Tute Review: No-sew wrap top

February 8, 2011 in Craft and Art, Design, DIY, Fashion, Style, Textile Addiction, Tute Review by alliemcc

Here's the latest installment of my monthly series, "Tute Review".  I review DIY fashion tutorials and how-tos from all over the web, let you know how user-friendly they are, and show you what I make. Hooray for arts & crafts!

This month, for your craftin pleasure, I'm reviewing this drapey, no-sew top that I've had bookmarked forever…

No-sew wrap top


This how-to by Jada-Lee Watson of Canadian eco-fashion line Nixxi was featured on Ecouterre.

I've been really intrigued by no-sew, wrap-y, drapey designs lately. And I'm especially loving projects that use knit fabrics where I can leave the edge raw. It's very minimal-modern, and yet primal at the same time.

This is one of those projects that was designed by people thousands of years ago and keeps getting modern tweaks and styling.

Mind you, I read through the directions several times over the months that I've had this bookmarked, and I couldn't quite get my head around it. But once I got into it, it turns out to be a variant of this kind of no-sew circle vest, which I have made for myself and for a photo shoot.  It's a simpler version of the drape-front cardigans that have been trendy for the last couple of years.


Left: my outfit shot from Fall, 2010. Right: photo by Kristina V.

The breakdown

  • Time-consuming: This is very quick, once you figure out the correct measurements.
  • User-friendly: Somewhat. I can't stress how simple this concept is, but the written directions, and un-labeled photos are not so explicit.
  • Skill level: Super-easy, very newbie-crafter friendly. All you need are sharp scissors and a measuring tape or yardstick.
  • Cost for materials: Depends on your taste in fabric. T-shirt type knits are hard to find, unless you're in a fairly big city, or just have an awesome fabric store near you. You could also try this with a very light, loosely woven fabric. You could get more creative, and more eco-friendly, by piecing together repurposed fabrics (XL t-shirts?).

What you need to know that the directions don't tell you:

Choose t-shirt type knit or jersey fabric. Or try a very loose-weave, gauze fabric.

You need to order about 2 1/2 yards at the cutting counter– there is no such thing as 85-inch-wide fabric, unless you're making theater curtains.

I would actually cut the piece 12-24 inches longer– you can see in my photos below, the ends are little short when you wrap it certain ways.

Use your back-width measurement for the placement of the armholes. A tailor or a sewing friend can tell you this. If you're totally on your own, estimate it by measuring across your chest from armpit to armpit. Divide this measurement in half. When you find the centerline of the fabric, measure from that point to the left and right using that divided measurement.

For a better-looking armhole, instead of a slit, create a narrow oval shape with rounded ends.


Upcycle a pashmina-type shawl

Use different types of gauze-type fabric, a heavier sweater knit fabric, or lace

Shape your initial piece of fabric into an oval, or half circle

Try placing the armholes  at different points relative to the narrow end of the fabric, or place them off-center of the long edge

Extend the measurements of the rectangle both longer and wider to create a wrap dress

Style it with a narrow scarf as a waist-tie, a leather or chain harness accessory, or different width and length belts

Flip it upside down, and then wrap

Put it on backwards, and then wrap

Click here for the No-Sew Wrap Top tutorial.

If you give it a go, let me know how it went, and send pictures! Better yet, post your pictures on my Facebook page!

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