve, using the ribbon like a compass.

Now, from the same corner, you are going to repeat this process.  This time you will measure 14 inches in, marking again with a pin.  (24" for the larger skirt) These pin lines are where you are going to cut.  You will basically being doing nothing more than "connecting-the-dots."

Step 4: Cut  Now you are going to cut along these two curves. If you are nervous about cutting a pinned line, you can mark your fabric with a fabric marking pen, or even a piece of chalk.

Here you can see the smaller  portion cut out and removed.

After you have cut the two lines, you will have a large, folded wedge-shaped section, with the smaller wedge cut out. If you were to unfold the entire piece, it would be a half-circle with the middle cut out, like a big, thick rainbow. The distance between the two cut lines should be 36 inches.  This is the same for both sized skirts.

Step 5: Waist-band/belt  Now with the remaining fabric, you will measure from the still-folded line, 48 inches, and mark it with a pin again. You will cut out a long, straight strip that is 48" from the folded edge, and 4" wide. Unfolded, this will be a long strip 4 x 96 inches.

  If you are cutting the larger size, you will cut TWO strips across the fabric, 58-60 inches long, and 4 inches wide. You will end up with two long rectangles.  You will sew one end of each together, right sides together of course, creating a strip 4 inches long, and about 119 inches long.  ***Before going any further, wrap the belt around you from the back, centered, crossing in front, and tying in the back.  If this is not long enough to tie easily, you can cut a third strip and sew it to one end of the other two.  Then follow the directions continued.

Now, take one end of the strip and fold it in half the long way, matching the corners.

With your scissors, cut from the edge to the folded corner at a 45º angle.

After it is cut, open it up, and you will have a pointed end.  Repeat on the other end.

Guess what?  You are done cutting!!! See how simple that was!

(The finished skirt will be approximately 36 inches long from the waist.  If this is too long, you can adjust the length by changing the first measured cut, by reducing it from 50/60 inches.)

My daughter and I both wearing wrap skits a couple years ago.

Now on to Part 2 - the Sewing