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Pleated Wrap Skirt Project

Pleated wrap skirt project

This pleated wrap skirt project has been designed by Julia Claridge of Bobbins and Buttons. She offers dressmaking and sewing classes in Leicester and designs childrens clothing and accessories which are handmade to order.  

This wrap skirt is designed to fit you. It is made from three rectangles of fabric. The quantity of fabric will depend on your size, length of skirt and amount of pleats you would like as well as the width of fabric.

You will need…

Light to medium weight woven fabric – see details below to calculate your quantities. We used Liberty Tana Lawn fabric.

Bias binding – approx. 3 metres for sizes 10 – 16 but may need more or less for bigger or smaller sizes

Calculating your Fabric

 To calculate your fabric requirements start by taking your waist measurement and deciding on the finished length you would like the skirt to be – in this example the waist size is 88cm and the finished length is 72cm.

Divide the waist measurement in two = 44cm

Now decide how much spacing you would like between each pleat. In this case I used 4cm spacing. Divide the half waist measurement (44cm) by 4 (the pleat spacing) = 11. This will be the amount of pleats in the back of the skirt.

Next decide how deep you would like the pleats. In this skirt I used 2.5cm deep pleats. Each pleat will be double this measurement as you have the return of the pleat to include.

11 pleats x 5cm (double pleat depth) = 55cm add this to the waist measurement 44cm = 99cm. Now add 3cm for 1.5cm seam allowance each side of the skirt = 102cm.

This is the width you will need for the skirt back x the length with 3cm added for hemming.

For the fronts of the skirt you will need extra depth for the wrap from the centre front. To keep the calculations as simple as possible it’s easiest to take away the measurements of some of the pleats. I decided to have 7 pleats on each front. This allowed enough to wrap over adequately.

7 pleats x 4 pleat distance = 28cm

7 x 5 pleat depth and return = 35cm

Total measurement = 63cm + 1.5cm side seam allowance and 3.5cm facing allowance = 68cm

For the front of the skirts I needed 68cm x 76cm x 2

For the back of the skirt I needed 102cm x 76cm x 1

As the fabric was 150cm wide, I was able to get the skirt fronts from one width therefore the fabric requirements were double the skirt length = 152cm.

To sew the pleated wrap skirt

1. Using a ruler with right angles draw your skirt measurements onto the fabric. Cut the panels out. 

Measuring fabric for a skirt

2. Lay the fabric flat on a hard surface and mark the pleats. Firstly mark in the seam allowance followed by 4cm, the 5cm and repeat, 4cm x 5cm across the width of the fabric. Remember to add the 3.5cm as the first mark on the front panels. 

Marking skirt pleats

3. It may help to temporarily pin the side seams of the skirt together so you can check the seam allowance are at the right edges of the fronts and that the pleats are folding the right way. Begin to fold the pleats, bringing the 4cm lines together placing vertical pins to hold both ends of the pleat.

Simple pleat techniques

4. Once you have the pleats pinned, separate the panels at the side seam and stitch the pleats in place. Stitch close approximately 5mm away from the raw edge.

Sewing pleats

5. Stitch the side seams together, leaving a gap at the top of the right hand side seam of 2.5cm. Neaten the edges of the seams with zig zag or overlocking. Press seam open.

Draft your own skirt pattern

6. Turn and press the front and hem edges 1cm followed by a second turning 2.5cm deep.

Hemming a wrap skirt

7. To mitre the front wrap corners, open out the pressed hem, fold the corner back along the seam lines forming a triangle inside the skirt edges. Bring the original seam lines back together and press to form a mitre.

How to mitre a corner

8. Open out the seam and stitch along the final press line. Cut the excess off and turn to inside.

Finishing techniques in sewing

9. Stitch down front edges and around hem edge close to fold edge as shown.

How to make a wrap skirt

10. Leaving a length of approximately 1.2 m of bias tape (before you start pinning) start pinning in the fold of the tape matching raw edges. Leave plenty of bias tape the other end. Stitch in this foldline.

Adding bias tape to a skirt waistband

11. Try the skirt on and tie the bias tape at the side to determine how long you would like the ties. Fold the edge of the tape over the raw edge, matching the folded edge to the original stitch line. Turn in the ends of the tape, pin and stitch from one end to the other.

Waist tie for a wrap skirt
Wrap skirt from Bobbins n Buttons

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Why not try her boxy dress project next?