Friday, August 19, 2011

Fabulous Free Pattern Friday....The Circular Skirt



We buy so many patterns that we really don't need to buy, especially if we only knew how easy it is to draft them ourselves. Enter the circular skirt.There are only two measurements needed to draft a circular skirt, your waist measurement and the length of your skirt. There are four basic types of circular skirts, a full circular skirt,  3/4 circular skirt, a half circular skirt and a quarter circular skirt. Of course the full circular skirt is going to be quite full and the other skirts have less and less volume. The equation for the skirts are as follows;
full circular skirt:
waist measurement minus 1 inch divided by 6.
3/4 circular skirt
waist measurement minus 1 inch divided by 5.
1/2 circular skirt
waist measurement minus 1 inch divided by 3.
1/4 circular skirt
waist measurement mutiplied by 2/3.
The 1 inch is not subtracted from the waistline for a 1/4 circular skirt as this skirt is a hip-fitting skirt and the inch is needed for ease over the hips. You can ease the wistline into the waistband or darts can be added to the skirt for a sleeker look.
Today we will be drafting the full circular skirt.
As an example, if your waist measurement is 25", subtract 1 inch and divide by 6. The result will be 4 inches (25 minus 1 is 24. Divide 24 by 6 and the result will be 4").
Determine the length that you would like your skirt to be, we'll use 25".
 On your paper draw a line that is at least 30" long and another line squared that is also at least 30" long. See above.
With our equation, we determined that our 25" waist measurement minus 1" divided by 6 is 4", from the intersection of the two lines you will want to measure down 4". This will give you the curved line that you see in the above picture.

From the dotted line that we drew in for the waistline, we will meaure down 25" or the desired length of our skirt. This will be the second dashed line that you see above.

Remember to add seam allowance then cut out your pattern. It should look like the above pattern piece. You will cut 4 of these for your skirt or if your fabric is wide enough, the center front (and center back) can go on the fold. In that case you will only need to cut 2 pieces.

If you have a piece of fabric with a border print, you can also use it with your circular skirt pattern.

You should layout the pattern on the fabric with the border running as it is in the above picture. You can see from the picture of the skirt that I made up above that when the skirt is sewn, the border will fall against the stomach and then fall along the sides of the skirt. This is really quite attractive.
Once you have sewn the skirt, be sure to allow it to hang for at least 24 hours. This will allow the bias to stretch a much as it will before you hem the skirt. Be sure to have someone help you mark the hem before you hem the skirt or your hem will not be even. Look at the hemline in the picture below. I have not hemmed this skirt yet and you can see how uneven the hem is.





And now for a little announcement. The fabric for the two skirts that you see in the above pictures will be for sell in my new Etsy store (finally!!). You can find my store at http://www.sewbussted.etsy.com/. I will not be posting the fabric until tomorrow(Saturday August 20, 2011). The fabric comes ready to cut into two pieces for a circular skirt. I have one piece of the black tie dye and two pieces of the, as I call it, Sex In The City hot pink fabric. I will include instructions on how to determine your waist measurement. So check in later tomorrow afternoon if you are interested in the fabric. In the above picture I used a second piece of the hot pink fabric to make the hat I am wearing.
So good luck with your circular skirt endeavors. They are really so easy to do and there is absolutely no reason to ever buy a pattern for a circular skirt.
Enjoy.
Rhonda

15 comments:

  1. Thank you so much! No "look at me I'm clever" conversation, just pointed information which makes it easy to understand, execute, and construct.

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    1. I have to agree! thanks for the help!!! =)

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  2. excellent instructions...I've been hunting for a full circle skirt but they're so expensive. Now I can make one myself! Thanks!!!

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  3. Using your instructions i cant seem to get my pattern for my circle skirt long enough, im after a 24" long skirt when it is finished and i using the semi-circle idea i can only get 18"....arghhh

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    1. Once you calculate the waist and draw in the waistline, measure down from that line for your desired length. Email me if you are still having problems and I will try to help further. sewbussted@yahoo.com

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  4. Hi there, I started making the dress. However I have released that the waist is WAY to big! I followed your instructions on subtracting 1 and then dividing by 4. (32inch-1)/4 = 7.75

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    1. Hi Moni, you have the equation right, so I don't know why the waist would be too big. Be sure to put the end of your tape measure in the corner of the Intersecting lines and then pivot your tape measure from one line to the next being careful to make sure that you are measuring down 7 3/4". You are welcome to email me if I can possibly help more, sewbussted@yahoo.com. Thanks Moni.

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    2. Thanks for your quick reply! I was wondering was it maybe because of where you have put the seam allowance? How big was your seam allowance? 1 inch?

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    3. I'm glad that I was on line when you asked your question:)
      The seam allowance is added after you draft the skirt, so it wouldn't affect the measurements. For my circle skirts I add 1/2" seam allowance at the waist and side seams. Hope this helps.

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    4. Moni,
      Thanks to Kelli finding my mistake, I see that I posted the math incorrectly for the full circular skirt. Everything has been corrected which doesn't help with you initial effort and I apologize. I also did the post for Sew News and there I did post the math correctly, http://www.sewnews.com/blogs/sewing/2013/03/14/guest-blogger-rhonda-from-rhondas-creative-life-drafting-the-circular-skirt/
      Once again, I apologize. For some reason I was blind to my own mistake.
      Rhonda

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  5. I found another site that said the equation was
    waist measurements - 1 divided by 6
    the others were the same as here. After figuring the radius using pi the equation divided by 6 is the correct one.

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    1. Hi Kelli,
      Thank you so much for finding my mistake. I had the math right for the drawing as I measured down 4" for the waist(25" waist minus 1" equals 24". divide 24 by 6 and the result is 4")I also did this post for the Sew News blog and there I had the equations posted correctly, http://www.sewnews.com/blogs/sewing/2013/03/14/guest-blogger-rhonda-from-rhondas-creative-life-drafting-the-circular-skirt/
      Thanks to you, I have corrected everything and hopefully I will not lead anyone else astray. I can't thank you enough!!!
      Rhonda

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  6. Thanks ur explanations are so easy to follow. could u pls. tell me how much fabric do i need for the skirts mentioned above pls?? my waist is 34, hip 42 length 38. could u pls. let me know the lengths of fabric required in 58 inch n 45 inch pls. b cos buying teh required amount of fabric is the catch. pls. help.

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  7. I'm perplexed by how you cut the border print on pink that you're wearing above. I would love to use a border print on a circle skirt where the border is fully at the bottom of the skirt.

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    1. Hi Cyndi,
      I used a piece of fabric that was printed for a curcular skirt, but I can show you how to cut a circular skirt so that the border is along the bottom. I will be happy to post the skirt next Friday, May 2, 2014. Thanks for asking!

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