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How many circle skirts do you have in your wardrobe? If you have only one or- gasp!- none, it’s time to start sewing them!
As I showed last year in my tutorial on how to sew a circle skirt (with free pattern!), it’s actually very easy to sew them and they are so much fun to wear and twirl in! There’s just one little problem with sewing circle skirts: hemming them.
A circle skirt is quite literally a skirt made from a circle of fabric, which means that the entire hem is one very long and continuous curve. And, while hemming a straight edge is really easy, especially with my special hemming trick, hemming a circle is a bit different. And time-consuming.
Luckily there is a super easy way to hem a circle skirt, a way to get around this problem with no measuring.
Yes. You read correctly. NO MEASURING.
Normally you can’t even see this special hemming trick because it’s hidden on the inside of the garment. But if you get a little carried away twirling in your super fun circle skirt, you might catch a glimpse of it.
BIAS TAPE! Not only does it save many headaches when hemming curved edges, but it’s such a pretty detail on your garment!
And because you don’t have to keep on measuring, ironing and pinning, measuring, ironing and pinning over and over, it’s actually incredibly fast! In fact, if you already have single fold bias tape ready, it’ll only take you about 15 minutes or so to do! Wow!
So, are you ready for the life-changing trick?! Let me show you the easy way to hem a circle skirt!
- Light- to medium-weight fabric. Choose the drape according to how clingy or stiff you’d like the skirt. It needs to be a large piece. Consider that the skirt shown in this tutorial used up a cut measuring 180 x 180 cm (nearly 2 x 2 yards).
- Wide elastic matching the color of the fabric. The length will be roughly the same as your waist circumference.
- Single fold bias tape matching the color of the fabric. I needed slightly more than 4 meters (about 4.5 yards), but this amount depends on how wide your hips are and how long your skirt is. Find out how to make your own bias tape here.
- Polyester thread. I prefer polyester to cotton thread in projects with elastic to avoid thread snapping.
- FREE Cucicucicoo Circle Skirt pattern (downloadable from my Free Downloads page)
Sew the skirt
First, measure yourself, cut the fabric and attach the elastic band. I give full instructions on how to do this in my tutorial on how to sew a circle skirt, so please follow the instructions given there up til the part on hemming.
Then prepare the single fold bias tape, if you don’t have it yet. This post explains how to make bias tape with a bias tape maker.
Hem the skirt
This is the same technique which I explained in the how to hem with bias tape lesson.
First, pin the edge of the bias tape to the edge of the skirt, right sides facing (top). This means that you are working on the right side of the skirt and the bias tape is halfway unfolded, right side down. If your bias tape has a slightly shorter edge, use that edge.
When you get all the way around to the beginning of the bias tape again, fold over the beginning edge by about 1 cm (3/8″) and pin down (shown by the arrow), and trim the bias tape so that the other end is long enough to overlap the folded edge by about 2 cm (3/4″) (bottom).
Then sew all the way around right in the fold of the bias tape, making sure you overlap the folded end by 1-2 cm (3/8 – 3/4″). Then trim any extra bias tape beyond that.
Next, turn the skirt wrong side up and flip the bias tape up towards the inside, bit by bit (top). Pin in place as you go (bottom).
Make sure that you’ve arranged the overlapping bias tape ends nice and flat (top).
Then sew all the way around the skirt bottom close to the bias tape edge (bottom). Look at my hemming with bias tape lesson for some tips on how to do this perfectly without any bunching.
Finally, give your skirt hem a good hot steamy pressing, and you’re done!
See? No measuring and the only ironing necessary is at the very end to flatten out the hem! If you’ve ever hemmed a circle skirt the traditional way, you’ll know that this is a dream come true!
I found my skirt a little blah, so I added a couple of lines of decorative trim going around the entire skirt. Believe it or not, it took me longer to measure, pin and sew these on than it took for the whole rest of the skirt!
And there you have your perfectly hemmed circle skirt!
Admire the skirt!
Now try it on in front of a mirror, holding out the sides and marvelling at how easy it is to make a cool piece of clothing!
I just love the hidden decorative accent of the bias tape on the inside of the hem! It’s like a little hidden treasure!
Now get back in front of the mirror and twirl and twirl again, just like a little girl! So much fun!
This tutorial is part of the “Bias Month” series here on Cucicucicoo! Here is the full list of the Bias Month technical lessons and practical tutorials to practice the techniques on. Just click on any of the links to check them out!
This lesson on the easy way to hem a circle skirt with bias tape is also part of the Cucicucicoo Learn to Machine Sew beginner’s sewing course! Don’t forget to share pictures of your work on Facebook or the Cucicucicoo Creations Flickr Group!