Japanese Drop-Waist Wrap Skirt

I’m still on a quest to populate my closet with easy wear, weekday skirts. I’ve made progress, but I’m always interested in finding that perfect pattern that contains just the right amount of smooth, flair and gather for a flattering fit on my lower half. Fresh Make #23 is a unique skirt that features a bit of all those things.DSC_0529DSC_0528DSC_0525I’m on a roll with “Simple Modern Sewing” by Shufu To Seikatsu Sha.DSC_0546This skirt is my second project from the book. My previous post, Japanese Wraparound Dress was the first. For this project, I choose Skirt 5C, Drop-Waist Wrap Skirt, because it has a fairly wide waistband yoke which should help flatten the belly and mini pleats all around which should hide larger hips and thighs without adding too much extra width.DSC_0546 Once again, I need to comment that the instructions in this book are very minimal. I would not recommend that a beginning seamstress tackle this project without help from someone who can interpret and fill in the gaps of missing information and illustrations.

These are the instructions in their entirety.

These are the instructions in their entirety.

The fabric I choose is a light to medium weight Italian linen. It is once again from Michael Levine’s in downtown LA. This fabric is 58″ wide, and I bought 2 yards at $18 per yard. I selected this fabric because I was drawn to the colors, and the stripes make it a bit more interesting than a solid. DSC_0521Even though the skirt has the word “wrap” in the title, it is really a tube. I believe the designer uses the term wrap because because you fit the skirt to your body by taking a fold in the yoke and then securing it with the ties.

DSC_0543There is a hole in the right side yoke seam for the ties to go through, and two outside loops as well.

I did a blind machine hem.

I did a blind machine hem.

Here's a front view all spread out.

Here’s a front view all spread out.

Here's a back view all spread out.

Here’s a back view all spread out.


1. I made a size Large, which is a big as it comes. My fold at the yoke takes in about 4″ of slack. I am wearing it so the yoke sits slightly below the waist. Since it’s not fitted, individuals could play around with where they wear the yoke in relation to their waist and hips. If you are tall with narrow hips, I think you could probably wear it farther below the waist and it would be flattering. For a pear shape like me, it probably looks best worn higher.

2. If you read my post, Japanese Wraparound dress, you know my skepticism about trying patterns in this book was put to rest with the discovery of a well drafted dress design. The same holds true for this second project. With the exception of doing a slight bit of trimming/tweaking on yoke pieces, it all fit together as expected.

3. It took me about 20 minutes to figure out where to attach the second tie on the inside and exactly how to configure and wrap the ties around the yoke when putting on the skirt. I think I will secure my fold with a hidden safety pin because it seems as though the ties will slide up the yoke despite the two outside loops.

4. While I love this linen fabric, if I make this skirt again, I will probably choose a linen/cotton blend that might be more soft and drapey. The book recommended a linen/cotton blend. I don’t want to risk putting my $18 linen in the dryer to get that laundered look that’s in the photo.

5. I interfaced the yoke, even though the instructions did not say to do so.

This is my sewing room. I consider myself fortunate that we have a spare room in our house that I can dedicate to sewing. (Well, the computer also is in there.) However, it is a mess. I have never made a priority to make it cute and uncluttered. I would rather spend my time sewing. DSC_0526But just so you know that my whole house doesn’t look like this, here’s a picture of my living room.DSC_0524

Once again, thanks for taking the time to read this post. I welcome your comments or questions on the skirt; or even a comment on the environment you sew in. Cheers, Lori


15 thoughts on “Japanese Drop-Waist Wrap Skirt

  1. I’m glad to see the sewing room, where the magic happens. Also glad it looks so – worked in – and not designer organized. I’m sure you know exactly or close to where everything is you need.

  2. The skirt is really lovely and the fabric is so nice. I suspect your sewing room looks like most other sewers and mine too. Denver Sewing Collectives monthly challenge for Feb is to show your sewing room. At first I thought no way would I post my mess,, but reconsidered because it works for me and my household.

  3. This skirt looks very wearable indeed! Thanks for sharing a snap of your workspace. It may not look designer, but it’s wayyyy neater than other people’s spaces (mine included). Your home looks lovely as well.

  4. I really love your skirt, I don’t have the book but have been drawn to yours by google showed me your nice picture. I actually find the instructions okay, I rather like words and diagrams. I’ve not sewn for many years and have just restarted again. I think this skirt would be perfect for me. Very nice.

  5. Thank you for pointing me to this post. You’ve confirmed that the skirt is very attractive. Have you washed it yet? I think it’ll look great with that wrinkled linen look. Mine will be 100% cotton, so also not what was called for. If I can’t figure out the blasted ties, I’ll ask you 🙂 But seriously, I couldn’t get to sleep last night until I’d figured out the yoke, facing and tie instructions.

    • When I pre-washed it, I line dried it. I like the “laundered” look, and the fabric is a bit stiff, so I will put in in the dryer the next time I wash it.

  6. I just finished the skirt and really like it (I also made it out of linen, and pre-washed and dried the fabric). However, I’m curious about the length of the ties – they seem to be longer than necessary. For right now, I have pinned them in place but was wondering if it would work to shorten the ties (or at least the inner tie) so that there’s not so much length and adjust where it’s sewn inside the yoke? Does that make sense? Or do you need all the length?

    • I would leave all the length because both ties need to wrap around the waistband/yoke so you can cinch the waistband with the ties to fit your waist/hip (wherever you want to wear it). The tie that’s on the inside is attached only about 8 inches from the seam hole it slips through to the outside. I wouldn’t shorten it and put it closer to the seam hole because you would lose the ability to cinch that portion of the waistband. I hope this makes some sense and is of some help to you!

  7. Oh my gosh, what a difference!!! I had the inside tie on the opposite end. Her instructions said “5 inches to the left of center” but I went to the “wrong” left, evidently. 🙂 I assumed she meant from the wearer’s left. Obviously not… Once I switched the tie to the other side, it worked perfectly. Thanks so much!

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