Border Print Wrap Skirt Tutorial

Posted by Kim Rivadeneira on

This wrap skirt is an easy intro to skirt making with a flattering gathered silhouette and snap closure- no zippers required!


- skirt fabric (border prints, like Main Street Sweets, are great with this pattern) 

- waistband fabric (we used coordinating Sprinkles in Pink, plus interfacing (we recommend SF101)

- 1.5" soft waistband elastic

- sew on skirt hook & eye closures (1 or 2 sets)

- sew on snaps (2 sets of the large size)


How to measure:

This is a wrap skirt style, so you'll need more skirt than just your waist to create the overlap. The skirt consists of 2 pieces- a waistband and the skirt. 

Waistband: take your waist measurement and times it by 1.3 (the .3 will become the overlap).

Skirt: take the waistband measurement from above and times it by 2.5-3, depending on how full you'd like your skirt (the skirt pictured is 2.5). This will be quite a length of fabric because we are going to gather it. 

* This "Main Street Sweets" border print runs along both sides of the fabric, so I stitched two pieces together for my skirt piece. Since the skirt is gathered, it hides the seam.

Examples (done at 2.5 skirt fullness):

30" waist = 39" waistband, 98" skirt 

35" waist = 45.5" waistband, 114" skirt

40" waist = 52" waistband, 130" skirt

** "Main Street Sweets" Border Print as the design running along both sides of the fabric. If your skirt will be less than ~26" long, you will be able to use both sides. 


STEP 1: Cut the skirt piece. I recommend trimming under the border print and then cutting the length of the skirt. To keep my hem/border even, I used the bottom of the pink scallops as a guide and trimmed 2.5" below them. Then using that straight edge, I measured out how long I wanted the skirt (25") and cut. If you are using both sides of the border print, sew your two pieces together to form one long piece. If you want to get fancy, you can pattern match, but don't worry too much about it as the gathered skirt will hide it.

STEP 2: Hem the skirt piece on both short sides and along the bottom. With the fabric right side down, fold 1/4" up and press with your iron. Fold another 1/4" up and press to hide the rear edge. Flip your fabric over and top stitch with the fabric facing up. Make sure you're catching the fold on the underside with your stitches. 

STEP 3: Now we gather the skirt fabric. But first- mark the top of your skirt piece so we can space out the gathering evenly later. Mark the center (I just fold it in half), then mark the quarter points (fold in half again to find these).

Gathering may be the trickiest part of the skirt, but don't give up! There are many ways to gather a skirt- some use floss, yarn, a special sewing foot, but I prefer to do it with a simple long stitch. Using the longest stitch length you can (mine is 4.8), stitch along the top of your skirt piece. Since it's quite a bit of fabric, I break it up into 4 sections. Do NOT backstitch! To gather, pull the top thread as you hold the fabric.

If the fabric bunches up and won't move any more, gather from the other end of the thread. It also helps to gather a bit, then pull on the fabric and move the gather down before gathering more. 

Once you've got it mostly all gathered, set the skirt aside. Don't worry about it being perfect- we'll get it all adjusted when we attach it to the waistband. 

STEP 4: Cut the waistband piece 5" tall x your waistBAND measurement. Interface with SF101. Mark the center and quarter points in the same method you used for the skirt.

STEP 5: Pin/clip the skirt to the waistband. With your waistband piece right side up, lay your skirt right side down on top of it. It's probably not going to match right away (if it does, that's a Christmas miracle!). Using the marks we made earlier, match the half and quarter points up and pin/clip together. In between those points, even out the gathers until you're able to evenly pin the skirt piece to the waistband. The more pins the better! Leave 1/2" at the short ends of the waistband- it will be folded under when we finish the waistband.

STEP 6: Sew the waistband and skirt together. I recommend sewing with the skirt gathers on top. Sew slowly- as you go, try to get the gathers to lay flat and perpendicular to your stitches. This will give your gathers a cleaner look. 

STEP 7: Waistband: Iron the waistband- the gathers should be going up into the waistband vs down towards the skirt. Take your elastic and lay it in the waistband- you should be tucking it between the waistband fabric and the edges of the gathers. Fold the waistband fabric over the elastic and press with an iron. 

STEP 8: Now that you have the top fold of your waistband creased, open it back up and fold in the 1/2 in raw edge on the short side and press with an iron. Fold under the long raw edge of the waistband and press. Pin/clip in place.

STEP 9: Close the waistband: stitch in the seam between your skirt and waistband, making sure you are catching the waistband fabric on the underside. This encloses the elastic and closes the waistband. I check every few inches, just to be sure. If you don't mind seeing the stitches, sew the short ends closed as well. If you prefer, you can hand stitch the ends closed. 

STEP 10: Snaps and hook & eye. Try on your skirt and use clips to mark where the snaps and hook & eye will go. The snaps will be at the opening part of the skirt and the hook & eye on the bottom layer, which keeps it from slipping down.

I used sew-on snaps and hook & eyes. Pardon my less than stellar looking stitching. ;)

For the hook & eye, put the hook on the outer part of the skirt so that it hooks in and around the eye on the bottom later. In this photo, the skirt is laying with the front facing up. 

You're finished! Give the whole thing a good iron (don't press your gathers) and you're all set! Snap a photo and share it in our Facebook group!

Griselda, our model, is wearing her skirt with a petticoat underneath, purchased on Amazon. This is not an affiliate link, just sharing our recommendation. 

GRACE KARIN 50s White Petticoat for Vintage Prom Dress Net Petticoat Skirt Tutu Knee Length
by Paul Jones Clothing

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