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Power of simple, minimal: Charlie May AW13


Studio shots courtesy of Charlie May, shot by Nicole Maria Winkler

If we all had super powers, mine would surely be chasing my own cape until I puke out breakfast all over the carpet. My dear friend Charlie May, blogger for Girl a la Mode and designer for her own names-sake brand Charlie May, her super power would be her minimal, modern, streamlined design aesthetics. Even when she’s not wearing a cape (white, and made of Napa leather, I’d imagine), her gusto for sleek minimal rubs off on her everyday style too. I’ve had the pleasure to design her new e-commerce site, launched just over a week ago, and since I’ve also been painfully holding back on sharing her AW13 collection until the pieces are released for purchase, you’ll agree this is perfect timing. And as a little bonus, I’ve asked Charlie to demonstrate how to make a simple wrap skirt (a la Charlie May SS13), should you wish to own a bit of her in your own wardrobe. Only if that didn’t sound as creepy as it came out…

Photo by Park & Cube at Charlie May AW13 show in February


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Photo by Park & Cube at Charlie May AW13 show in February


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All you’ll need:
A bit of fabric – leather, pleather, or even tough cotton. (half a metre [20in] is enough!) We used a creamy velvet fabric that she used in one of the pieces in her AW13 collection. Scissors, sewing machine (or needle & thread to hand-sew), pins, an iron & ironing board.

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Cut two long strips, 50cm long (20in) x 5cm (2in) wide. Fold into fourths and iron down.


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Pin along the length.

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Sew along the length, pulling pins out as you go. Snip the 50cm-long straps in half, making four 25cm-long straps. (This can be as long as you like) Tuck the ends in and sew to finish.

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Measure your waist, this will be the width of the skirt. Measure a desired length, and let that be the height. Add 5-8cm (2-3inches) to the height, and cut a rectangle with these dimensions from the fabric of choice.


Cut the bottom of the skirt in a slant, with about 5-8cm (2-3inches) difference in length. The above diagram describes how the straps are tied – attach two straps at top corners to start.


Wear the skirt to find out where the opening meets the skirt. Pin to mark where the straps should go, then sew them on. All four straps should be attached to the skirt.



Tie the straps in a double-knot to secure the skirt.


  • This wrap-skirt can be done with practically any type of fabric, but for a true Charlie May style, try silk, cotton mesh, or leather.
  • If you don’t have enough fabric to make straps, or if you don’t feel up for sewing, then try using ribbons! (Grosgrain, silk…etc)
  • For advanced sewers, try adding buckles or double D-rings to the straps instead of the tying method. The inner flap can also be secured with a button.
  • For a slightly thicker wrap-skirt, or if using fabric that might fray at the edges – cut two mirrored templates, sew the edges (like a pillow!), pull inside out, and iron. The edges will be neater and the skirt thicker.

Charlie is giving away an Ostrich leather tee from her AW13 collection, some lovely Bumble & Bumble products and two tickets to her SS14 show during London Fashion week, so make sure to enter!

Write a Comment


  1. Beautiful collection, I love this minimalist well cut pieces! And the DIY is so great!


  2. Duck

    I don’t want just a bit of Charlie May in my wardrobe, I WANT ALL OF HER locked in my closet so nobody else can share her. Not in a Fritzl way (kind of in a Fritzl way).

  3. this diy is so elegant and beautiful, I love it!!


  4. Cool ! I will try in the next days! Thanks :)


  5. What a great DIY! I just started learning how to sew, so this will be good practice!

  6. Looks gorgeous! Immediately followed her blog haha.
    I love the shopper at the end. Smart casual it is!

  7. I love her line and her blog. She is always so chic and effortlessly fabulous in all neutrals! Love this skirt tutorial.

    xx Erin

  8. fantastic!


  9. Great collection!


  10. Thanks for this, it looks like a DIY I can attempt…I’m not great at this kind of things (I have no patience) so wish me luck!


  11. VERY instructive DIY. I always love how detailed you are in your writing, this post was such a good read! Minimal is really coming back isn’t it?

    Wrap skirts are so simple, definitely need to try this out somehow.
    From Likkie,

  12. What an elegant collection, the site and the pieces look great. Great DIY too!
    Mafalda ❤

  13. Gorgeous gorgeous collection

  14. wow, like you’re blog an creativity. this is an inspiration for us
    greetings from Holland
    shall we follow each other?facebook/bloglovin

  15. wow her work is fantastic. Super clean, super sharp. love!


  16. Sarah

    Her collection is so simplistic yet extremely refreshing. It is also very pristine and scintillating, communicates ‘smart’. Needless to say the photos are gorgeous. Thank you for sharing.

  17. The site looks excellent, I bet you’re chuffed with the result. I’ll pass the comp onto my gf.

  18. sarah

    amazing DIY skirt! love her aesthetic.

  19. Hi! Check out my new fashion blog! Hope you like it!

  20. http://thetrendalist.blogspot.com

  21. Such as simplistic look, so elegant. Well done!!

  22. absolutely fabulous work.. i am in awe!

  23. ChicTrends

    If I only I were gifted in sewing I would try this out but unfortunately I poke my fingers red every time I get near a sewing needle. Will recommend this post to one of my friends that loves this type of DIY. What a great collection, btw! x


  24. What a great look. Thank you for sharing!

  25. So pretty!


  26. Great DIY — thank you !!

    xx, Brittany

  27. Awesome and Congratulations! amazing style as always :)

  28. Love the collection, and you made the DIY skirt Wrap looks so easy. Need to try it! You should check out my blog http://www.mywhiteT.com

  29. I absolutely admire you for your creativity and talent!
    And you were looking amazing at fashion week!

  30. wow this is so cool!!! lovely collection.
    love it
    facebook/bloglovin, shall we follow?
    greetings from holland

  31. Great ideas! Respect :)

  32. Beautiful aesthetic. I’m gonna have to try this out, such a simple DIY with great results. I love how the skirt looks.

  33. So informative and well wrote! Your blog is very unique for that :D
    I’ll keep my eyes on you!!

  34. Cool it is awesome. I liked it. For designer beautiful french product visit at French product

  35. White is always my passion. Whoever or wherever ware.

  36. […] got my eye on whipping up one of these DIY skirts (depending on material, no sew option possible) with some leftover fabric. Fingers crossed – […]

  37. Its my luck to pay a quick visit at this web site Charlie May | Park & Cube and find out my required article along with video demonstration, that YouTube video and its also in quality.
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  38. Ella

    I tried this tutorial and the pattern doesn’t work, it doesn’t make any sense.

  39. Fantastic blog post and your collection really brilliant. Thanks for sharing with us.

  40. So that’s how behind the scene looks like in fashion! Very busy!

  41. minimalist but stunning! Absolutely fine style!