A sari-wrap skirt is a double layer skirt made of two half circles of Asian style fabric. Look for lightweight silk or cotton sari fabrics or any fabric with an Asian look and a soft drape. Saris or sarongs are large enough, generally drape well and come in beautiful colours and patterns. You don't need a pattern as you will construct your own out of butcher paper, wrapping paper or newspaper. Once the skirt is finished, you can wrap it a dozen different ways, wearing it as a skirt, dress or tunic over trousers.
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Things you need
- Butcher or wrapping paper, 90b cm (36 inches) wide and 125 cm (50 inches) long
- 5.5 metres (5.5 yards) of fabric
- Sewing pins
- Sewing machine and thread
- Iron and ironing board
Pin a string securely to one corner of your sheet of butcher or wrapping paper. Measure and mark 35 cm, 112.5 cm, 125 cm (14 inches, 45 inches and 50 inches) on the string. Use the string to measure 35 cm (14 inches) down from the corner along the left-hand vertical side of the paper. Swing the string across the paper, drawing a curved line 35 cm (14 inches) from the corner, from the vertical side to the top of the paper. This is the waistline.
Draw a curved line from the side to the top of the paper, 112.5 cm (45 inches) from the corner. This is the hem of the top layer of the skirt. Draw another curved line from the side to the top of the paper, 125 cm (50 inches) from the corner. This is the hem of the bottom layer of the skirt. Write the word "fold" along the left-hand vertical edge of the pattern.
Fold your fabric in half lengthwise. Pin the pattern to the fabric along the fold. Cut the fabric and the pattern along the waist curve, across the top of the pattern and along the bottom curve back to the fold. This is the bottom layer of the skirt. Opened, it should be a half-circle and the waist edge should measure about 55 cm (22 inches) from side to side.
Pin the pattern to the remaining fabric along the fold. Cut out the top layer of the skirt, five inches shorter than the bottom layer, along the curve at 112.5 cm (45 inches) from the corner.
Cut three strips of fabric, each one 7.5 cm (3 inches) wide. One strip should be 115 cm (46 inches) long and the other two should be 90 cm (36 inches) long. You may have to piece together enough fabric to make the strips this long.
Turn over and sew a 6 mm (1/4 inch) hem on all sides of the two skirt pieces, except for the waist. Press the hems.
Pin the two skirts together at the waist, wrong side of the top layer to the right side of the bottom layer. Pin one edge of the 115 cm (46 inch) strip of fabric to the waist, right side of the strip against the right side of the top layer. Sew the strip to the waist, using a 6 mm (1/2 inch) seam allowance. Press the seam allowance up.
Fold the waistband over to the wrong side of the skirt, folding under the raw edge of the waistband 6 mm (1/2 inch) and pinning it in place. Sew the waistband again, along the inside of the skirt.
Fold the other two strips of fabric lengthwise, right sides together. Sew along the long side of the strips using a 6 mm (1/2 inch) seam allowance. Turn the strips right side out and press along the seam edges. Hem one end of each strap. Tuck the raw end of each strap into the open ends of the waistband, tucking in the raw edges of the waistband at the same time. Sew across the ends of the waistband, sewing the straps in place. Press the skirt and try it on.
Tips and warnings
- You may have to piece fabric together if the sari, yardage or sarong you are using isn't quite wide enough. Use a French seam to hide the raw edges. Pin the pieces of fabric right sides together and sew a 6 mm (1/4 inch) seam. Fold the fabric at this seam, wrong sides together, and sew a 9 mm (3/8 inch) seam, hiding the raw edges of the first seam. Press the seam.
- To make sure the skirt fits, you may want to make one out of scrap material, such as an old sheet, before cutting out the fabric you want to use for the skirt. This skirt is meant to fit small, medium and large sizes. You may have to add about 7.5 cm (3 inches) at the waist to make it fit plus sizes.
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