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This project has been designed by Julia Claridge who runs her business - Bobbins and Buttons - in Leicester. She offers a range of fun relaxed sewing classes, which always include homemade bakes. She has recently launched an online fabric shop selling the best quality dressmaking and craft fabrics, as well as designing children’s and ladies styles which will soon be available to buy as patterns.

Follow her blog for sewing tips, tutorials and ideas.


 Circle Skirt Project

Make a circle skirt


You will need...

Light to medium weight woven fabric. This skirt was made from Cloud 9 broadcloth which is 114cm wide. The skirt measures 70cm in length. The fabric needed was 3.2 metres. The quantity will vary depending on the length of skirt you make and the width of the fabric.

18cm zip

Lining fabric – optional (2 metres x 1.5 metres wide for this skirt)


To Sew

1. There is no need to make a paper pattern unless you want to. You can mark out the shape directly onto the fabric.

Start by measuring your waistline. In this example the waist measures 84cm, add 6cm (4 x 1.5cm seam allowances for side seams) = 90cm. Divide this measurement by 3.14 or pi for a more accurate measurement = 28.66cm this is the diameter of the circle. Now divide this by 2 = 14.33cm.

Open out the fabric and fold the cut edges inwards so that the selvedge edges are matched. You might be able to fold the fabric the standard way if your fabric is wider and you are making a much shorter skirt.

Start from the corner of the folded edge mark 14.33cm (half your diameter measurement) along the selvedge edge and the same up the folded edge also from the corner. Holding the tape measure at the corner point move the tape measure a few cm in from the edge and mark the same measurement. Keep moving the tape measure around, marking as you go until you reach the second mark at the other edge.

Measure from this line down along selvedge and mark a point 2cm longer than the length you would like the skirt to finish. Take the tape measure back to the corner and in the same manor as described above mark the skirt hem.

Measuring a circle skirt


2. Add a seam allowance to the waist seam and cut the skirt panel out. Repeat so that you have two skirt panels. (Take care if you need to pattern match checks). Cut a waistband the length of the waist plus 8cm, width as you prefer. An easy way to make a waistband is to use prepared Vilene waist shaper waistband interfacing.

 If you want to line the skirt you can use one of the skirt panels as a pattern. Joining the centre back of the lining will allow better fabric economy. You could also choose to make the lining a half circle. You will need to adjust the waist measurement accordingly for a half circle.
 Cutting out skirt

3. With right sides together join the skirts together at one of the side seams. Neaten the edges if necessary. Leave a gap 18cm at the upper edge to insert the zip. Press the seam open. Place the zip teeth close to the folded edge on the right side. Using a zip foot attachment stitch the zip close to the edge .

Attach zip


4. Bring the other side over the zip, placing the folded edge on the line of stitching you have just sewn. Tack this side closely to the zip teeth. Stitch.

Sew the remaining side seam closed. Neaten seams if necessary.

Finish sewing zip


5. (Omit this step if not adding lining). Prepare the lining. If you are lining your skirt, join the side seams, leaving an 18cm gap at the upper edge of one of them. Neaten any raw edges. Press seam allowance open on the side with the opening. Top stitch around the opening.  

Prepare skirt lining


6. Apply interfacing to the waistband.

Apply waistband interfacing


7. If you are adding a lining - with wrong sides together place the lining inside the skirt matching seams and pin the lining to the skirt. Stitch around upper edge within the seam allowance to hold the two together.  

Assembling a circle skirt


8. With right sides together pin the waistband to the skirt, leaving a seam allowance over hanging at the topstitched edge of the zip and a longer length the other end. Stitch waistband on.

Apply waistband


9. Fold the waistband along the centre with right sides together and inner waistband seam pressed upwards. Stitch the left hand side (as worn) flush with the end of the waistband and at the other end leave approximately 4cm extended beyond the end of the opening.

Sewing a waistband


10. Fold the waistband in position bringing the loose edge onto the stitching line of the waistband, pin in place. Slipstitch by hand. Finish with a hook and bar.

Finish waistband


11. Turn a narrow double turned hem approximately 1cm and stitch. If you have lined your skirt and used the skirt panel as a template trim away 2.5cm from the length of the lining and hem with a narrow double turn hem the same as the outer layer.

Finish skirt hem

 Finished skirt


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Free dressmaking projects