How to sew a circle skirt – free pattern!

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Free sewing pattern! How to sew a circle skirt in one or two layers, plus a fun accessory with the scraps! www.cucicucicoo.com

Welcome back to the Learn to Machine Sew series on Cucicucicoo! I promised a cool practical tutorial to go along with my last lesson on how to sew an exposed elastic waistband, and boy, is it cool! Too often people think that you need fancy patterns and techniques to sew your own beautiful clothing, but sometimes it’s nice to use a simple pattern to show off your favorite fabric, or to quickly sew up an outfit for a last minute party invitation!

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Sewing a circle skirt is an easy way to add fun me-made garments to your wardrobe, and the great thing is that it’s really easy to fit it perfectly to your body‘s shape!

Free sewing pattern! How to sew a circle skirt in one or two layers. www.cucicucicoo.com

And to save you the trouble of making calculations, I’ve included a free downloadable pattern with 34 sizes, so you can create the perfect fit for your preemie newborn neice, your large-boned XXL-sized aunt, or anywhere in between! All you need to do is add the desired skirt length!

Free sewing pattern! How to sew a circle skirt in one or two layers, plus a fun accessory with the scraps! www.cucicucicoo.com

You can use all sorts of fabrics for this type of skirt (recognize the super-drapey fabric above from my lesson on why fabric drape is so important?), or even put two fabrics together for a two-layered skirt, like you can see below. I’ve even included instructions for making a cute little accessory from the strange triangle-shaped pieces of fabric left over!

Free sewing pattern! How to sew a circle skirt in one or two layers, plus a fun accessory with the scraps! www.cucicucicoo.com

Are you excited yet? You should be! Let’s get started!

Materials:

  • Light- to medium-weight fabric. Choose the drape according to how clingy or stiff you’d like the skirt.
  • Wide elastic matching the color of the fabric. The length will be roughly the same as your waist circumference.
  • Polyester thread. I prefer polyester to cotton thread in projects with elastic to avoid thread snapping.
  • Sewing needle appropriate to the type of fabric chosen.
  • Rolled hem foot (optional). I will give instructions on how to sew a very small curved hem with a regular foot, but using a rolled hem foot for very lightweight fabric is infinitely faster!

Circle skirts take a lot of fabric and, the bigger the size and longer the skirt, the more they take. I used just under one yard of 115 cm (45″) for my daughter’s skirt and for me entire pieces of wider cuts roughly 180 x 180 cm (if I remember correctly). If the fabric you want to use is not wide enough, you can simply cut out two semi-circles by folding the fabric once, instead of twice, and cutting the shape twice before joining them, but remember that that means you need twice as much length!

Measure yourself

First things first, take the measurements of the intended wearer. Measure the circumference of the widest part of the hips, the waist where the elastic waistband will sit (it’s up to you if it will be a high- or low-waisted skirt), and the length from where the top of the waistband will be to where the hem will fall. Write these numbers down somewhere.

You might want to take these measurements in centimeters because that’s the unit of measurement I’m using in this tutorial. Centimeters are much more precise and easier to calculate than inches, so that’s what I use!

Prepare the pattern

Free sewing pattern! How to sew a circle skirt in one or two layers, plus a fun accessory with the scraps! www.cucicucicoo.com

Download the free Circle Skirt pattern from my Free Downloads page, print it at actual size or 100%, and join the two pages so that the markings line up. (You can find more info on how to print and assemble PDF patterns here.)

Trim the left and top margins off of the pattern, then cut along the curve corresponding to the hip measurement. My daughter’s hips were 61 cm at the widest part, so I rounded up to 62 cm and cut along that line.

Cut the fabric

Free sewing pattern! How to sew a circle skirt in one or two layers, plus a fun accessory with the scraps! www.cucicucicoo.com

Iron the fabric, then fold it in half, and in half again so that you have four layers of fabric with the folds at the top and left sides. If the fabric is slightly longer, you can fold it so that the excess is all on one half of the fabric, as you can see above.

Pin the pattern to the top left corner of the fabric so that each trimmed side of the pattern matches up with a folded side.

Free sewing pattern! How to sew a circle skirt in one or two layers, plus a fun accessory with the scraps! www.cucicucicoo.com

Now we need to calculate the fabric length. Take your skirt length measurement, subtract the elastic width, and add 2 cm for seam allowance and 1 cm for the hem allowance. I imagined my daughter’s skirt to be 35 cm long and the elastic was 4 cm wide, so 35 – 4 + 2 + 1 = 34 cm.

Line up the zero on a ruler or tape measure with the cut curve and mark the fabric at the calculated fabric length with a fabric marking tool (I love these water soluble fabric markers*). Do this all around the skirt so that you trace out a second wider curve with a series of dots or dashes. I suggest starting along the two folds to make sure that you have enough fabric before continuing.

Free sewing pattern! How to sew a circle skirt in one or two layers, plus a fun accessory with the scraps! www.cucicucicoo.com

Connect the dots to make a line. Cut off the corner of the pattern if it gets in the way. As you can see above, I make a little mark on either side of the tape measure so as to make twice as many marks each time I move it.

Free sewing pattern! How to sew a circle skirt in one or two layers, plus a fun accessory with the scraps! www.cucicucicoo.com

Cut along both curves, unpin the pattern, and you’ll have a quarter-circle of fabric.

If you want to sew a two-layer skirt, repeat these steps with the fabric that will go on top, but condering a length about 6 cm shorter than the bottom layer.

Free sewing pattern! How to sew a circle skirt in one or two layers, plus a fun accessory with the scraps! www.cucicucicoo.com

Take advantage of the fabric being folded in fourths and mark the quarters of the smaller top curve with pins. You can see in the picture above how I put a pin in each of the four folds.

Free sewing pattern! How to sew a circle skirt in one or two layers, plus a fun accessory with the scraps! #freesewing #freesewingpattern #freeskirtpattern #circleskirt

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36 COMMENTS

  1. Grazie Lisa! Il tutorial è dettagliatissimo… mi fai venire tanta voglia di prendere una macchina da cucire (che nella casa nuova non c’è, ancora!). Quella a doppio strato è la mia preferita, ma la più bella in assoluto è Sofia che io ricordavo almeno 20 centimetri più bassa!
    Un abbraccio

  2. Grazie mille, questo tutorial è bellissimo! E le spiegazioni sono molto facili da capire. Mi permetto di farti alcune domande: questo tutorial può essere seguito anche per realizzare una gonna lunga fino alle caviglie? E anche per creare una gonna multistrato in tulle? Perché queste due gonne sono tra i miei prossimi progetti! Grazie mille, buona serata
    Francesca

    • Assolutamente sì, Francesca, ad entrambe le tue domande! Si può fare la gonna lunga quanto ti pare, ma preparati per la quantità pazzesca di tessuto che ci vorrà, e anche la quantità di tempo pazzesco che ci vorrà per fare l’orlo!! Ma io trovo la gonna a ruota lunga davvero deliziosa! Probabilmentre dovrai fare come ho spiegato, e unire due semi-cerchi perché non troverai tessuto così alta da poter fare in un solo pezzo. Quindi piega il tessuto solo una volta, taglia dal cartamodello. Poi con un altro pezzo di tessuto, piega una sola volta, posaci sopra l’altro pezzo già tagliato, e tagliane un altro. Volevo mettere le foto di questa tecnica, ma il tutorial era già lunghissima.

      E mi hai letto nel pensiero per la tulle! Volevo farne un’altra così, tipo tutu, per mia figlia, ma ripeto, il post era già molto lungo, quindi non l’ho fatto più. Chissà, forse farò un altro post per far vedere queste due cose! 🙂

    • Yes, Linda, it was a lot of fun taking the pictures and twirling around! There were so many more that I wanted to share, but I figured that there were already enough pictures in this post as it was!

  3. grazie e…salvato, nn è tanto che ne ho confezionato una per mia figlia…ma sono arrugginita e ho impiegato un pò andando a memoria….mi verrà utile per la prossima…

    • Mi fa piacere, Gloria! Succede a tutti di non ricordare precisamente come fare tutte le cose con il cucito. Anch’io a volte devo riguardare i miei vecchi tutorial per ricordarmi di qualche dettaglio! 🙂

  4. Ciao,domanda di curiosità,sto provando a fare questa gonna,avendo poco tessuto la sto provando a fare per una bambina di 5 mesi,ora recupero l’elastico e poi procedo al l’assemblaggio,ma se la volessi fare per me,come calcolo quanto tessuto procurarmi? Avendo la lunghezza della gonna calcolo l’area del cerchio e così so quanto tessuto comprare? Oppure c’è un altro calcolo da fare? O semplicemente vado là col cartamodello a piego direttamente in 4 la stoffa? 😀

    • Ciao Nicoletta, no, per il calcolo bisogna anche tenere conto del cerchio centrale da togliere. Diciamo che occorre un pezzo quadrato di tessuto con ogni lato di circa la circonferenza delle anche diviso per 3, + due volte la lunghezza, più o meno. Se vuoi essere sicura, piega la stoffa in quattro, come hai detto tu, mettici sopra il modello e poi misura la lunghezza dal cerchio interno. Così faccio io! 🙂

    • Grazie mille, Martina! Pensavo di fare un altro tipo di gonna con quel tessuto, ma poi ho pensato che sarebbe perfetto così. E mi piace talmente tanto che domani la indosso per l’inaugurazione di una mostra d’arte di mio marito! 🙂

  5. Grazie infinite del tuo progetto, non so se lo utilizzerò in quanto sono grassa e preferisco le gonne diritte , magari se dimagrisco proverò a farne una nera per l’estate !

    • Figurati, Maria Giovanna! Anch’io di solito predileggo altre forme di gonna, ma è divertente portare la gonna a ruota ogni tanto! Se la fai, mi raccommando, voglio vedere qualche foto! 🙂

    • Ciao Mara, no, dovrebbe essere un cerchio. I tagli in corrispondenza del tessuto piegato devono essere perpendicolari alle pieghe. Se i tagli sono anche solo un po’ incurvate verso l’interno (un errore molto facile da fare) risulterà con la forma che dici tu.

  6. Hello !
    Thank you so much for your good understanding pattern & tutorial !
    It’s amazing !
    I’ve been searching for so long to find a REALLY GOOD sewing help like your is !
    Grazie 🙂
    Your Catharina

  7. I am so happy I found you, with little time and lots of sewing to do for a play, this is just the best thank you for making my time affordable

    • Oh, I’m so glad to hear that this pattern is helping you out, Kerrie! What play are you sewing for? How many costumes? Some of my readers have turned this skirt into different types of costumes. Please send me a picture or two when you’re done! 🙂

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