A circle skirt (or in this case, a half circle skirt) is a great quick little project that you can finish all in one session and get that great feeling of satisfaction with the reward of something new and cute to wear! So if you need something green to wear out tonight, why not grab some green jersey fabric and whip up a cute little skirt for yourself?
This tutorial is for a half circle skirt out of jersey fabric (no zipper, just pull it on). A circle skirt is cut on the bias, which means that you're cutting the fabric on a 45 degree angle to the grain. Cutting on the bias gives clothing a beautiful drape and for this skirt, a perfect shape that shows off your waist and hides your hips (because isn't that what we all want?) For this half circle skirt, your fabric will be folded in half once down the middle of the yardage length, and cut in a wide arc for the hemline and a small arc for the waistband.
(For a full circle skirt, the fabric should be folded half once, then folded in half again. This adds twice as much fullness to the hemline of your skirt and takes a lot more fabric.) The half circle skirt can be made with about 2 yards of fabric; a full circle skirt takes about twice as much and you’ll need a wide fabric, about 58” to 60”.
Decide where you want the skirt to fit and measure around yourself for your waistband measurement. If you want it to fit high, measure around your natural waistband. If you want it to sit lower, measure around where you’d like the top of the waistband to be. For my example, my measurement came out to 28”.
Also decide how long you want your skirt to be. I wanted mine 18” long but I was a bit short on fabric, so I’m calling it 17.75”.
Fold your fabric in half down the middle of your 2 yard piece of fabric. First, lets figure out how far down from the fold we’ll need to measure for our waistband. The formula we’re using for a half circle skirt is
R = (2 x c) / (2π)
R is the distance we will measure down from the center fold, and cut in an arc to form our waistline.
c is the circumference, or your waistline (my example is 29.5”)
So, R = (2 x 29.5) / (6.28) which comes out to 8.9
Now you want to subtract your seam allowance; since I”m using a serger and have barely any seam allowance, I just rounded my R measurement to 8.75”
Next, add your R measurement to your length to find out how far down from your fold you’ll need to cut to have your finished skirt the right length
L (17.75”) + R (8.75”) = 26.5”
I like to pin my measuring tape at the folded top corner of my fabric for easy measuring. You will measure out in an arc at your 2 different measurements, cutting a wide arc for the bottom hem of your skirt (at 26.5” for my example) and a smaller arc for your waistband (8.75” for my example).
Pin along the open side seam of your skirt and serge. If you don’t have a serger, you can sew jersey fabric using the zig-zag stitch on your regular machine.
Now to cut out your waistband: I like to make a wide waistband that can be folded over, so I start with a rectangle that is about 9” tall by about 1 to 2 inches smaller than your waistband measurement (to allow for the stretchiness of the jersey fabric) Fold your fabric in half and mark out a rectangle that is 9 inches tall by ½ your waist measurement, minus 1 to 2 inches. My rectangle was 9” tall x 13” long.
Serge down the open side of your waistband. Next, fold in half and pin along open edge, with the right side of your fabric facing out. Finally, we will attach the waistband to the skirt. (skirt6) Pin folded edge of waistband along top edge of skirt waistline, distributing the fabric evenly all around. You can mark center points with pins on both the skirt piece and the waistband piece before pinning them to each other to give yourself easy markers to line up. Serge around top edge of waistband, then turn right side out.
That’s it! - it’s that easy! Since jersey fabric won’t fray, you can leave your hemline unfinished, just make sure it’s cut neatly and evenly. No zippers or closures needed, the jersey has enough stretch to just pull it up. Leave the waistband up for a higher waist look with a tucked in top, or fold it over and wear it under a loose blouse. Now you’re set for St. Paddy’s day, and for the hot weather that’s bound to come our way sooner or later!