Friday, 29 March 2013

How to Sew a Semi Circular Skirt

As part of my fashion design course, I've been learning how to draft skirts. Skirts are considerably easier to draft than shirts or dresses, so I thought I would share my successes and some simple tips for creating skirts with endless variation. Today's skirt is the circular skirt.

The Circular Skirt
The easiest skirt to master is the half circle skirt. It requires only one body measurement, the waist, and a skirt length measurement. With these two measurements, you can construct the pattern.

Begin with your waist measurement, say it is 72cm. Divide the waist measurement by 3 (72/3=24cm).
Minus 1cm from the measurement (24-1=23cm) and use the measurement as the radius of the arc for the waist curve. From this point, mark the skirt length and draw a second arc at the desired length, making sure that the length is consistent the whole way around.
To cut out, place pattern so that one edge is on the fold and the other on the selvages  Cut out a waistband the length of your waist with seam allowance added. (Make sure to add seam allowance to the waist curve of the skirt, side seams, and the hem.

To construct the skirt, join the side seams, leaving one side open at the waist for the zipper. Attach the waistband and insert the zip. Finish the hem.

It can be a good idea to let a circular skirt hang for a couple days before finishing the hem as the parts of the skirt that fall on the bias can 'drop', making the hem uneven.

I created my semi circular skirt from Indian cotton and lined it to prevent it from being transparent. I inserted an invisible zipper as they look so much neater than standard zips. I allowed my skirt to hang to remove any 'drop' before I finished the hem. The final product is a neat, simple skirt with endless style variations.

Semi circle skirt (waist band hidden by the belt) 

 The idea of the circular skirt can be adapted to full circle skirts and quarter circle skirts. For a quarter circle skirt, divide the waist measurement by 1.5 (72cm / 1.5 = 48cm). Draw an arc with this radius for the waistline of the quarter circle skirt. Enjoy the endless variety that circles can bring!


  1. Replies
    1. We divide by 3 because that will give the radius of the circle you need to cut out of the waistline of the fabric. Sounds strange but it will work!