As you move out of the beginner sewing phase, your mind will start collecting all of these wonderful ideas of garments to sew. One of my all time favorite garments is a full skirt. Full skirts are so glamorous to wear. They can be worn all year round and a must for any wardrobe. As you grow in your sewing skills drafting your own patterns is a natural step in your learning. This particular garment is easy to start with.
In this circular skirt tutorial Rhonda Buss of Rhonda’s Creative Life shows you how easy it is to make your own. This circular skirt tutorial is for wovens and a waist band and zipper will be needed in order for you to get in and out of the skirt (helpful!).
So, now let’s have Rhonda take it away.
Drafting The Circular Skirt
The circular skirt is a wonderful pattern to draft. It’s a pattern that is very straight forward and incredibly easy to draft. Only 2 measurements are needed for this skirt, the waist measurement and the length measurement.
This skirt can be drafted in 4 different versions. Your choice will depend on how full you would like your skirt to be. Below are examples of the 4 versions.
As you can see, the above skirt falls in many graceful folds. This is the Full Circular Skirt. This skirt is one complete circle.
The skirt above still has many grace folds, but is not quite as full. This is the 3/4 Circular Skirt.
The above skirt is still rather full but has does not hang with all the graceful folds of the full or the 3/4 circular skirts. This skirt is the Half Circular Skirt.
The final skirt pictured above is the 1/4 Circular Skirt. As you can see, it fits very close
to the hips.
At one time, drafting a circular skirt was explained using pi. No need to panic, no reason
to try and remember your grade school math!! The equations for determining the radius
of your skirt are quite simple. They are as follows:
Full Circular Skirt:
Waist Measurement minus 1″ and then multiplied by 1/6.
3/4 Circular Skirt:
Waist Measurement minus 1″ and then multiplied by 1/5.
1/2 Circular Skirt:
Waist Measurement minus 1″ and then multiplied by 1/3.
1/4 Circular Skirt:
Waist Measurement multiplied by 2/3. Please note that with the 1/4 circular skirt you will
not subtract 1″ from the waist measurement.
As an example, we will draft a full circular skirt using a 25″ waist measurement. Begin
by subtracting the 1″ from your waist measurement. The result will be 24. Multiply 24 by
1/6 or divide by 6 and the result will be 4.
Determine your desired length of your skirt.
On your paper, draw a right angle that is longer than your desired length. For my example, I would like the finished length of my skirt to be 25″ so I have drawn my lines 30″ long. This will give me plenty of room to draw in my waist and then the hem of my skirt.
From the apex(the area where the 2 lines intersect)measure out on your lines 4″. This measurement was determined from the formula we used to determine the radius of our waist measurement for a full circular skirt. Holding your tape measure at the apex of your 2 lines, measure out 4″ from 1 line to the other. This will form the waist of your skirt.
From the waistline that you drew in, not the apex of the lines as for the waist, measure down the desired length of your skirt from 1 line to the other line. This will be your hemline.
The final pattern is below. Please be sure to add seam allowances to the waistline and the side seam. The center front should be on the fold and for the full circular skirt, you will
cut 2. If your fabric is not wide enough for the center front to be on the fold, you will need to add seam allowance to the center front as well and then you would cut 4.
Below are examples of circular skirts.
The first skirt is a full circular skirt. As you can see it is quite full.
Below is an example of how you would lay your pattern on your fabric with a border print. By placing the fabric so that the border print intersects the center front, the border print will drape once the skirt is sewn and form a “U” shape in the fabric. People will
wonder how you did this and they’ll think you are a genius!
An important aspect to remember about a circular skirt is that it is necessary to allow the skirt to hang for at least 24 hours before you hem it. As you can see in the picture below, the hem is very uneven. Once you have allowed the skirt to hang for at least 24 hours, you can then mark your hem, cut off the excess and hem the skirt.
A pocket was added to the side seam. It makes the perfect place to hide a tissue! You can find more information on this dress here,
In order to give the skirt a little body, I added 2 layers of tulling underneath the skirt.
For more drafting ideas, visit my blog, Rhonda’s Creative Life