How to sew a circle skirt – free pattern!

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Add the elastic waistband

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

I will go through the next steps quickly, as I’ve already gone into detail about how to sew an exposed elastic waistband in the previous sewing lesson.

Cut a length of elastic 2 cm less than your waist measurement. Sew the two ends together, right sides facing, with a 1 cm seam allowance. Then open the two seam allowances to the sides and sew them down.

Next, mark the elastic band into fourths, starting from the back seam. (I don’t bother putting a pin there because it’s easy to see the seam.)

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

It can be tricky to line up the curved fabric with the straight waistband, especially with larger sizes, so I suggest in this case to mark the fabric and elastic into eighths, not just fourths. Once you have them marked into fourths, just fold the fabric/elastic so that two adjacent pins are meeting and place another pin on the fold, as shown by the arrow in the picture above.

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

Match up the pins marking the eights on both the fabric and elastic, and pin them together, right sides facing. Match the front and back points of the elastic with the grain of the fabric, NOT on the diagonal bias. I haven’t talked about bias yet, but you can get the idea from how the squares on the fabric above are arranged compared to the position of the back elastic seam.

If you are sewing a two-layer skirt, match up the pins on the two fabrics and sew the top edge together with a 1/2 cm seam allowance. If they are first joined, it will be much easier to sew them to the elastic band.

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

Remember that the elastic will be less wide than the fabric, so the fabric will scrunch up.

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

Sew the elastic to the fabric with a 1 cm seam allowance, stretching it as you sew from pin to pin, and making sure that the curved fabric edge is lined up with the elastic edge. Again, refer to this lesson on sewing an exposed elastic waistband if you’ve never done this before.

Try on the skirt and make sure it fits well. If it does, sew a wide zig zag stitch (I used 5 mm wide, 1.5 mm long) all around the edge of the elastic, making sure to catch the raw fabric edge. This keeps the fabric from fraying and adds strength to the waistband.

Hem the skirt

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

This is by far the most annoying and time-consuming part of sewing a circle skirt. While it’s easy to hem a straight edge (see my lesson on the perfect hem if you need more practice with it), doing so on a curved edge is MUCH more finicky.

**UPDATE** If you want to save time, you can hem a circle skirt with bias tape. It’s so much easier, takes only about 15 minutes and requires NO measuring! Find out how here.

I usually like 1 cm hems on most garments, but that is too much for a circle skirt. If you look at the picture above, you can see the difference between a small rolled hem (sewn with a rolled hem foot) and a regular 1 cm hem. The fabric was much harder to fold and sew regularly for the 1 cm hem, and created a more rigid and bulky hem, which didn’t look nice at all on a light and airy circle skirt. I ended up cutting off that hem and sewing it again with a rolled hem foot.

If your fabric is very light, I highly suggest you use this foot, which will save you a LOT of time. But if you don’t know how or your fabric isn’t extremely lightweight, no fears! I will now show you how to manually sew a 1/2 cm hem, and give some other time-saving ideas for hemming the skirt!

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

1. Sew all around the edge of the skirt bottom, on the wrong side of the fabric, with a 1/2 cm seam allowance.

2. Iron the fabric edge up just beyond the thread from step 1 so that it is visible on the back 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

3. Sew the folded fabric down with a 1/2 cm seam allowance to keep it in place for the next step.

4. Fold and iron the fabric edge up again along the raw fabric edge that you just sewed down in step 3. Then sew the fold down again with a 1/2 cm seam allowance. The fabric might gather up a bit, but that’s fine as long as it’s flat on the right 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

Iron the hem one more time, and you’re done!

Here are some other hemming options if you want to save time:

  • Use a rolled hem foot on lightweight fabric.
  • Sew a wide zig zag or overlock/serge the raw skirt edges, fold them up once along the edge of the stitches and stitch in place.
  • Overlock/serge the fabric edges with a matching or contrasting thread color and leave them visible.
  • Use a non-fray fabric and leave the edges raw.
  • Hem with bias tape.

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

Looks amazing, right? I know, it takes a long time to keeps sewing and ironing around that never-ending circular edge, but it’s totally worth it in the end… especially when you look at the whole finished skirt!

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

So now, put that skirt on and do your thing! Circle skirts are great over leggings for little ones who love being girly without having to give up on the fun of being a kid!

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

To be quite honest, it’s hard to stop twirling around in a circle skirt, even for an adult!

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

Save this Cucicucicoo project on PinterestIt’s not over yet! Click below to find out how to reuse the corner fabric scraps for a fun matching accessory!

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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