Sunday, January 16, 2011

Make Your Very Own Reversible Wrap Skirt—Cutting Out.

Yesterday I showed you how to draft a pattern for a wrap skirt. Today I will show you how to cut out the skirt.

But first, before you even think about cutting your fabric, go ahead and prewash it.

And not just because your cat has decided your fabric will make a good bed and rolled all over it like Oadie has.

You want to prewash your fabric, because fabric has a tendency to shrink when it gets hot and wet, and it’s better that it shrink before you cut out your skirt than after you have sewn the skirt together. It’s especially important to prewash the fabric in this skirt because you will be layering two different fabrics, and if the fabrics don’t shrink the same amount weird things will happen. It’ll be like the skirt version of the Twilight Zone.

Ok, so now that you have washed your fabric go ahead and press it. You don’t want wrinkles making weird shapes in your cut pieces.

Ok, now you are ready to start cutting.

First take a look at your fabric and ask your self a question.

Is my fabric directional?
Directional fabric is fabric that has a clear top or up direction in the print.

This fabric is directional:

I know this because if I flipped it the owls would be standing on their heads and that would be weird.

This fabric on the other hand is not directional.

I can flip it and it looks exactly the same.

If you do have directional fabric, you just have to make sure you have the top of the pattern (the skinny part) is pointed the same direction as the top of the fabric. Easy peasy.

Next, find the selvage of the fabric.

The selvage is the firmly woven edge that runs the length of the fabric on both sides. It may be identified by a white strip or frayed edges. The selvage also runs the direction of the lengthwise grain and, because we want this strong grain to run vertically in the garment, will be important in helping us lay out the pattern.

Now that you have the selvage, go ahead and fold the fabric. If you have a directional fabric fold it lengthwise and match up the selvages. You will lay the pattern pieces on top of each other like this:

If you don’t have a directional fabric you can save yourself some fabric and fold it widthwise and match up the selvages on both sides. You will flip one pattern piece and the layout will look like this:

Now lay your pattern pieces on the fabric. Make sure the center of the pattern or the grain line is on the straignt of grain. Do this by simply making sure the grain line runs parallel to the selvage.

I always use a ruler to measure the distance from the selvage to the grain line.

Now pin the pattern in place. I like to stick my pins in perpendicular to the pattern.

Now cut out 6 gores of fabric. If you recall we drafted a pattern for a 5 gore skirt, but we are cutting out an extra gore so we will have plenty of overlap in our skirt. I like the reinsurance of having lots of overlap because it gets windy here in NM and I don’t really want my skirt blowing open. But that’s just me. You may enjoy “accidently” showing off the goods.

Repeat for the second fabric.

Because they are long rectangles, I like to cut my waistbands with a rotary cutter. You might not have a piece of fabric long enough for the waistband, but that’s ok, we can always piece it together.


And there you have it:  a cut out reversable wrap skirt.  what a lucky little ducky you are.  Tomorrow we'll start sewing this thing together!
Happy Cutting
~Melisa & Cordelia


  1. Hi, this wrap skirt looks fairly easy and I'm a newbie so I'm hoping to give it a try. Can you tell me what kind of fabric you used or what type would be best to use? thanks, Diane

  2. Hi, I love your tutorial! Can you recommend how much fabric you would need for each side of the reversible wrap skirt?

  3. Hi I loved following your tutorial. Will I be able to follow your previous pages where you made the draft pattern please.