Welcome to the first day of the Nita Wrap Skirt sewalong. These posts will give you some extra tips for sewing your skirt that would have been too cumbersome to include in the pattern. You’ll also find photos for each step, which can be a great addition to the illustrations found in the pattern. For the sewalong, we’ll be making the waistband from view C of the pattern. Don’t worry if you are making view A or B, the steps are very similar and we'll talk about them too. If you haven't done so already, grab your copy of the pdf pattern right here.
A note on the schedule: I'm planning these posts more as a reference guide than an actual sewalong so I'll be posting everything all at once. You can find a listing of all the posts on the main sewalong page right here.
First let’s cover the tools and supplies you will need. The tools are things you can use over and over for other sewing projects. You probably have most of these but it’s worth mentioning, just in case.
Sewing machine and iron
Needles and thread to match fabric
Fabric scissors or a rotary cutter and self healing cutting mat
Paper scissors or x-acto knife (for cutting out the pattern)
Printed Pattern (get your copy of the pattern right here)
Fabric (see pattern for yardage requirements)
Interfacing (see pattern for yardage requirements)
Lining fabric (optional)
1 snap (or more if you’d like extra security)
View A: 1 button (1/2 inch wide)
View B: 2 D rings (1/2 inch wide)
Glue stick or wonder under (optional)
SELECTING YOUR FABRIC
This pattern is intended for woven, non-stretch fabrics. That said, I have had success using fabrics with a small amount of stretch by sewing the garment one size smaller than the measurements call for.
When choosing a type of fabric for this project, it’s important to consider which length you are going to sew. I love the mini sewn up in denim or corduroy but those fabrics could feel too heavy in the maxi length. For the mini, I recommend medium to heavy weight cotton or linen, denim, corduroy or wool. For the midi and maxi length, cotton, chambray, linen, twill, poplin, sateen are all appropriate.
If your fabric is too thin or drapey, it may not fold neatly at the front facing. However, this could be remedied with a heavier interfacing. If you’re at all worried that your fabric is too light weight, I recommend doing a test before you cut. Take a smallish scrap, adhere a strip of interfacing on the bias, then fold and topstitch as you would to make the skirt.
The interfacing should match the weight of the fabric. A lighter fabric should use a lightweight interfacing and a heavier fabric a thicker interfacing. A heavy interfacing applied to a lightweight fabric can be distractingly stiff (I know this from experience :).
In my testing of the pattern, I found that when using a heavy denim that interfacing was not required. Use your best judgement and do a test on a scrap of fabric if you’re not sure.
SELECTING A SIZE
The pdf pattern comes with layers so that you can print only the size (or sizes) that you need. I really love printing only my size because it’s easier to find the markings I need. Plus you can save on ink and maybe paper too. So before you print, you’ll need to find your size. Take a look at the size guide included in the pattern to find the size that most closely matches your measurements. If you are between sizes or unsure, you can print multiple sizes. Then trace the size you’d like test or blend between two sizes. If you need some advice on how to measure yourself, check out this guide from Threads Magazine.
A few things to think about regarding sizing. The skirt is designed to sit at the natural waist and the pattern includes a garment ease is .75 inch in the waist and 2 inches in the hips for all sizes. Personally, my waist is a size 8 and my hips are a size 10. I make the size 10, and just let the skirt sit slightly below my natural waist. However, I could cut a size 8 and just have less ease at the hips. The wrap skirt is pretty forgiving in that way.
If your waist size is significantly larger than your hip size, you can cut the waistband that fits your waist, and the skirt to fit your hips and then let out the darts until the skirt fits the waistband. For reference, each dart is 1.5 inch wide. I have not done this personally, but I had a customer who used this method and reported success. I also recommend reading this post from the Curvy Sewing Collective.
I also highly recommend making a muslin (a test garment) before cutting into a precious fabric. You don’t necessarily have to cut the full length of the skirt, just the waist and hip part would do to check the fit.
Now that you’ve selected the size(s) you need, we can print the pattern. If you are printing at a copy shop in the US, use the file named “SEWDIY-NitaWrapSkirt-CopyShop-28x80.pdf”. If you are printing outside of the US, use the A0 size file, named "SEWDIY-NitaWrapSkirt-CopyShop-A0.pdf”. The A0 file has 3 pages. The third page is optional, if you want to make a skirt with a little more coverage. For more info on printing at a copy shop, check out this article from Indie Sew.
If you are printing your pattern at home, open the file named "SEWDIY-NitaWrapSkirt-PrintAtHome.pdf” in Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat. This file will work for standard US size 8.5 x 11 inches and for A4 size. Next, open the layers window on the left side of the window. Click the eye icon to the left of the layer names to turn off the sizes you don’t need.
The most important thing to do when printing at home is to make sure that the pattern is printed at actual size (aka no scaling). Print the first page and measure the test square to check that it printing at the correct size. Each page will print with a 7 x 9 inch box that contains a portion of the pattern. I went into some detail on how to tape the pattern together in the Lou Box Top sewalong so I won’t repeat that information. Check out that post here. You can cut the margins off the paper using a utility knife, a rotary cutter or a guillotine style paper trimmer. Some people like to piece the patterns using tape and others prefer glue. Use whatever works best for you.
SHORTENING OR LENGTHENING
To shorten or lengthen the pattern, is fairly easy. The finished lengths for the skirt are: view A: 19.5in (49.5cm), view B: 26 in (66cm) and view C: 37 in (94cm). To determine your desired length, hold a tape measure at your natural waist and let it hang. Take a look in a mirror to see the desired length. Compare to the finished measurements above to determine how much you'd like to lengthen or shorten the skirt. For the front piece, draw a line parallel to the cutting line for view A or B then pivot at the line for the facing. The red line in the photo above shows a new cutting line in between the lengths for Views A and B. For the back piece, just draw a line parallel to the hem at the desired length.
This pattern comes with a bonus pattern for the left side that provides a bit more coverage. If you plan to use the full coverage pattern you will also need to print the file named "SEWDIY-NitaWrapSkirt-PrintAtHome-BONUSPATTERN.pdf.”
And that’s it. With all of your supplies gathered and your pattern assembled, it’s time to cut your fabric. Head over to Day 2 to start.