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Who remembers wrap-a-round skirts?

GailAnn | Posted in Patterns on

Once upon a time, in the 1970’s, wrap a round skirts were (almost) the uniform of the day.  I must have had 5 made from the Butterick pattern with the “lambchop” pockets, that served as belt loops, in the front.  Loved them!  Especially “in early” and “after” pregnancy.

There was a certain company that offered designs for appliques to be placed around the hems of said skirts.  Holiday, Autumn leaves, country homes, city houses, etc.  Does anyone remember these?  Are they still available anywhere?  Gail


  1. bonkers | | #1

    Yes ,I remember the skirts. I made several of them in the late 80s. I still have some of the patterns somewhere in the vault!!! I quit wearing them after I put on a few too many pounds and never made any more. I didn`t have the cut out designs but have seen those kind of patterns advertised in some of the sewing magazines in the last few years. Wish I could tell you where. If we save our stuff long enough, we will want it again!!

  2. User avater
    CostumerVal | | #2

    I don't remember alot of my clothes from the 70's but I do remember my gray A-line wrap skirt.  It had a button hole in the left side of the waistband that the tie went through and tied in the back.  I loved that skirt.  Ahhhhh the memories.   I just finished a straight wrap skirt in denim with a big silver tone button at the faced waistband to hold it closed.  I put button holes at the ends so all I have to do is move the buttons to make it bigger.   Not as easy as those big apron ties in the 70's but it'll do.

    I also remember a  pair of brown flair leg pants that always made me fall if I walked to fast or ran.  My toes would catch in that huge fabric tube on the opposite leg and down I'ld go.  Hated those!

  3. SAAM | | #3

    I remember wrap around skirts. I gave up wearing them after I had too many incidents where they blew open in strong wind. I did make several for my husband's aunt who had multiple sclerosis. She was in a wheelchair and wrap around skirts were easy for her to put on by herself.Sherry

  4. sewelegant | | #4

    I do remember them and my favorite was a Vogue design that had a shirt tail hem, a slight gathered waist and patch  pockets.  It's still in a box waiting to be resurrected whenever that elusive diet works out!  And you know?  I have a feeling it will not look outdated or out of place.


  5. Myrte | | #5

    Hi Gail,

    I'm not sure if this is what you mean, but I have made a new version of the straight wrap around skirt. You can see it on: http://www.mirthquake.nl/fall0607.html. And I tried to attach some files but I am not sure how that works out. There's a bow on the back as closure.I'm sure it's not the original version, but if you can use it, I can send you a scaled version by e-mail. Myrte

    1. Josefly | | #6

      I remember them well. I sewed a flared A-line version when I was in college in the sixties. It wrapped in the back, and tied in the front, and the two wrapped portions completely overlapped in the back from side-seam to side-seam, so wind was not a problem. It was reversible, and I wore it and wore it and wore it.A straight wrapped skirt I bought in the seventies had a wide, shaped waistband, but gathered to the band instead of having darts, mid-calf length, made from a beautiful border print, and trimmed around the hem and on the waistband with several colors of seam tape. It wrapped in the front, and didn't have the full side-to-side wrap, so I was constantly holding the skirt together. But I loved that skirt, too. What is it about wrap skirts that makes them so appealing? Do you think it's because they're adjustible, and forgiving of weight fluctuations?

      Edited 11/10/2007 12:19 pm ET by Josefly

      1. GailAnn | | #7

        Yes, yes, I'm talking about the slight a-line with 2 full with wrap closure in the back.

        Yes, agian, I think the appeal of the wrap is that it can take a ladie through a size or two, all the while looking neat and pulled together.

        Also, when I had mine, I was traveling a lot and they packed - Oh, So very nicely!  Fold them flat, put in a piece of tissue and shake the wrinkles out when I arrived.  Loved it.

        Then too, this was back before everyone wore blue jeans everywhere.  There is hardly anywhere you can't wear a wrap skirt and look appropriately dressed.  Gail

        1. woodruff | | #9
      2. cree9 | | #15

        Had to comment I loved those skirts - I made at least 3 and they were all reversible and I wore them for years - they came from a pattern in the late 60s as I know that I wore them in 1970 for starters. I have lost that pattern and regret it deeply as I would love to have a whole bunch of those - one side perhaps fleece for warmth. The pattern I had used rounded corners and wrapped completely across the front so there was no problem with wind. The ties were quite long and also double sided so where they were visible before they tied they matched the body of the skirt but the ties showed flirty bits of backside material. I have never found another pattern that made the same skirt - and I have tried many patterns - I have a Simplicity pattern that may be doable. When I am not making a quilt or dresses for daughter-in-law I may try to make one or two just to see if I can. Also I made dresses for smaller girls and have lost the pattern if anyone has information about where I can find one - it was like a 3 tiered gathered skirt with a drawstring that was pulled to make the neckline with short puffy sleeves also part of the neckline as I recall - I made bunches of them for summer wedding dresses for younger girls and ended up with a few pieces of the pattern as it was borrowed so often by others and returned haphazardly. I have looked for this pattern for probably 25 years and have never seen anything even close to that pattern.

        1. Josefly | | #16

          Every time I discard a pattern, I regret it, sometimes years and years later!Is the girls' pattern you're talking about like a peasant blouse, with gathered skirt attached? Elastic or drawstring waist, like the neckline?

          1. cree9 | | #20

            The pattern was for a dress and the neckline (and I think the sleeves) were on a drawstring and then there were two other gathered tiers so the finished item was actually a dress controlled by the drawstring neck. As I recall (which gets hazier as I get older) there was an inch or so above the drawstring that was like a ruffle around the neck - I just made a drawstring purse that had similar edge above the drawstring that looks like a ruffle when closed but is nothing but the outside and lining top stitched around top edge and lies flat when drawstring is let loose. I had a few pieces of this pattern but never enough to reconstruct the dress - the effect was charming and if I can find any pictures of the assorted weddings they were worn at I will attach same to a message. These were made for girls probably age 7 or 8 and younger and the final look was rather like a fancy muu muu (spelling???) - these wouldn't have worked for anyone who wanted a fitted look and the ones I made were cotton and meant to be worn in the summer. They didn't balloon out and they looked like a slightly full A line when worn. They were probably a Simplicity pattern but I never was able to find that pattern in any book and I looked right away and looked for several years after. I would love to know why it is only the really successful patterns that get lost - any ideas about that??

          2. Josefly | | #21

            It sounds like a cool and comfortable and pretty dress for young girls. I wonder if you couldn't adapt a peasant-blouse pattern, by adding tiers to the bottom to make it dress-length? Don't have any ideas about why the best patterns seem to get lost. Same thing with stains on your favorite clothes - why does the peach juice always find its way to your most useful blouse?

          3. mygaley | | #22

            Re: peach juice...Did you know hair dye won't stain a towel with a hole in it, but just have on a $35.00 slip and watch out! Galey

          4. Josefly | | #23

            Good chuckle, Galey, and it doesn't surprise me one bit that the holey towels come through unstained.

    2. User avater
      CostumerVal | | #11

      Oh my gosh Myrte, are all those your designs?  Wow!  You are mega talented.  Your stuff is GORGEOUS!  Yes, I'ld love to know more about that skirt.  I love the high waist.  Tucks you in nice and neat, and makes the shirt look good too.  Love the hem detail also.  What was your inspiration?


      1. Myrte | | #12

        Thanks so much for your nice words Val!!!!

        For the wrap skirt I was looking for the new high waistline, combined with a 40's secretary/teacher sort of feel. You know, dressy yet comfortable. What you said" Tucks you in nice and neat" Is exactly my feeling about a high waistline. After all that thong-watching, it's time to be sexy with clothes that cover things up a little! Also it's simple anatomy that women's shapes look better in the high waist, because we HAVE a high waist. Well that's my personal opinion, until the next season at least ;)

        What I could do, if you like, is e-mail you the jpg version of the pattern on scale, then you can enlarge it. America isn't in my range yet, so I don't mind you sewing a skirt for yourself. Let me know if you'd like that! Myrte

        1. rsolish | | #14

          love the skirt!! can it take someone through a size or two like other wrap skirts? how can we see the pattern for what it is? and how do we order? love the rest of your desighns too.

    3. sewingdeb | | #13

      I haven't been around here for over a week and just saw the skirt pattern.  How does one order the pattern?  I could see that info. is in a different language.


  6. Ralphetta | | #8

    I know this isn't the one you were looking for, but it reminded me of another wrap version that was very popular at that time.  A lot of people were wearing the soft lycra wrap skirts that originated in dance classes. At least in this area they were popular.

    Edited 11/10/2007 3:40 pm ET by Ralphetta

  7. jatman | | #10

    I remember the ones Ralphetta mentioned.  I had one by Danskin.  They still sell something similar today:

    View Image

    But the ones we wore weren't see through!


  8. Teaf5 | | #17

    I loved those wrap skirts, too!  I loved wearing jeans but had to wear skirts at work, so I'd simply take along a denim wrap skirt to pop into when I started my shift.  Anything I wore with jeans worked with the denim wrap skirt, and I could change in and out of it without leaving the office-- a great timesaver!

    Since it's always windy in coastal California, I usually tacked the upper layer to the bottom layer somewhere midway between the waist and hem; I could still open the wrap and vary the length of the tie, but the hems would never fly too far open.

    1. susanna | | #18

         I recall wearing a black and purple plaid wool wraparound skirt in the winter of 1966. With a black "poorboy" sweater. Remember that name for a fine-ribbed sweater? And I had black "ghillie tie" shoes. Oh so mod. Especially with my angled sassoon type haircut.

         Only, one day I wore orange striped "pettipants" under my wraparound to school. After exiting the bathroom and walking down the hall, my friends enjoyed pointing out to me that my skirt was folded halfway up my backside, exposing the wild undies. Good grief.

         I also had a black wool "John Lennon" hat, sort of like a newsboy cap. Does anyone remember those?

      1. GailAnn | | #19

        Those were the days, my friend, we thought they'd never end we laughed and danced forever and a day.................................Gail

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