[Module 7] Draping | 7. Draping Zero Waste - Part 2

Updated: Jul 16, 2020




Furtive Pocket Wrap Skirt

This Wrap Skirt concept although overtly simplistic can have many design options that take it from the baseline. I would think a simple Wrap Skirt is in every designers sewing box and most wardrobes in the western world!


Taking the Kimono idea into this garment the baseline shape is a rectangle at least as long as desired (plus Seam Allowances and Hem) and wide enough to get around the hips plus a full front width or less to allow for the wrapping overlap, the waist would have Darts to shape it or Gathers/Pleats added for volume.


Diversions from the baseline depends on lifestyle, accessibility and personal aesthetic, design and how it fits with a capsule wardrobe to name but a few.


The skirt can be any length, any amount of volume, with any number of seams added, a Wave Line can also be added into the Base and cut and rotated to create a change of angle and length (detailed below) and of course can be made in any fabric or print with any embellishments applique or embroidery added.


To bring some life to this variable form, here are a few ideas of what appearances it can take; as a basic short wrap skirt, with a little length or shaped opening (using the Wave Line idea), more volume with Pleats/Tucks and a hidden pocket in Front, a Waistband, Ties of any size, with a shaped Base (using the Wave Line idea).



I sure if you put your mind to it you can come up with your own variations on the design.


But even with this very simple idea for a skirt you should always make a Test Garment first (this is also a great idea with this garment so that you can try lots of different variables with the contours).


Some questions to ask yourself when thinking of the design and in no particular order are;

  • What are you going to wear it with?

  • Will it fit into current wardrobe or will you need to create another piece out of the collection?

  • Think proportion.

  • Think Volume, will it have pleats?

  • How far does it need to wrap?

  • How will it fasten?

  • Shape, do you want a more interesting shape to the design if yes you can use a wave line (read on….)

  • It has a secret pocket what would you put in it?

  • On what days will you wear it? Day wear beach, leisure, dressy?

  • What fabric will you use?

  • How is it going to fasten poppers idea or buttons, elastic or just ties?

  • Taking it another step will it be reversible, simple one side pleated the other, facings could be incorporated?

Green Layout Shapes

The layout on the fabric will make or break the design of the Zero Waste challenge so lots of thought needs to be put into this. So you need to consider your design or you need to drape and play and come up with one.


Once you have the bones of the design you can seriously get started on the layout.


My logical brain in reaction to this is that we need some sort of control that can be recorded and mapped out. Something Flexible that allows for change and scalability, that can be used for any garment but simple to generate and utilize. So I have evolved a Green Layout Method. It is a rather simple idea which allows measurements to be used in a table that offers a top level view in order to assess how each piece fits with other pieces and how they all fit with your fabric width. It is works better with simple shapes.


This has led to a tabular form of documenting measurements. The Green Measurements denote variable measurements all of the other measurements are not variable in that they are static usually because of a required body measurement that cannot be allowed to change. All Green Measurements when changed will affect the design of the garment but also the amount of fabric used and thus the size required. With that in mind then you can alter any of the Green Measurements to make your shape fit a space be it the space of a body or the space of an available piece of fabric.


If we look at the most complex of the sketches for this Wrap Skirt, with lots of volume and shaping to see the layout required you will need the following shapes and measurements.


Main Skirt – A Rectangle


LENGTH = Wearing length of the Front, Plus one Waist Seam Allowance, Plus Hem Allowance.


WIDTH = Widest Hip Circumference (you can add design ease here but you should not need so much wearing ease as the skirt will open in the front as you sit and walk), Plus a Front Width of the Waist Circumference for the overlap (or less if you prefer it more open), Plus Pleat Allowance in the Back (I like odd numbers for pleats so 3 each side at 2” each = 6”), or one big Box Pleat in back might look interesting, Plus one Pleat in the Front Short Side = 2”, Plus the Pocket Pleat in the Front Long Side which is twice the finished width required for the Pocket (measure your hand diagonally and double it say 16” on a large hand) another way to determine this is the measurement from Front Princess to Princess Lines centrally to where the Pocket will be placed so around Hip Bone level which would take the fastening out to the Side Seam so reduce this if you don’t wish to go out so far, Plus a Seam Allowance for the Front Short Side, Plus a Facing Allowance for the Front Long Side so when the wind blows you don’t see the posterior side of the fabric, say around 4”.


A note about the Pleats - the difference between the Waist and Hip Circumference is all dart space. This dart space needs to be added to any pleat space in the table and should be shared amongst the pleats, how you assign the excess between the pleats is your choice. If you don’t do this then you risk the skirt width being too long. If you just want to use dart space and no pleats then you don’t need to add any extra pleat allowance into the table below, the pleats will end up being simple darts in this case and can be sewn as darts if preferred.


Waistband – A Rectangle


LENGTH – At least the Waist Circumference plus double Seam Allowance. If you are incorporating the Tie lengths into the Waistband then extend the Waistband you may get the Waistband and Ties out of the same piece and don’t forget your Seam Allowances. Unless you are making skinny Ties in which case they will be measured and cut separately. Ties do not have to be as wide as the Waistband they can be any width strong enough to use as a Tie and stitched into seams or on top of the skirt.


WIDTH – As desired the Waistband will sit above the Natural Waist. Double the finished width and add two times the Seam Allowance to be used.