Thursday, March 24, 2011

How to make a very simple circle skirt

This involves...math. Eek! I know, I know. But, I swear, it's simple math and you can use a calculator if you want. This is how I made my black velvet skirt and many of my other skirts in the past if I didn't want to just pleat a piece of fabric and go.

First, get an accurate measurement for where you want the skirt waistband to hit. This may or may not be your true waist. Think of this as the circumfrance of a circle.

Now, remember C=2╥r. If you are making a circle skirt, you'll need the radius. If you are making a half circle skirt, you need the diameter. Given that you have C (let's just make it 28" for the sake of going through the calculations), the equation becomes 28/╥=D; which is about 8.97" or there about. If you are making a half circle skirt, you have the length you need to start drawing your waistline on the muslin. If not, simply divide by 2 to get the radius of 4.45".

For the sake of seam allowances, add a small amount to your D or R making them 9" and 4.5" respectively. (You can make them bigger than that but I've discovered that the waistlines tend to stretch a bit)

Using either the D or R, this is your measurement from the top corner of your muslin down to where your waistline will be. So, if you are making a half circle skirt, pull out your measuring tape or rule and mark, in a circular pattern, from the top corner of the muslin, down 9". For the full circle, only mark 4.5". Your muslin can be a quarter pattern (half the half circle) which tends to be a 45" square for me.

Once you've marked off the circular waistband of your pattern, mark off the hem. Figure out where you want the skirt to fall and measure from where you want the waistline of the skirt to be, down. Add this measurement (let's make it 22") to your D or R to get the hem drawn. So, for a 22" long skirt, you'd hold the measuring tape to that top corner of your muslin, and measure out 31" for a half circle skirt or 26.5" for a full circle skirt. Measure out in a circular pattern again. (Think of your measuring tape and your pencil or pins that you are marking with as a giant compass)

Once you have that done, you can cut out your pattern! For an actual waistband, cut a piece of scrap that is at least 1" longer than your waistline measurement (so, in this case, 29") on the bias so it will fit the waistband properly. Sew up the one seam to about 7" from the waist down and hem. Add a zipper or button or some other type of closure and you are done!


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