Some announcements first: The Dorothy Dress Giveaway will be ending Sunday (6/27) evening. Check the post for rules to enter- but remember, if you don't leave a comment you aren't entered in the giveaway!
Circle skirts are awesome. They provide that perfect fit that flares at the bottom without creating icky bulk at the waistband. I don't know about you, but when I usually think about circle skirts I think about poodle skirts and vintage, long, 1950's skirts. Like this:
However, you obviously make them whatever length you want (and by the way, can you imagine buying a pattern for anything like this? Talk about a waste of money...)! There are a lot of them out right now in knee length and above for summer, and they are really cute and flirty looking.
Also - I don't know why I never though of this before! But they make AWESOME skirts for dresses! Any pattern you have where the top and bottom of the dress are different pieces, you can substitute a circle skirt for a whole new look. A quick modcloth search yielded the below circle-skirt dresses:
Now on to the tutorial!
Before I even tell you what you need, we need to do a little math. Super easy math, I promise! The steps on this tutorial will be a little out of order, because you need to see how to do it before you can figure out how much fabric you need.
***If any of this doesn't make sense, leave a comment and I'll clarify!! It may look scary, but it's really simple, and any confusion is just becuase I may not have explained it well enough.
There is one decision to make first though: You can either make this with an elastic waist or a waistband with a zipper.
Step 1: If you are making a waistband, measure around your waist where you want your skirt to sit. This is the circumference. Subtract 4 from it (to counteract bias stretching). To get the number we want, divide the result by 6.28. This number = w.
If you decide to make an ELASTIC waist, measure the widest part of your hips and add 5 inches to that. Divide the result by 6.28 This measurement = w.
Step 2: Decide how long you want skirt (an exact length, starting where you want your skirt to sit on your waist). This measurement = L.
Now here's the key to the whole skirt: how you cut out your fabric. This 'pattern' assumes you have four pieces of fabric you are cutting through. What you want to do is draw the two curving lines shown on your fabric. For the smaller line, make two marks on the fabric at the point shown: the w you got earlier. NOTE: DO NOT USE W/2. That is a mistake in the diagram; simply use your w measurement. For the larger arc, measure out from the smaller line mark and measure L as shown. If one of the L's is on the fold when you're cutting, that's fine! Fewer seams to sew later.
At this point you can figure out how much fabric you need. I'll give an example: Say my w is 36 inches and my L is 30 inches. I would need a total of 4 squares measuring (30+[(36-4)/6.28] = 30+ 5.01 = ) 35 by 35. OR, you could have two rectangles measuring 35 by 70, each folded in half.
So, here's what you need:
- Fabric of the dimensions calculated above
- Bias tape to match your fabric
- waistband materials: extra fabric, interfacing, and a zipper. If you don't know how to make a waistband, hold tight for a few days - my next skirt tutorial has a waistband in it.
Now, simply sew all of the panels together at the sides, so you wind up with this:
**If you are making a waistband, do not sew the last seam all the way up - leave room for the 9" zipper.
Next, sew the bias tape around the outside edge. If you don't want to use bias tape you can just hem it, but I'll warn you that's pretty ambitious if you don't have experience with curved hems (which I HATE). They're kind of nasty sometimes.
Finally, if you are using elastic, sew an elastic casing around the inside circle and insert the elastic (Go here for help). If you are doing a waistband, have at it - or wait until next week for further instruction!
Don't forget the enter the giveaway! I already have the next couple week's skirt tutorial made; I just need to get some good pictures!