How to make a circle skirt? A step-by-step tutorial for beginners

How to make a circle skirt? A step-by-step tutorial for beginners

The history of a circle skirt dates way back to the 1950s fashion scene, influenced by Christian Dior's revolutionary New Look. Dior's designs celebrated feminine silhouettes, inspiring the transition from structured suits to voluminous skirts. Many later embraced this skirt, including children wearing it to official and casual places.

A woman sits down while spreading out her circle skirt(L). A display of a circle skirt on a mannequin (R)
Circle skirts have become popular in recent years. Photo:, @alejandra-montenegro, @the_romantiquary on Instagram (modified by author)
Source: UGC


Circle skirts have swiftly captured the hearts of today's generation thanks to their effortless charm and timeless appeal. With their flattering silhouette and versatile style, these skirts blend retro vibes with a modern flair. Their designs allow you to have fun as they offer freedom of movement.

How to make a circle skirt

Learning how to sew a circle skirt is a great sewing project. These beautiful skirts, popularised in the 1950s, give your body a curvier look. They're comfy, flowy, and suitable for all ages. You can use various fabrics, like cotton or silk. Making one at home is rewarding.

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There are five types of well-sewn circle skirts. These types allow you to decide whether you want a long or a short one. The material's measurements will vary according to the outfit design you want to make. The circle skirt can have many or no pleats and still be stunning. Below is a step-by-step circle skirt tutorial for beginners.

Step1: Gather the materials

The first step in making a circle skirt is to gather all the needed materials. These materials are the tools that will help you achieve the desired goal.

  • Sewing supplies: These include a sewing machine, needles, thread, ruler, measuring tape, and pins.
  • The fabric: This depends on the length and the type of circle skirt you want to make. The ideal materials for a circle skirt hang nicely when you wear them. They should be soft and flow smoothly. Good options include cotton, linen, rayon, and stretchy fabrics. If you're making a vast skirt, using wider fabrics is best to avoid adding extra seams.
  • Invisible zipper. This is a fantastic choice for a circle skirt. You can get 8 to 10 inches (20-25cm) is standard for most skirts.
  • Zipper foot: To sew an invisible zipper, you need a unique foot called a zipper foot or an even more special one just for invisible zippers. Both work well, but the special one gets you closer to the zipper's edge.
  • The ribbon or any other added embellishments.

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Step 2: Make a circle skirt pattern

A lady making a circle skirt pattern
Measurements for a circle skirt pattern vary from one type of skirt to another. Photo:, (modified by author)
Source: UGC

After gathering all the needed materials, the next process is to make a skirt pattern. Measurements for a circle skirt pattern will vary from one type of skirt to another.

For example: For making a full half circle skirt, the formula will be waist girth/6.28)(2) – ¼., while for a 3/4 circle skirt, you will use waist girth/6.28)/3 plus (waist girth/6.28) – ¼. Use the following steps to make the circle skirt pattern:

  1. Use a paper for the circle pattern. Fold the paper in half, using the fold as your centre line for both front and back.
  2. Square one edge from the fold by drawing a line perpendicular to it.
  3. Measure accordingly and mark the radius from the fold and raw edge.
  4. Connect the marks to form the waistline.
  5. Measure the centre front or back along the waistline.
  6. Fold each layer individually for the side with two raw edges.
  7. Connect all marks with a smooth curve to create the waistline.
  8. Cut out the pattern and put it aside.

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Step 3: Cutting out the fabric for a circle skirt

A woman cutting out the fabric for a circle skirt
When cutting out the fabric for a circle skirt, lay it flat on a clean surface. Photo:, (modified by author)
Source: UGC

After you have successfully made the skirt pattern, you can now cut out the fabric using the circle skirt pattern using the steps below:

  • Lay your fabric flat on a clean, spacious surface. Fold the fabric in half, with the right sides facing each other.
  • Place your skirt pattern on top of the fabric, ensuring that it aligns properly and that the grainline is parallel to the fabric's selvedge edge.
  • Secure the pattern to the fabric using pins or pattern weights to prevent shifting.
  • Trace around the pattern onto the fabric using tailor's chalk, a washable fabric marker, or pins. Transfer all necessary markings, such as notches, darts, and grainline indicators.
  • Carefully cut along the traced lines using fabric scissors, following the outline of the pattern. Take your time to ensure accurate cuts, especially around curves and corners.
  • Remove the pattern pieces once you have finished cutting and put them aside for the next step.

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Step 4: Sew the side seam

A tailor sewing the side seam of a circle skirt
The seam allowance should be added to your waistline and side seams. Photo:, (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Sewing a side seam is the next step after cutting out the fabric. Seam allowance must be added to your waistline and side seams. Use the following step-by-step procedure to sew the side seam:

  1. Follow the marked lines to trim along the placket lines and the opening edge, resulting in separate placket and opening pieces.
  2. Attach the placket and opening: With the right sides together, align the raw edges of the placket and opening, securing them with pins.
  3. Stitch along the placket lines, adhering to the seam allowance.
  4. Sew the side seam and leave the other side open for the zipper.
  5. Flip the placket to the fabric's wrong side and press it flat.
  6. Finally, reinforce the placket by topstitching along its edge to ensure it stays securely in place.

Step 5: Cut out and sew the waistband

A tailor cutting out a waistband
The waistband helps support the skirt around the waist area. Photo:, (modified by author)
Source: UGC

The waistband helps to provide structure and support to the skirt around the waist area, ensuring a comfortable and secure fit. Follow these steps to prepare the waistband beforehand while making a circle skirt.

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  1. You'll need a couple of fabric strips for your waistband, so take the measurements according to the type of skirt you are making.
  2. Cut along a straight line a few inches away from the narrow edge of the open part of your fabric.
  3. Cut the elastic to match the waist size. Sew the ends of the elastic together, leaving a 1/2-inch seam allowance.
  4. Avoid cutting along the folded side. Flatten that area by pressing it open and topstitching over both elastic sides.

Step 6: Putting all the materials together

A fashion designer sewing a circle skirt
A full-circle consumes more materials than half or quarter-circle skirts. Photo:, (modified by author)
Source: UGC

The procedure for sewing a circle skirt is the same whether making a full-circle skirt or a half-circle skirt; the only difference is the measurements. A full-circle or double-circle skirt will consume more materials than half- or quarter-circle skirts.

After preparing all the materials, as seen in the previous steps, you need to sew them together to make a complete circle skirt of your choice. Refer to the steps below to learn how to do so.

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  1. Attach the waistband to the circle skirt: Once your waistband is pinned to your circle skirt, begin sewing along the edge of the waistband and the skirt's waist using a zigzag stitch. While sewing, gently stretch both pieces of fabric to ensure they remain even and smooth. Flip the waistband fabric over and tuck it into the waist when wearing the stylish outfit.
  2. Finish waistline: Take the top edge of the skirt and fold it so the lines look precise. You can use a zigzag stitch to prevent the edges from unravelling.
  3. Attach zipper: Install the hidden zipper using a zipper foot.
  4. Cut the bottom of the skirt: Measure from the waist down to the desired length on both folded edges and mark those spots with a pencil before drawing a curved line between the marks. Next, use your scissors to cut along that curved line.
  5. Sew the ribbon at the bottom: Ribbons make the hem of the skirt more beautiful. You can use a ribbon, a lace material, or any material you like to make your fashionable design look different. Use a hem stitch as you do so for the final touches.
  6. Trim off excess thread and wear your skirt: Once done with the hem, trim away any loose threads from the hem and waistband.
  7. Press: Press it in place and sew it using a straight series of stitches.
  8. Try on and adjust: Try on the outfit to ensure the fit is perfect. Before finishing, you can make the necessary adjustments to the skirt.

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What is a circle skirt?

This skirt is crafted from a circular fabric featuring a central opening for the waist.

What is another name for a circle skirt?

Another name is a swing skirt. This is because of its movement when worn.

How many meters is a circle skirt?

It depends on the person's size and the skirt's length. A plus-sized person will require more fabric than a small-sized person.

What is the formula for a circle skirt?

The formula is R = W / 2π - 2. This is after you decide on the skirt's length in cm – L. Also, use the formula FL = L + R + 2 to count FL – fabric length.

What is the formula to calculate the waist of a circular skirt?

Use 45–60-inch fabric for shorter skirts, which requires 2.5 yards. For a long circle skirt, go for 60–90-inch fabric, which requires 3 yards.

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What material is used for circle skirts?

You can use quilting cotton, linen-cotton blends or tencel. These materials drape easily and gracefully below your waist.

The steps to make a circle skirt are quite easy and doable. You do not need much if your pattern and measurements are in place. It is also important to find the right material for the skirt to bring out the swirl and fluffiness per your design. published a list of the best lace dress styles for weddings and engagements. Choosing a style that fits your character can be difficult if you are a bride or a guest at a wedding. Most African women are dark-skinned and have captivating curves.

Select a pattern and shade that complements your skin tone when choosing a favourite lace fashion design. This will make you the centre of attention during the ceremony. Learn more about the best lace dress styles for weddings and engagements.


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