Even though I work in the fashion industry, design and production is something I am new at. I have tried on a few occasions to sew myself a dress but I end up frustrated and the end result shows my lack of skills far too well. Fortunately, this circle skirt is a breeze to make, even if you are a novice like me.
I wanted to recreate the look of a tulle skirt, but give it a slightly more mature, everyday look. I accomplished this by creating it in a midi length and the choice of fabric. I used a heavier organza that was semi-sheer, this fabric lays similarly to tulle, but only needs one layer, although I did wear a slip under the skirt! You can find the fabric here from Mood.
Fold your fabric in half twice: once horizontally and once vertically (or, if it makes more sense to you, once hot dog & once hamburger). You will end up with a smaller square of fabric. The corner where the completely folded edge meets an edge that has two “layers” will become your “point of measurement”.
I didn’t use a pattern, I just measured the fabric and placed pins as my marker and then cut along the line…nice and easy! Use the formulas below to find the measurements to cut. If you want the skirt to sit at your natural waist, measure your waist… if you want it to sit on your hips, measure your hips. Keep the end of the the measuring tape at the corner of the “point of measurement” and measure the distance for each cut, found from the formula. Mark with pins from end to end. Repeat the same steps for the hem, using the skirt length formula found below.
Once cut and unfolded, your fabric will make a giant doughnut shape. Slip it on to make sure it will fit over your hips, if not refold and adjust your cut. Since your are cutting on a bias, a waist-measurement cut should fit over your hips, but if not now is the time to correct it.
The next step is making the waistband of the circle skirt. I used scraps leftover from cutting the skirt to make it. I used a strip of fabric that was about 3 times the width of the elastic. Then I pinned the strip in half (wrong sides together if it matters for your fabric choice) and then pinned this to the waist of the skirt. Trim all the frayed edges while pinning as it will make sewing much easier. All three layers will be stacked so the raw edges are on the same side, then sew along this edge, using approximate a 3/8″ seam allowance. Be sure to leave about 1″ space open so you can insert the elastic.
Now, cut the elastic 1-2 inches smaller that the actual measurement of your waist (or hips, depending on where your skirt will sit). Then thread your cut elastic through the waistband casing. It makes it much easier if you use a safety pin to keep track of your elastic. Hold on the to other end of the elastic and once your elastic is through the entire waistband, pin the edges together and sew the ends of the elastic together and sew the waistband closed.
To finish off this project, pin the faux-leather to the hem. Adding the trim was the most difficult part of this project, it wasn’t necessarily hard, just time consuming. Since the trim I bought had the edges folded over I pinned the underneath small fold on the trim to the inside hem of the skirt. Pull tight on both the fabric and the trim while sewing this on or it will slide around. Just take your time and it will turn out neat.
It is advised to use a leather needle on your sewing machine, but if you don’t have one just used the largest stitch length your machine can do. If you sew too small of a stitch you will perforate the leather and it will tear.
Finally, flip over your fabric and trim and sew the front of the trim to the front of the skirt. Since the hem is a circle you will need to snip the trim to release tension and allow your trim to go with the curve of the skirt. If you take your time the small snips will not be noticeable. You can see an example of this process in the photo below, see, hardly noticeable! Sew all the way around the trim.
That’s it– An easy project that results in a trendy skirt! If you try out this tutorial, we’d love to know! Tag it #styleandspice on Twitter or Instagram.
Check out the finished circle skirt in my fashion post (Semi) Sheer Elegance!
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