Thursday, 8 January 2015

Sewing | Circle Skirt

Sewing doesn't get much easier than the circle skirt – the hardest thing is maintaining focus whilst hemming the massive length of material!
Payload is great though. 
I’ve been following Inside Out’s Style’s 31 day challenge for the past wee while, which has been illuminating and so much fun.  On the very first day, it was obvious that my wardrobe would benefit from a skirt that wasn’t black to wear with softer colours.  Off I toddled to the fabric store to find 1.5 m of navy sateen wool.  
Step 1
Once home, it got thrown it in the wash (cycle 4 - for future reference to myself!) and hung it up to dry whilst I did a quick bit of calculus to work out how far down to cut the first circle.  With present Christmas poundage and allowing for a seam allowance, that was 13.5 cm.  
(Could have also used this calculator! Simply put your waist measurement (with seam allowance if necessary) in the “circle circumference” section.  The result in “circle radius” is then how far down the first cut should be made).  
Step 2
Folded the dried material in half and then in half again and I was good to go.  I put the fabric on the floor, put a pin through the end of the measuring tape and then through the corner of the material that was slap bang in the middle of the piece of fabric and then cut it out at the 14 cm mark (to allow for the half centimetre that is covered in metal and therefore above the pin).
Step 3
After cutting that circle out, I looked at it, wondered at how funny it looked and thought about all the organs and things swimming in that area in my own body.  
Only then did I work out where to make the second cut (keeping the fabric as long as I could) and got cutting. Finally, I cut along one of the folded edges so that I would be able to insert a zip.  
Step 4
Next step – sew in the invisible zip and then the rest of the seam.  Then I attached the waistband (which was made with a length of the scraps) and a hook & eye to keep things closed.
Step 5
Then, the final step – but what a long one! – hemming. Gosh that took forever.  The circumference of the skirt is over 5 m.  Wanting to retain as much length as possible, I sewed seam binding to the raw edge, flipped it up and then stitched it down on the right side.  Stylistically, I would really prefer to blind stitch that hem down, but let’s be realistic – 5 m of hand sewing sounds like penance for a crime I’m not sure I’ve committed.  So we’ll see, the temporary machine stitched hem might become permanent.

Circle skirts as so fun to wear and instantly make me feel elegant, feminine and like I should be extremely well-mannered.  I love it.  The swoosh factor is ace and PERFECT for wearing whilst impromptu slow-dancing in the kitchen.
Styling a circle skirt is a little trickier than a pencil skirt, as without a little bit of care the volume in the skirt can be mistaken for volume in the person; which is not an area that I am looking for any assistance with.  So I am making sure to tuck blouses in to create some definition.
The thing that really surprised me with this make is how little fabric was required.  A voluminous skirt out of a 1.5 m square piece of fabric is less than I thought would be needed.



  1. This is lovely. I've made circle skirts for my daughter but not myself. The hemming is just the pits!

    1. Thanks Sewingelle! Isn't hemming boring though - requires good light, a nice cuppa and something on TV. I never thought circle skirts were "for me", but I surprised might too!

  2. The styling looks great! When I have made circle skirts for dresses, I cheat -- I don't mind hand sewing but I found a tutorial by Gertie that explains how you can do it with a machine and I always try to let it hang before I hem so I don't have a wonky hemline (has happened to me!)


    1. Thanks Annie! Thanks for the tip too, I found it after a quick Google and it is a great idea. Next time! :-)

  3. Fabulous skirt and the twirl picture is gorgeous! I love navy blue it's a great neutral.

    1. Thanks Carolyn! I love navy too, much better on me than black!

  4. Love it! can't believe this is out of 1.5m! It looks like way more fabric!

    1. Crazy huh! I had always been put off by circle skirts on this basis in the past


Thank you for stopping by!