Friday, January 27, 2012

Fabulous Free Pattern Friday

The Layered Circular Skirt
Happy Friday Everyone! Where does the time go??
Today marks the half way mark for the Fabulous Free Pattern Friday series, number 26! When I began this series, my intention was to have 52 posts over the period of one year and to post pieces that are extremely simple and hopefully stylish. Sewing can be quite difficult with all the fitting and detail work (which I do love), but I am hoping to show that it can also be quite simple, easy and fun. I've enjoyed doing this more than you can imagine. I find it challenging and exciting to take a garment and turn it into a  series of basic shapes. All of you who stop by every week to see what I've done, thank you, thank you. It's such an honor to have you.
The skirt that I am posting today is really quite simple. We will use two types of circular skirts, the 1/2 circle and the 1/4 circle. The drawings make it look a little intense, but it really isn't.

My skirt is a little short. I love to wear skirts on an everyday basis and I like for the skirts to have a casual flair. As you can see, I enjoy wearing this skirt with tights and with over the knee boots. Once I saw the pictures, my first thought was, "I look like Peter Pan!!!!!" Oh well, Peter Pan or not, I like the skirt. As I said, mine is a shorter version, but you can make this skirt any length you would like.

This is the front of the skirt. On the left side you can see that there are two layers. The two layers are 1/2 circles. On the right side is one layer and it is a 1/4 circle.
 The side view. The 1/2 circles do not go all the way around the body nor does the1/4 circle.
 The back view.
The opposite side view.
Before we begin, I need to tell you that I made the skirt to rest on my hips. I cut an 8" wide band that was just a little, about an inch, smaller than where I wanted it to sit. The band was folded in half and the skirt pieces were sewn to the band. I did not put elastic in my band. You can make the skirt to sit at your waist and add a casing for the elastic if you choose. Just do whatever is most comfortable for you.

To begin, you will need your waist or your high hip measurement, which ever you feel most comfortable with and the desired length of your skirt. When I posted the circular skirt instructions, I explained the different types of circular skirts. Today we will be drafting two, the 1/2 and the 1/4 circular skirt. Neither of these skirts will go all the way around the body. As an example, we'll say that your waist measurement is 32". Divide this measurement by 4. The result will be 8. Multiply 8 x 3 which will equal 24". For the 1/2 circle skirt, subtract 1" from 24", which will be 23" and divide this number by 3. The result will be 7.66666, so for the sake of making it easier let's just say 7.5". As shown in the above drawing, measure down from the apex of the angle 7.5" from one side of the angle to the other. This will form the waistline. The vertical line of the above angle is a fold line and will also be the straight of grain for our skirt.
Although this is a circular skirt, we are going to square it off and make it more the shape of a rectangle. Measure down from the drafted waistline the desired length of your skirt. On the horizontal line do the same. Notice in the above drawing that the horizontal line is at an angle so the vertical length of the skirt is slightly longer than the length used on the horizontal line. We are drafting the top layer of our skirt at this point.
This skirt is not the same on both sides. Remember, the vertical line is a fold line, so once you finish drafting, you will need to transfer your lines to the opposite side of your paper. In the above drawing the line drawn for the left side of the skirt is about 2" shorter than the opposite side and is also drawn at an angle. It also tapers down about 2". The bottom line is about 4" longer than the left side and angles back to the fold line. At this point, we have drafted the top layer of our 1/2 circle skirt.
Last night I drew out my explanation and when I got up this morning I realized that you would want to kill me if the above picture was all I gave you so I decided to take the pieces apart and hopefully make it a little easier to understand.
Now for the under layer of our 1/2 circle skirt. The waistline will be exactly the same as the first layer. The length line established off the vertical line of the angle will be about 2" longer than the length you used for the top layer. And the length line established off the horizontal line will also be about 2" longer than the length you used for the top layer. You can see from the above picture that the top line is at an angle. Angle your line up about 3".
For the left side of the under layer, the red lines are angled about 3" down and out from the green line. Remember, your waistline always remains the same so no change is being made to how the pieces will fit. We are just establishing style lines.
So hopefully this drawing will now make more sense. The green and red lines represent the two sides of the under skirt and the blue and black lines represent the two sides of the over skirt.
This is how the two pieces will look when cut and laid one on top of the other.
 Here the two pattern pieces are laid out separately. Cut 1 of each.
The side panel of the skirt is only one layer and is a 1/4 circle. I chose to do this so that this layer would hang without the same fullness as the 1/2 circle pieces. Once again, this piece does not go entirely around the body so we will use the same math that we used above. For our example, 3/4 of our waist measurement was 24". For the 1/4 circular skirt we multiple this measurement by 2/3. 24 x 2/3 = 16. Measure down from the apex of the angle 16" to form the waistline. From this line measure down the desired length of your skirt. The red lines in the above picture represent the rounded edges of your skirt piece. To find your grainline, once you've cut out the pattern piece (make sure to add seem allowance if you plan to finish the edges and you will want a seam allowance at the waist line. My skirt is made in a two way stretch cotton and spandex knit. I like the curly edges.) fold the pattern piece in half and this will be your grain line. If you want the rounded edges to be the same on both sides, you can true up the edges while the pattern piece is folded. The beauty of the skirt is the fact that the edges are all so different, so truing up the edges of this piece is not exactly necessary.
As for sewing the skirt together, the grainlines also mark where the side of your skirt should be. Just make sure that when you sew the 3 pieces together that the 1/2 circular skirts wrap over the 1/4 circular skirt. Just look at the pictures of my skirt and you will understand.      
The final pattern of the 1/4 circular skirt. Good luck if you decide to give it a try and as always, if you have any questions, please feel free to email me. I will do my best to help.
Remember the John Koch glove class that I told you about here? The day I did that post I told you that I looked like something my dog would drag home. I really did!!, probably worse. But I did promise to show you the top I made that goes with the gloves, so here it is. It's tye dye but it reminds me of clouds. 

I'll tell you more about this top later next week.
Wishing you a lovely weekend filled with whatever makes you happy!

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  1. Very cute, Rhonda! I love this variation on a circle skirt!

  2. I have to digest this for a while. I see a lot of possibilities here. Quite interesting!

  3. Cute skirt! At some point I would like to give it a try - if I can sort through the mathematics of it.

  4. cute skirt.. I love the layers. Reminds me of one I had years ago. I believe mine was made from burnout velvet! You look darling in your outfit.. xo marlis