How to Make a Ruffle Wrap Skirt & Matching Crop Top From a Maxi Dress

Cristina Paraiso
by Cristina Paraiso
9 Materials
1 Hour

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to make a ruffle wrap skirt and top out of an old dress. This two-piece set is so pretty and perfect for summer or a beach vacation!

I’ll show you a freeform ruffle wrap skirt sewing pattern, and how to sew a waistband on a wrap skirt. Let’s get started making your own DIY wrap skirt and top!

Tools and materials:

  • Old smocked top dress
  • Scissors/rotary cutter
  • Pins
  • Ruler
  • Pen
  • Clear button
  • Sewing machine
  • Iron
  • Needle/coordinating thread

You’ll need to cut off the skirt part of the dress and use the fabric to make the main skirt, ruffle, and waistband. Keep the smocked top to the side for now.

Cutting the fabric for the skirt

1. Cut the pieces for the skirt

Cut the fabric for the skirt to be about 16 inches in length and about 45 inches wide.

Cutting a ruffle for the ruffle wrap skirt

Cut the ruffle to be 102 inches long and about 4¼ to 4½ inches wide.

Cutting the waistband for the ruffle skirt

Cut the waistband to 3.15 inches wide and 63 inches long.

Hemming the ruffle

2. Sew the ruffle

Make a hem at the bottom of the ruffle by folding the fabric to the wrong side at ⅜ inch or ½ inch. Pin and sew in place. 

Hand-sewing a gathering stitch

At the raw edge, hand-sew a gathering stitch, making sure to leave extra threads at both the beginning and end of the sewing to pull.

Pulling the gathering stitch

Once you’re done sewing, slightly pull the threads to gather in the ruffle. 

Drawing a curve at the end of the ruffle

Lay the ruffle down. At each end, handdraw a small curve.

Cutting the curved shape with a rotary cutter

Use a rotary cutter to cut the curves out. Hem the curved ends.

How to sew a ruffle wrap skirt

3. Make the skirt

Fold the fabric in half. On the open end of the fold, use the ruler to mark down 6 inches.

Marking a curve on the skirt fabric

From that mark, mark a curve upward and trim the excess off.

Pinning the ruffle to the DIY wrap skirt

4. Attach the ruffle to the skirt

Pin the ruffle to the skirt, with the right sides up for both, matching the curved end of the start of the ruffle to the curved end of the skirt, working your way down across the whole skirt at the bottom.

How to make a wrap skirt with a ruffle

Sew the ruffle to the skirt on the wrong side, using a straight stitch. Make sure to backstitch at the beginning and the end of the ruffle.

Making the waistband for the skirt

5. Make the waistband

Fold in ⅜ of an inch at either end of the waistband. Press both folds as flat as possible.

Folding the waistband to pres

Then fold the waistband in half widthwise and press again.

Hemming the DIY wrap skirt waistband

Unfold just at the top and fold down a ⅜ inch hem at the short end. 

How to sew a waistband on a wrap skirt

6. Attach the waistband to the skirt

Insert the skirt’s top raw edge into the open fold of the waistband, sandwiching it, and pin it in place.

Attaching the waistband to the DIY wrap skirt

Start at the beginning of the skirt, sewing the waistband to the skirt with a topstitch. You’ll have an extra long tie.

Sewing the waistband to the skirt

Mind the ruffle as you sew.

Hand-sewing a button onto the skirt

7. Add a button

Lay the skirt right side up. Mark the fabric for a button at the right side of the waist on the inside of the skirt. Hand-sew the button in place.

Making a buttonhole on the waistband

Make a buttonhole by marking the buttonhole spot on the waistband and then snipping with the scissors horizontally.

Hand-sewing the edges of the buttonhole

Handsew to finish the edges of the buttonhole so the fabric doesn’t fray or unravel.

Adding a tie to the DIY wrap skirt

8. Add the tie

At the edge of the waistband, where you have the extra waistband fabric, mark at the end where the skirt fabric ends. Cut off the rest of the tie.

Make your own wrap skirt

At the raw edges of the tie, fold in ⅜ of an inch. Sew to the skirt on the right side so you can make a pretty bow. 

Making a matching crop top for the skirt

9. Make the crop top

Here you’ll use the smocked top you cut off previously. Trim any excess fabric that isn’t smocked from the bottom. Remove any shoulder straps.

Cutting the bodice to create a bustier top

Carefully cut across the smocking, making sure to leave the bustier intact and at least two rows of smocking just below the bust.

Leftover smocking to use for the sleeves

Use the leftover pieces of smocking to add the detached arm pieces. Hopefully, your smocked piece is at least 2½- 3 inches in length.

Cutting the smocking to make sleeves

Measure in about 9½ inches from either side seam and cut so you’ll have two pieces. Turn the pieces to the wrong side.

Pin in place. Sew with a straight stitch, making sure to backstitch at the beginning and end of your seam.

Sewing the sleeve pieces to the crop top

10. Attach the arms to the top

Lay the top right side up. Pin the arm pieces to the top of the bustier. Sew together. Make sure to backstitch.

DIY wrap skirt and bandeau top

From this long unflattering dress to this sexy ruffle wrap skirt with crop top!

How to make a ruffle wrap skirt and top

How to make a ruffle wrap skirt and matching top

I hope this tutorial showed you how to make a ruffle wrap skirt! Please let me know in the comments if you’ve made it and how it looks. Thanks for joining.

Suggested materials:
  • Old smocked top dress
  • Scissors/rotary cutter
  • Pins
See all materials

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