A wrap skirt is a spring and summer closet staple. It’s the perfect relaxed skirt to throw on when you need an easy-going and comfortable, yet still put-together, look.
Plus, it’s one of the quickest and easiest garment-sewing projects you can take on – you can make a wrap skirt in under 2 hours, no pattern needed. All you need is your waist measurement, fabric, and sewing supplies!
Is a wrap skirt a good beginner sewing project?
If you’re a beginner sewer, you can make your own wrap skirt! This project is simple enough for even the most timid of beginners – as long as you know how to operate your sewing machine and sew a straight stitch, you’ll be able to make an amazing skirt!
What fabric is best for a wrap skirt?
While you can make a wrap skirt from just about any fabric, the method I’ll be showing you today will work best with woven, non-stretch fabrics or very stable knit fabrics.
It’s also usually best to choose a light or medium weight fabric for a more relaxed and casual look, but a wrap skirt made from a thicker fabric like denim or wool can also be a fun look.
What do you need to make a wrap skirt?
Here are the supplies you’ll need to make your wrap skirt.
- 1-2 yards of fabric depending on your waist measurement
- matching thread
- measuring tape
- straight edge ruler
- optional: French curve ruler
- fabric marker or tailor’s chalk
- scissors or rotary cutter
- sewing pins
- iron and ironing board
- sewing machine
Step-by-step tutorial to sew an easy wrap skirt
Sew your easy DIY wrap skirt in just 6 simple steps – no pattern needed!
- Cut your fabric pieces.
- Curve the bottom corners of your skirt.
- Hem your skirt.
- Make the waist ties.
- Finish the waistband of the skirt.
- Add darts for a nice fit.
Step One: cut your fabric pieces
The very first step, before you can even cut into your fabric, is to take your waist measurement with a tape measure. You’ll want to measure the location where you want the top of the skirt to sit – for me that’s the true waist, the smallest part of my torso.
Also measure from your waist down to where you want the hem of the skirt to hit – this is your “waist to hem” measurement.
Next, using your waist and waist to hem measurements to calculate the sizes of the rectangles, cut 3 rectangles of fabric according to the pattern below.
*TIP: I find it easiest to get nice straight rectangles when I fold the fabric in half, lining up the edges, then draw in half of each rectangle along the fold, using the straight edge of the fabric as one of the edges of my rectangle. You can then cut through both layers of fabric, leaving the fold intact – when you unfold it you’ll have full-sized, straight-edged rectangles.
After cutting your fabric, you should have three pieces that look something like this.
The largest rectangle is the body of the skirt and the two narrow pieces are the ties.
Step Two: curve the bottom corners of your skirt
Set aside the two tie pieces for later and fold your skirt body piece in half with right sides together. Fold it so that the two shorter edges of the rectangle line up along the right-hand side.
Next, using your French curve ruler, or free-handing it if you’re feeling confident, draw in a smooth curve in the lower right corner of the fabric with tailor’s chalk. This is going to give you stylish curved corners to your wrap skirt later – so it’s up to you how deep or angled you want the curve to be.
Cut through both layers of fabric to cut along this curve – you’ll now have matching curves on both lower corners of the fabric.
Step Three: hem your skirt
Next, we need to hem the entire lower edge and sides of the skirt. I like to use a narrow, rolled hem for this type of skirt.
To do a rolled hem, first fold the hem up to the wrong side by ¼ inch.
Next, fold it up again by another ¼ inch to hide the raw edge of the hem on the inside of the fold.
Repeat this folding process, ironing it flat and pinning it in place as you go, around the entire bottom edge of the skirt. You’ll want to hem the bottom and both sides, the only unfinished edge should be the waist edge of the skirt.
The most difficult part of sewing this skirt is folding your hem around the curved corners – but if you’re patient, go slow, and use that iron, you should be able to get a nice hem around the curves!
Next, topstitch your hem in place with matching thread, sewing just less than ¼ inch from the outer folded edge.
Here’s how the rolled hem will look up close.
Step Four: make the waist ties
With the skirt hemmed, it’s time to focus on the waist ties. Set aside the body of the skirt for now and grab your two waist tie pieces. Fold each piece in half lengthwise, with right sides together, and pin along the long edge and one short edge of each.
Next, sewing with a ½ inch seam allowance, stitch the long edge and one of the short edges of each of the tie pieces.
We now need to remove some bulk from the seam allowances. To do this, trim the seam allowances down to about ¼ inch.
You’ll also want to trim off the corner of the seam allowance diagonally on each of the tie pieces close to the stitching. This will help you to get a nice sharp corner when you turn your ties right sides out.
Next, turn both tie pieces right sides out through the opening in one end. Once they’ve been turned, iron them nice and flat, ironing the seam to the very edge of the ties.
At this point, you can leave the ties as-is, which is what I chose to do – or you could topstitch right along each edge of the tie pieces to keep them super flat. It’s up to you if you prefer the topstitched look!
Step Five: finish the waistband of the skirt
We now have the tie pieces and the skirt body piece ready to go – it’s time to start putting it all together!
Lay the skirt in front of you with the wrong side up and the unfinished edge along the top. Fold in the top edge by ¼ inch in the top right corner. Place the unfinished side of the shorter tie piece about 2 inches below the top folded edge along the right-hand side of the skirt. Overlap the end of the tie with the skirt by ½ inch.
Next, fold the top edge of the skirt down over the tie and pin it in place. It should extend about ¼ inch beyond the lower edge of the tie.
Repeat this process to place the longer tie piece along the upper left-hand side of the skirt.
Fold in the upper left edge by ¼ inch and place the unfinished end of the tie about 2 inches below the top edge.
Fold the upper edge of the skirt down over the tie and pin it in place.
Next, folding the unfinished edge in by ¼ inch, continue pinning the waistband of the skirt down to the wrong side. Make sure it’s flat and even the entire length of the skirt waistline.
Take the skirt to your sewing machine and topstitch the folded waistband in place, stitching around all four edges of the waistband to keep it looking crisp and flat long term.
Here’s how the waistband looks up close.
Step Six: add darts for a nice fit
Now your skirt is almost done – but if you were to try it on now, you’d probably be disappointed by the fit. That’s because no one’s body is flat, and we need darts to create a curved fit!
Try your skirt on inside out – the waist will likely balloon out at the back and not fit tight to your waist. Have someone help you to pin 2 darts (little triangular pieces of excess fabric) at the back, just over the fullest part of each side of your bum. The goal of the darts is to take out the bubbling in the back and create a tight, smooth fit over your curves. Just try to get your darts as even as possible and mess with the fit until you’re happy.
I did this on my dress form so that you could see what the darts should look like.
Once you’re happy with your darts, take the skirt off and mark a line on each dart right along the pins securing the dart in place. Stitch along these lines to sew each dart.
Finally, press your darts away from each other with your iron. This will help them to lay nice and flat!
Your skirt is done! Quick and easy, right? Now go out and show off your beautiful new handmade wrap skirt!