Wrap skirt, a la Jessa Johansson


I love Girls. That is, the show on HBO. Yea, I know everyone on the show is white and straight. But it hits the nail on the head it so many ways, especially in its portrayal of the awkwardness of being 24. The character Jessa, played by Jemima Kirke, has pulled off some very original and eclectic outfits. I think we can all agree that character Jessa has some issues, but her style rocks. I mean, this skirt is basically a piece of fabric wrapped around her waist with a piece of elastic holding it up- how does she make it look so cool?  Rarely will you hear me say a person is my style icon, but she certainly is. Season 3 is on now, and Jessa was wearing this skirt in the second episode. Heres how I recreated it:

jessa skirt total

There weren’t any good, straight on shots of this skirt in the episode, but I think I have a pretty good idea of what it looks like. In the spirit of it not falling off of me in the middle of the day, I opted to sew the skirt together- it’s a little more permanent than just wrapping the fabric around your waist.

I used about a yard of 60 inch wide knit fabric. Her skirt is chartreuse, but I made mine a dark forest green.

jessa skirt sketch

Basically what I did was cut out a really wide/lopsided “U” shaped piece of fabric, like this:

jessa skirt sketch 2

Then I serged all the edges of the fabric.

I made a waistband out of elastic that fit snugly around my waist (where I wanted the elastic band of the skirt to rest).

I wrapped the fabric around my waist and adjusted it until I liked how it draped. I also went back and adjusted the shape of the U a little.  I took the elastic waistband, put it around my waist, over the fabric, and pinned the elastic and fabric together. I used LOTS of pins. (sorry these pictures kind of suck- I’m working on getting a better camera)

jessa skirt_redo_2

The fabric around the top of the skirt was uneven, but I took care of that at the end. The main part here is to make sure the skirt below the waistband fits well.

jessa skirt_redo_1

I sewed the elastic to the fabric with two rows of zig zag stitches, pulling as I sewed (if the elastic gets all stretched out, don’t worry- once you wash the skirt the elastic should shrink back to its normal size).


I didn’t like the contrast between the elastic and the fabric, so I sewed a piece of fabric over the elastic. This time I used chartreuse, like the original skirt. I thought it went better as a waistband color than white.




Finally, I serged the fabric about 3/4 inch above the top of the elastic waistband. This removed excess fabric from around the top.

There you have it!




I’m planning on wearing it with a crop top this summer. Which, by the way, can’t get here fast enough. I’ve had enough of this cold and snow.
Dyeing over sun damage


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  1. Michele said:

    The skirt really rocks! I love your pencil sketch. Mrs. S would be proud.


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