DIY Bandage Skirt

I never thought of doing DIYs until people started asking me to and I am not sure as to why I haven’t pursued the idea sooner. Many of the items in my closet are designed and sewed by myself since I can never find what I’m looking for in the store that is the correct fit, shape, or colour. And if I do find it, it’s highly over priced...the story of my life! So here goes…thanks Necca from Chictopia for requesting this DIY! (this may look like a lot but read through it first and then proceed)

The great thing about the bandage skirt, introduced and made popular by Herve Ledger, is that it sucks everything in leaving you with a nice form fitting skirt or dress. The material is cut into strips and sewn in layers to give the illusion of a flattened stomach and slimmer hips. (usually people with curvier figures wear them to accent their figure like Beyonce for example).

So because of this I started off by laying my four neon pieces of fabric in strips side by side (I’m missing one colour because I used it all-these are the scraps that I have left over). I knew that I didn’t need a lot of fabric so for each colour I only purchased a 1/4 of a yard (you can use more at your discretion). There aren’t very many fabric stores with higher end fabric like the NYC stores in the garment district that I frequented for cool finds. So the closest thing that I could find were bathing suit/costume material which came in many neon colors and stretch for added elasticity.

I doubled the fabric (so that the skirt would have some weight and thickness so my panty line wouldn’t show *that’s key*) and cut  4 strips (one of each colour) into 4.5inch pieces. I then sewed around the perimeter of each strip and left a little opening to flip the strip inside out. (Remember you’re just sewing the strips in a rectangle but the stitching is exposed. Leave an opening so that you can turn it inside out for a smooth finish. Hand stitch the small opening closed).

Then I took all four strips and sewed them together “back to back” with a small seam. This makes the skirt look like individual strips made to create one finished piece. Remember the above picture is scrap so its a bit too short to wrap around my body. Use as much fabric as you need and cut whatever access you don’t need.

This is what I mean by “back to back” small seam (or just pinch the fabric). My bobbin kept messing up so the stitches look sloppy on the inside but clean on the right side. Bathing suit material is extremely slippery so don’t get discouraged if it runs away from you on the machine.

Now you have all four strips (or however many you choose) sewn together into this long piece of fabric. The next step would be to actually make the shape of the skirt that fits you. You can take a favourite skirt that you like and use it as a pattern or do what I did…wrap it around your waist and pin it to yourself. The reason being is that since the fabric is stretchy its difficult to see how tight it really needs to be in order to create the smooth finish.

The skirt will dramatically shrink-my skirt ended up measuring 12 inches across at the waist and 14 inches across at the bottom. (that’s measuring from tip to tip not the circumference-so it would be a 24 inch waist, but it stretches beyond that). I based the measurements on what felt comfortable enough to get over my hips but tight enough to lay smoothly on my figure. Now I know it looks funny because the seam is at the side (usually the left side would mimic the right) but I did that intentionally because once I turned it inside out I moved the seam to the center back to avoid seams down the side of my thighs….

Tip: Make sure to line your strips up with the center back or else the colours will be off kilter. It looks crooked here because of how I cut it out, but once on its completely straight.


A bandage skirt similar to the picture in the Cayman Islands on my blog.


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