Wrap skirts are ideal first projects for designers of all skill levels. They are the simplest skirt variations to draft and sew, plus they are easy to alter and super fun to embellish. There are no fussy closures like zippers or buttons to worry about, and the fit is forgiving, making the pattern drafting a little less stressful. Although this silhouette sometimes seems a bit retro, it can be updated and made quite chic with modern fabrics and a few stylish design details.
A wrap skirt features an overlap of skirt layers to help it stay closed. That overlap can be located on any part of the skirt and can be held closed with ties, snaps, buttons, or even buckles, depending on your design. For modesty’s sake, the extensions, or underlap and overlap, are typically at least 3″ wide, providing 6″ of overlap. Feel free to make the overlapped sections wider if you prefer.
Draft the Basic Pattern
To draft a basic wrap skirt pattern, start with your customized sloper and take it from there, as instructed on these pages. The back of the skirt remains the same; to create the wrap, two front pattern pieces are extended so they overlap one another. For most of the wrap skirt projects, the overlap is located at the center front or off to one side.
Draft the Pattern
- To draft the skirt front, trace your customized skirt front sloper onto drafting paper. Draw a new center front approximately 3″ over from and parallel to the original center front, as shown. Extend the top and bottom edges to meet the new design line.
- To draft the skirt back, trace your skirt back sloper on paper and indicate that the center back should be positioned on the fabric fold, with a grainline arrow as shown.
- To draft the waistband, There are several ways to draft either a one-piece or two-piece waistband or a contoured waistband. The one drafted for this skirt is a two-piece waistband and is ¾” wide. The ties are not drafted on paper, but measured and cut directly on the fabric.
- Complete the pattern. Do not add seam and hem allowances until you are finished with all design work. If you want to make this skirt as is, add seam allowances to any edge that will be joined to another. Typically, ½”-wide seam allowances are most suitable. Add a 1″ hem allowance to the center-front edge, for a ½” double-fold hem. Add hem allowance as desired to the bottom of the skirt.
PATTERN DRAFTING NOTE
Once you draft your basic wrap skirt patterns, before adding seam and hem allowances, copy them onto patternmaking or drafting paper so you can use them as the starting point for several of the wrap skirts in this chapter.
For closing options, such as the ties shown here, or for buttons and snaps, refer to the specific project instructions. To duplicate the ties shown.
Sew the Wrap Skirt
1). Cut out the fabric. Use the newly drafted pattern pieces to cut the following:
• From fabric: two skirt fronts and four front waistbands; and on the fabric fold, one skirt back and two back waistbands.
• From interfacing: two front waistbands, and one back waistband on the fold.
Cut two ties the desired length × 2″ wide, plus seam allowance. The finished ties for this skirt are 29″ and 44¼” long. They are different lengths because one wraps farther around the body.
2). Apply the interfacing. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of two front and one back waistband.
›› 1½ yards of 44/45″ fabric
›› ½ yard of fusible interfacing
›› Matching thread
3). Stitch the darts in each piece. Press the darts flat and then toward the center front or center back of the skirt pieces.
4). Sew the side seams. With the right sides together, machine-stitch each skirt front to the skirt back along the side seams. Press the seam allowances open and clean finish as desired.
5). Finish the skirt front and bottom edges. Press a ½” double-fold hem on the two front raw edges and the bottom edge, topstitching the front edges in place. Topstitch or hand-sew the hem as desired.
6). Assemble the waistband. With the right sides together and raw edges aligned, stitch the interfaced front waistbands to the interfaced back waistband along the side seams. Leave a ¾” break in the stitching in the right side seam (this is for the tie end to slip through). Be sure to backstitch at the beginning and end of the break in the stitching. Press the seam allowances open. Repeat to assemble the waistband facing (non-interfaced waistband pieces).
7). Make and attach the ties. Press under the long edges and one narrow edge of each tie ¼” to the wrong side. Press the ties in half with the wrong sides together (raw edges tucked inside) and edgestitch them closed.
Baste the narrow (unfinished) end of the shorter tie to the right front skirt, in the center and on the right side of the interfaced waistband with the raw edges aligned.
In the same way, baste the narrow (unfinished) end of the longer tie to the left front, in the center and on the right side of the interfaced waistband with the raw edges aligned.
8). Attach the waistband. With the right sides together and raw edges aligned, pin the interfaced waistband to the skirt, with the side seams aligned. Each waistband end should extend past the skirt front edge by ½”. Include the basted tie ends in the seam. Stitch and press the seam allowances toward the waistband.
9). To face and finish the waistband, refer to How to Assemble and Attach Your Waistband.
10). Hand-slipstitch the waistband and facing together at the opening in the side seam so the slit remains open but the edges are clean finished.
TIP : Tie a sash or even a tape measure around your waist to determine a good length for the ties, or cut them extra long so you can adjust them to the desired length once the skirt is finished.
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