• Folarin Debellotte

Make Your Own African Wrap Skirt

African wrap skirts are simple to make. You just need a large piece of quality cotton or cotton-like fabric 36 to 45 inches wide and the ability to measure and hem. For fabric, check out Ankara and Lace


Measure and Straighten Fabric



Purchase two yards of an African print fabric. The uncut edges of your fabric are called selvedges and are made by weaving threads closely together to make a firm edge. There is no need to trim off the selvedge, as it will be turned under when you hem the edges.

The cut edges of the fabric will need to be straightened so that each edge follows a thread of the woven fabric. One way to straighten the edge is to make a snip in the selvedge at one edge and tear a narrow strip from the end. Another way is to snip the selvedge, find one of the threads that runs from selvedge to selvedge, and pull that thread out from the fabric. The missing thread will leave a line you can use as a guide for a cutting a straight edge.

Wash and dry your fabric to preshrink it if it is 100% cotton.


Hem the Edges

Press the selvedge under and sew with a straight stitch to make a narrow hem. You may skip this step if the selvedge already looks attractive. On cut edges, turn under 1/4 inch of fabric. Press. Turn under 1/4 inch again, enclosing the cut edge. Press. Stitch with straight stitch close to edge to make narrow hem.


Wear your Skirt

Hold the skirt so that the length will wrap around you. If you are short, you may want to turn under some fabric at the top of the skirt to shorten it. Grasp one of the top corners while wrapping the skirt around you. Be sure to have your feet apart as you wrap so you can walk comfortably. Knot the top corners together. Your skirt is finished!

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