Thursday, 17 December 2015

How To: Basic Striped Maxi Wrap Skirt

 photo StripedWrapMaxiSkirt3.jpg
In Finnish, the saying 'a leopard can't change its spots' is actually 'a tiger can't get rid of its stripes'. I think this means the tiger is my spirit animal. And yes, this skirt here is definitely completely different from that other one I made.

TOOLS:
 photo 0 Tools_zpsn1xuclca.jpg
Drapey fabric, like crêpe, polycotton, rayon challis, silk or microfibre, 2 m (or whatever your desired skirt length x 2 plus 10 cm)  |  Pins  |  Thread & sewing machine  |  Scissors 

I. Fold your fabric in half and cut it as shown below to get two identical trapezoids (that's right, I know my shape names). My fabric was 110 cm wide, so I essentially just cut out a triangle on both sides, and along the fold line, leaving the top 80 cm wide. This resulted in the amount of gathering at the waist you see in the final photos (my waist is 72 cm or so, which means that for the same amount of gather, you should measure your waist, divide by two, and multiply that number by 2,2 to get the top width of each of these pieces.
 photo 1 Cut pieces.jpg
II. Place the pieces right sides facing and pin one of the sides, sew a straight stitch down and press the seam open.
 photo 2 Pin one side.jpg
III. I stand pretty strongly against wasting any fabric, so I made my belt out of the scrap triangles I cut out in step I. You could of course use the long edge of the fabric (if you have some left). I sewed these pieces together to form a long strap of fabric, 3 m long and 5 cm wide.
 photo 3 Cut belt pieces.jpg
Press your belt in half width-wise, and then press another 0,5 cm or so fold on each side. at the ends, press a third fold as shown below:
 photo 4 Pressed belt.jpg
IV. Back to the skirt piece. For both of the slanted sides, press a double fold (about 0,7 cm or so) and sew a straight through. Repeat for the hem. Press all these seams to give them a crisp finish.
 photo 5 Double-folded side_zpstoseuxdx.jpg
V. Add a basting stitch (the longest stitch on your machine) a few mm from the edge of the waistline. Start pulling on the bobbin thread to gather the skirt.
 photo 6 Basting stitch.jpg
.. Like this. Gather until the length of the waistline is about 10 cm longer than your waist circumference. To get the gathers to be even, it helps to first gather halfway pulling from the bobbin thread on one side, and then repeat for the other half, pulling the thread from the opposite end. Tie the threads together to secure the length and sew a regular straight stitch through the gathers, over your basting stitch.
 photo 7 Garthered waistline.jpg
VI. To add the belt, mark the center of it and match that with the center of the skirt's waistline. Pin the belt onto the skirt like this, right side of belt facing reverse side of the skirt. Sew along the crease you pressed on the belt. If it seems tricky to pin the belt down to the gathers, first give your gathers a good press with your iron.
 photo 8 Pin belt to reverse side.jpg
VII. Then flip the belt over onto the right side. It really helps to press the belt area again at this point.
 photo 9 Fold belt over and press.jpg
.. So you can pin the belt in place. Continue pinning all the way until the ends of the belt. Finally, sew a straight stitch a couple mm from the edge of the belt, starting from the folded corner of the belt as shown here with the blue arrow. Continue all through the skirt, until the other end of the belt, and that's it.
 photo 10 Pin and sew belt.jpg  photo StripedWrapMaxiSkirt2.jpg  photo StripedWrapMaxiSkirt4.jpg  photo StripedWrapMaxiSkirt.jpg

xo,

Julia

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