Saturday, July 25, 2009
From a women's designer clothing exhibition by Prada, photo via
What I love about circle skirts are that they are easy to make, but does not require too much pattern making skills. Choosing a suitable fabric is most important for a stressful outcome in this project. Look for fabrics that have a bit of weight to it, so that you don't have to add a lining. Bold floral prints are fun and uplifting. Because of the way a circle skirt hangs, keep in mind tha t plaids, checks and stripes will look different because of the angle the skirt has to be cut on (this could be fun to experiment with).
In my first post, I gave directions for making a full-circle skirt. However, because of its fullness, it requires fabric that is quite wide, that is not always available or easy to find. In such cases, you can substitute with a half-circle skirt to accommodate narrower fabric.
Also in my post, I gave directions for sewing a grograin ribbon waistband. Some readers were confused about making this type of waistband, so I'm going to give directions for a facing to finish the waist. I gave directions in the original post in such a way that you could skip doing a paper pattern, but because of the facing in this one, I recommend doing a paper pattern so that it is easier for you to work out the facing.
Sex and the City, Carrie Bradshaw wears a circle skirt, via.
Light to medium weight fabric (minimum 1.5 yards for 60" wide fabric, or 3 yards for narrower fabrics)
7" invisible zipper
Pattern paper, tracing paper
Waist (measure exactly around where you want the skirt to sit, don't measure too low or too high!)
Length of skirt (knee length about 20")
1. The waist measurement is like the circumference of a circle. Using this measurement, add 2 inches (for 1/2" seam allowance), then divide by 3.14. This will give you the diameter, but we are going to use this measurement as the radius for this pattern. For example if your waist measurement is 28", you will get 9.5" as the radius.
2. On your paper, mark point A (see diagram), draw two lines perpendicular from point A. From point A, measure 9.5" (of your personal radius measurement) from different angles many times, so that you can join them to form a circular line. This become your waist line. Then mark 1/4" above this line to mark seam allowance. Now mark 2.5" below the waistline and form another curved line. This become the pattern for the facing. Make a tracing of this for a separate pattern piece from the skirt.
3. Mark the length of the skirt from the waist line, marking the same distance along the waistline from different angles until you have enough points to join as one curved line. Mark 1/4" below the line to mark seam allowance.
If you measure the distance from point A to the edge of seam allowance hemline, this Will give you an idea of how wide your fabric needs to be at least. For example, if my radius is 9.5", and my skirt length is 21, the minimum width and length of fabric needed is 29.5".
Now your pattern is ready!
Note that the side seam allowances was already added in when the 2" was added to the like. waist for radius measurement. You can mark 1/2" inward to indicate this if you like.
4. Cut out the paper pattern to lay onto the fabric.
5. Fold fabric in half lengthwise if you have wide fabric, or layer two pieces of fabric with right side facing each other (mind the direction of print if you are using printed fabric). Use pins to hold in place.
6. Lay pattern pieces onto fabric as shown in diagram. Trace outline of pattern pieces with tailor's chalk. Place pins inside this marked line and cut along these lines.
7. Insert zipper on one side of seam. Sew along the side seams with 1/2" seam allowance. Press seams. Serge seams and hem line.
8. Make facing for waist line. Fuse facing pieces with fusible interfacing on the wrong side of fabric. (I prefer to fuse it lightly fuse the interfacing to the facing just to hold it in place, cut along the facing, and then fuse it again to secure it in place. This prevents the glue on the fusing from transferring to the iron board).
Sew one side seam of facing. Press seam. Sew the facing to the skirt along the waistline, with right sides facing each other, 1/4" seam allowance. Then press and fold facing inward, top stitch to keep in place. Serge raw edge of facing.
9. Finish hemline. Fold 1/4" along hemline and sew.
Presumably, if you want to make a full circle skirt from narrower fabrics, you can do this with having more seams. You can take this pattern and use the radius measurement and divide it by 2. Use this measurement to mark the distance from point A. You will have to cut 4 pieces instead of only 2 .
See also: DIY Circle Skirts