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Monday, December 5, 2011

Pleated wrap skirt

I've been sewing a little bit lately. Ok, I've been sewing a lot lately. So much so that I have decided to discipline myself and only allow myself to sew two days a week. This is what kept me busy during nap times on Monday: (Tutorial posted below.)

I had extra material, which brings me to my sewing project on Thursday. All I did was use a neck tie he already had as a pattern. Quick, easy, and now we can be that adorable couple that dresses to match at church. He's such a good sport!

For the skirt, I followed Tanya's tutorial from grand revival design and am going to re-post her instructions below with my insight in purple. This skirt is awesome because it can be made in any size. And, since it is a wrap skirt little girls won't out grow it too fast... I'm keeping it in mind for future pregnancies.

1. Figure the skirt width. Measure the wearers waist using a tape measure or long string and a ruler. Add 8" to the waist measurement and then multiply by 2.66.
example: waist = 28"
28 + 8 = 36  
36 x 2.66 = 95.76

2. Figure the length of the waistband/ties by adding 21 inches to the final skirt width by 2.5" wide. Yes, that length is necessary. The band will end up wrapping around your waist twice and then being tied into a bow. Instead of 2.5" wide, I cut mine 3" wide; it just depends on how thick you want your waist band (keep in mind a seam allowance). When I make this skirt next time though, I will either cut mine 6 inches wide and fold in half instead of hemming, this way there won't be a wrong side of the fabric in the bow. Or, I will buy a length of ribbon to use as the waist band/ ties. That'd be pretty and require less sewing. If you need to, It's fine to piece two fabrics together along the short side to achieve the correct length though I wouldn't piece more then two fabrics because you'll get too many noticeable seams.

3. Figure the skirt length. Measure from waist to where you want the skirt to fall. Add 1.25" for hem and seam allowance. Don't forget that your waist band will add a bit of length too, my skirt ended up a little longer than I planned.

4. Cut your fabric according to these measurements.

5. Make the pleats. First, hem the short edges of the skirt. (The sides.) Fold the raw edges to the wrong side by 1/2", press, repeat and topstitch. Then, along the top raw edge of your fabric use a pencil to make marks 1.5" apart. Use an iron to press pleats in alternating directions at every 1.5" mark and pin in place. I basted the pleats too. 

5.5. This is where I hemmed the top and sides of the skirt band. I also hemmed the skirt bottom. 

6. Attach the skirt band/tie.  With right sides facing place the band/tie, off center so that it will be about 8" longer on one side then the other, on top of the top (pleated) edge of the skirt aligning raw edges. Pin and sew the band/tie to the skirt. (I skipped the rest of these instructions, except for the last sentence. Iron, iron, iron! I did need to hem the bottom of the waist band that didn't end up attached to the skirt.) Press the raw edge of the band/tie to the wrong side by 1/4" down the entire length. Press the raw edges of the short sides of the ties to the wrong side by 1/2". Fold the band over so that the 1/4" pressed fold covers the raw edges of the seam on the wrong side of the skirt and pin. You are essentially using the band as you would seam binding. Starting in the middle of the skirt, topstitch very close to the folded edge of the the band on the wrong side of the skirt to the end of one tie. Repeat. Press the raw edge of the bottom of the skirt to the wrong side by 1/2". Repeat. Pin and sew to hem. Press the entire skirt to emphasize pleats and get a crisp edge on the top edge of the band.


  1. Hi Jessica. I love the job you did on this skirt. Want a new follower? I'll follow you and would love you to check out my blog and follow if you like it. How old is your little girl? My baby is 8 months. I'm guessing yours is about the same :-)

  2. how do the wrap ties cross? is there a buttonhole that one strap goes into? I'm confused about the cross over and really, really want to make one!

  3. Great question Kristen! I can see how a button hole would be a nice addition, but I didn't make one. The ties just over lapped one another. Tell you what, I'll put it on and take a picture of the crossing later today so you can see it.

  4. Jessica, you are so wonderful for your response! Thank you!!! I am heading to cut my fabric RIGHT NOW!

  5. You look so pretty and that skirt is also very pretty! I love the idea of using the leftover fabric to make a tie for your husband! So cute :)