Skirt on white

One of the main purposes of sewing should be to create garments that anyone can frequently wear. That is why sewing circular skirts is so fantastic. They are very simple to sew in any size, and they are also easy to combine with a tucked-in blouse or crop top.

Why  Circular Skirts?

Mainly because they are quite popular and fashionable since they appeared in the late ´40s. Originally they appeared in Dior’s New Look Collection, and they became a common garment quickly. They are popular for a few reasons:

  • They are quick and easy to sew,
  • They look flattering on almost any shape, and they highlight the waist to create an hourglass look,
  • They never go out of style.

How to Select the Best Fabric?

To do this skirt, you can use any fabric that you like, from woven to knit, from lightweight to felt wool. However, in this short tutorial, a full circle skirt in knit fabric with an exposed elastic waistband will be detailed. So it might look different depending on the material you selected.

When using a stable fabric, do not forget to add a center back closure; it can be a button on the waistband or a zipper on the skirt portion. Otherwise, your skirt may not fit you around the hips.

Sizing the Skirt

As it was mentioned before, this tutorial is for a full circle skirt, but you might want to be even more creative and make a three-quarter circle skirt, a half circle skirt or a quarter circle skirt. You need to think about how you would wear it and adapt the model to your own ideas.

Set the Fabric

In this case, we are going to sew a skirt for an 8-year-old child.  Due to its small size, it is possible to cut the fabric for the skirt in just one piece, omitting any side seam. But, if you are sewing one for yourself. You will probably need to cut two to four segments of fabric and sew them together. Do not forget to add seam allowances where required.

Simple Steps to Sew the Circular Skirt

Step 1: Measurements

In order to sew a circular skirt, three measures are important:

  • Waist circumference ( where you want to wear your skirt)
  • Skirt length ( from the waist level) = “d”
  • Hip circumference (the widest part of your hips)

When you get these measurements, mark them down. Then, you will need to calculate the circle’s radius following this equation.

radius = circumference / 2π =”c”

*Remember that π is about 3.14. So you need to  divide your waist circumference measurement by 6.28

Step 2: Determine the Amount of Fabric

Here, you should determine how much fabric you will need because you can only cut a circular skirt in one piece if it is for a smaller size. While you can buy any length of fabric, you are limited by fabric width that usually is 45″-62″, depending on the loom.

To calculate the fabric, let’s follow these instructions:

You will call “c”  to your waist radius and “d”  to your skirt length, then “c+d” can’t be bigger than half of your fabric width.

  • If twice your “c+d” (+ seam allowance) is less than your fabric width, then buy a length of fabric that’s twice the “c+d” measurement. You can cut the fabric in one piece.
  • If twice your “c+d” (+ seam allowance) is more than your fabric width, then buy a length of fabric that’s four times the “c+d” (+ twice seam allowance) measurement.

Step 3: Paper Pattern

You can select drafting paper, wrapping paper, old newspaper or brown craft paper to create your pattern but you should check that the paper you choose has at least one right angle and it should be as wide and long as your “c+d” measurement.

Then, you have to measure the “c” length on both sides of the 90-degree angle with the sides of the paper. Helped by the ruler, you need to mark the same measurement several times between the edges of the paper. After that, you have to join the dots to create the inner curve of the pattern.

Finally, you should repeat the procedure with the “c+d” measurement by pivoting the ruler the same corner. End this step by cutting along both arcs.

Step 4: Cutting the Fabric

Start this part by folding the fabric so you can cut the pattern piece on just one move. Then, lay your fabric right side up and fold the right sides together, matching the selvages.

Afterword, you need to fold the fabric in the other direction again. Pay attention to fold it down enough, so the width (a) is the same as the length (b). To conclude, place your pattern piece in the corner and trace the inner and outer curves to cut along those lines.

Step 5: Hip Measurement

As you are using an elastic waistband,  you will not make a closure on the back. Therefore, it might be a good idea to check the skirt will fit over our hips.  

Now, measure the distance between the two pints and make sure the measurement is a bit smaller than half the hip measurement.

Step 6: Waistband

It is time to cut the elastic the exact length of your waist circumference. Once, you take out the two ½” seam allowances; it will fit your waist perfectly. Thus, sew the raw edges, right sides together, and trim using pinking shears to minimize fraying.

When you finish, you should open the seam allowances, so they lay flat and sew at 3/8″ from the first seam.

Step 7: Attach the Waistband

You have come to the last step of this tutorial. In this step, you will have to mark your waistband in four equal segments, in this way the marks will identify the center back, the center front and the two points halfway on each side.

Repeat this procedure marking the skirt, and put the straight of grain on the side and so your skirt will drape better in this way.

Keeping a consistent distance from the bottom edge of the waistband (3/8″ to 1/2″), you will have to pin the wrong side of the waistband to the right side of the skirt.

*Remember to the four points on the skirt to the ones on the waistband.

Your last task would be to sew from the right side of the waistband, pulling the fabric and waistband while sewing. It might be essential to use a triple step zig-zag stitch to preserve the waistband´s stretch.

And that’s it! Your full circular skirt is complete!

If you think it was useful and you want to know more about the sewing world and get more ideas to do at home, please contact us. Or visit our webpage to read more.

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