I made this circle skirt a couple of days ago as the first project in what I hope will be a series of patternless sewing adventures. This skirt is quite simple to make and the shape looks good on everyone! If you are new to sewing you can simplify the skirt by using an elastic waistband rather than the fitted and zippered waist band showed here.
- 2 yards of cotton or other fabric
- Measuring tape
- Straight pins
- Matching thread
- Ribbon (optional)
Begin by measuring your waist with the measuring tape. This is the measurement you will be using to make your skirt. Then measure from your waist down the front or side of your leg to figure out how long you wan the skirt to be. Then add an inch to each measurement for seam allowance. If you want, you can add two inches.
Next is a quick bit of math. I will use my measurements to explain.
Waist: 28 + 1 inch = 29 inches
Length: 18 + 1 inch = 19 inches
You must figure out the radius of your waist measurement since we will be folding the fabric into quarters to cut it. So mine would be 29 inches (the circumference) divided by 3.14 to get the diameter, then divided by 2 to get the radius which would be 4.6. I rounded up slightly to get 4 5/8.
The second part is easy! Just add your radius to your length. Mine came out to 23 5/8.
Now you have a radius and an adjusted length. Write these numbers down, and you are ready to begin!
Fold your fabric in half lengthwise and then in half again width-wise with the right side of the fabric facing in. Make sure there are no wrinkles in any of the layers and it is folded evenly. Then take your ruler and pencil and measure the length of your found radius starting at the center double-fold.
Rotate your ruler in a semi-circle, marking off as you go. Make sure that the radius stays the same by anchoring the ruler at the corner of your fabric.
Once you have a dotted line, connect the dots and repeat this measuring process with your adjusted length measurement. Now you have two quarter circles.
Cut out along your curved lines making sure that the fabric does not move around. I used rayon which is slippery, so I needed a lot of pins.
Once you have cut out your skirt and BEFORE you unfold it, slice evenly up one side (only one layer of fabric, not two!)
Now it is time to start the waistband! I like a thicker band since I think they are more flattering. If you want a band of 2 inches, as I did, your fabric will need to be 5 inches wide. You have to double your intended waistband width and add an inch for the seam. The length will be your waist measurement plus an inch for the seam. My waistband, for example, was 5 inches by 29 inches.
If you have a flimsy fabric like rayon, cut a piece of fuse-able interfacing the same size as your waistband fabric and iron the two together. I did this so that my waistband would be stiff. If you are using a cotton, you can skip this.
Fold your waistband fabric in half with the right sides facing out, and iron it flat.
Then open it out and fold each side in a half an inch, ironing as you go.
Iron the band completely flat, then find the center of both the waistband and the skirt. Mark them with a pin, and insert the skirt into the band about half an inch, pinning as you go.
Then, with the right side up, stitch the band to the skirt. This way you can see your work and make sure that you are stitching in a straight line.
It should look something like this:
Now for the zipper! Fold the skirt in half with the right sides facing in and pin together. Place the zipper alongside the pinned side, and place a pin where the bottom square metal piece ends. Use this pin as a marker, and sew up the seam from the pin to the bottom of the skirt.
Here is how the top should look:
If your skirt is pinned as above, unpin it and pin the two sides together. Then baste together with the sewing machine. You can see the difference between the normal seam and the basted seam below.
Then iron the whole seam flat (including the upper un-sewn portion). Pin the upper portion so that it remains flat for the insertion of the zipper.
Then lay the zipper across the basted seam, pin it, and baste it along one side. Make sure you are only basting it to the seam rather than through the entire skirt!
Then flip the skirt over and carefully sew the zipper in along both sides and the bottom using a normal stitch setting. Remove the basting, and iron the skirt flat.
Hemming a circle skirt is a bit tricky, but after a couple of mishaps, I found an easy way to do it. The best part is, you don’t have to worry about pinning! Instead, roll the bottom of the hem in about 1/4 of an inch and use a zig-zag stitch. Feed the cloth through the sewing machine at a slow pace to prevent any mistakes.
Then fold the hem in about a 1/4 inch again and feed it slowly through the sewing machine on a small straight stitch setting. This creates a cleaner hem line.
Trim all of your threads, iron your skirt flat, and add a bow sash if you like. I chose to leave mine without a bow since I love wearing different belts.
Voila! A beautiful new skirt!
Since it has finally decided to be winter around here, I paired my new skirt with warm tights, a vintage blouse and belt, boots, and a cropped sweater. It works great for layering!
This is the perfect skirt for adding volume without any bulkiness, and I love the ripple effect of the hem!
Can you tell I am ready for spring?