Free Template! How to make a circle skirt with directional fabric

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Learn how to make a circle skirt with directional fabric so that the design stays straight, and you’ll be able to make loads of fun, twirly skirts, even from smaller cuts of fabric! #diywardrobe #freepattern #handmadewardrobeMy daughter and I LOVE circle skirts. We have a bunch between the two of us because they’re comfortable, pretty and just fun to wear. They can be casual, like most of ours, or elegant if using silk or other fancy fabrics. (I recently wore one made of satin to a wedding.) The only problem is that they require a lot of fabric and, if you cut them out in one piece the traditional way, you can only use very wide fabric that WITHOUT a directional print. That is until today, because I’m going to show you how to make a circle skirt with directional fabric or smaller cuts of fabric!

Learn how to make a circle skirt with directional fabric so that the design stays straight, and you’ll be able to make loads of fun, twirly skirts, even from smaller cuts of fabric! #diywardrobe #freepattern #handmadewardrobeMy original tutorial on how to sew a circle skirt (along with a free template) is one of my most popular tutorials, and it’s no wonder because circle skirts are pretty simple to make and once you wear one, you just can’t stop dancing, twirling and swishing it around!

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Like I said before, though, in order to make a traditional circle skirt, you need a wide piece of fabric, especially if you are a large size or you’re sewing a long skirt. And fabric with a one-way print becomes an issue, too. Since I’ve published that original tutorial, a lot of readers have written to me asking what to do if the fabric isn’t wide enough or the print is directional. Luckily, there is an easy solution: instead of cutting one circle of fabric, cut two semicircles and join them!

Learn how to make a circle skirt with directional fabric so that the design stays straight, and you’ll be able to make loads of fun, twirly skirts, even from smaller cuts of fabric! #diywardrobe #freepattern #handmadewardrobeJust to make sure we’re on the same page here, this is what I mean by “directional print.” Both of the above fabrics have prints. The one on the left is non-directional, meaning that it doesn’t matter which way I hold the fabric because the print will always look right.

The drop print on the right, however, is less forgiving. Our eyes expect to see drops dripping downward, not upward. When cutting a one-way print, you need to make sure that you’ve positioned your pattern correctly so that the direction of the print will be correct on the finished product.

This usually isn’t such a problem, though you may need to have extra fabric yardage in order to fit all the pattern pieces on in the right direction (as opposed to a solid color or non-directional print, when you can squeeze pattern pieces in even upside-down). But if you cut out a classic circle skirt in one piece from a directional print, the print will be upside-down on the back. Yikes!

Learn how to make a circle skirt with directional fabric so that the design stays straight, and you’ll be able to make loads of fun, twirly skirts, even from smaller cuts of fabric! #diywardrobe #freepattern #handmadewardrobeSo today’s tutorial is a simple hack of my old circle skirt pattern and tutorial, making two semicircles and joining them to make a full circle. What do you say, are you ready to learn how to make a circle skirt with directional fabric or with fabric that isn’t wide enough for a full circle? Let’s get started!

Materials:

Learn how to make a circle skirt with directional fabric so that the design stays straight, and you’ll be able to make loads of fun, twirly skirts, even from smaller cuts of fabric! #diywardrobe #freepattern #handmadewardrobe

  • 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.
  • Cucicucicoo Circle Skirt pattern (My free patterns are available to all Cucicucicoo Newsletter subscribers. The Newsletter is sent out every two weeks and you can unsubscribe whenever you want. Sign up for the Newsletter here for access to dozens of free downloads, templates and patterns! If you are already subscribed, check one of your old Newsletters or your welcome e-mail for the link and password.)

Preparing the pattern:

Print out the Cucicucicoo Circle Skirt pattern at 100% (no resizing or fitting) and follow the instructions in my original Circle Skirt tutorial for finding your size and cutting out the pattern.

Cutting the pattern on non-directional fabric:

I will first show how to cut out two semicircles of fabric with the pattern on non-directional fabric (fabric that doesn’t have to be laid out in a specific direction because of its print or stretch). This is to save fabric. Like I said before, if the fabric is non-directional, you can fit the pieces together more easily with less waste.

Learn how to make a circle skirt with directional fabric so that the design stays straight, and you’ll be able to make loads of fun, twirly skirts, even from smaller cuts of fabric! #diywardrobe #freepattern #handmadewardrobe1. Iron the fabric, then fold it so that the selvages meet up at the top. Position the pattern so that one side is directly on the fold and the other side is parallel to and 1 cm away from the open selvages. (top picture)

2. Follow the instructions in the original Circle Skirt tutorial for calculating the skirt length and drawing and cutting the curve. I suggest pinning the fabric before cutting so that it stays folded and in place for the next steps. Notice that I folded the fabric so that the short edge ended right where the bottom curve of the skirt ended, so as to avoid waste. (bottom picture)

Learn how to make a circle skirt with directional fabric so that the design stays straight, and you’ll be able to make loads of fun, twirly skirts, even from smaller cuts of fabric! #diywardrobe #freepattern #handmadewardrobe3. Remove the first cut piece (still pinned together). Unfold the fabric yardage, rotate it and fold in the other direction, rearranging the position of the fold until you can fit the first cut piece (upside down) on top of it, with the open edges at the top and the folds now at the right. Then cut along the curves of the first cut piece. (above)

This time there is no need to leave an extra 1 cm along the open edges because the first cut piece already includes it. I had to trim a little bit from the open edges of my second piece above simply because the blank space at the selvage was wider than the seam allowance and therefore would’ve been visible on the skirt.

If you can’t figure out how to fit your second piece in this way, your fabric probably isn’t wide enough to do so. It depends on the size and skirt length. In this case, follow the instructions on page 2 of this post for directional print fabrics.

Learn how to make a circle skirt with directional fabric so that the design stays straight, and you’ll be able to make loads of fun, twirly skirts, even from smaller cuts of fabric! #diywardrobe #freepattern #handmadewardrobeHooray! You now have two semicircles of fabric with seam allowances on the open sides! Now let’s join them.

Learn how to make a circle skirt with directional fabric so that the design stays straight, and you’ll be able to make loads of fun, twirly skirts, even from smaller cuts of fabric! #diywardrobe #freepattern #handmadewardrobe4. Open up the folded pieces and line up the straight edges, right sides facing. Pin them.

Learn how to make a circle skirt with directional fabric so that the design stays straight, and you’ll be able to make loads of fun, twirly skirts, even from smaller cuts of fabric! #diywardrobe #freepattern #handmadewardrobeIf you have a tag that goes along the side, pin it in place between the two layers, pointing inwards.

Learn how to make a circle skirt with directional fabric so that the design stays straight, and you’ll be able to make loads of fun, twirly skirts, even from smaller cuts of fabric! #diywardrobe #freepattern #handmadewardrobe5. Sew along the pinned edges with a 1 cm seam allowance. Finish off the edges (if your fabric frays) with an overlocker or with the zigzag stitch. (top)

6. Finish off the inside circle curve (if your fabric frays) with an overlocker or with the zigzag stitch. Notice how my side label pops out nicely! (bottom)

Learn how to make a circle skirt with directional fabric so that the design stays straight, and you’ll be able to make loads of fun, twirly skirts, even from smaller cuts of fabric! #diywardrobe #freepattern #handmadewardrobe7. Continue following the instructions in the original Circle Skirt tutorial for adding the elastic waistband (here I already finished the fabric edge off, so you don’t need to do that with the elastic waistband) and hemming the skirt either with a rolled hem foot or my trick for easier curved hems, as explained in that post. Or hem the skirt with bias tape, which is even easier and faster!

Learn how to make a circle skirt with directional fabric so that the design stays straight, and you’ll be able to make loads of fun, twirly skirts, even from smaller cuts of fabric! #diywardrobe #freepattern #handmadewardrobeI love the look of circle skirts, both when still with the fabric draping down in pleats…

Learn how to make a circle skirt with directional fabric so that the design stays straight, and you’ll be able to make loads of fun, twirly skirts, even from smaller cuts of fabric! #diywardrobe #freepattern #handmadewardrobe… and when spinning and flared out!

Save this Cucicucicoo project on PinterestNow that we’ve got the basics down, let’s see how to make a circle skirt with directional fabric, or one-way fabric, which requires a different way of cutting.

Learn how to make a circle skirt with directional fabric so that the design stays straight, and you’ll be able to make loads of fun, twirly skirts, even from smaller cuts of fabric! #diywardrobe #freepattern #handmadewardrobe

(click below to continue reading!)

7 COMMENTS

  1. I was forced to wear a skirt in high school. I live in Canada where winters are cold with lots of snow; spring was cold and rainy. I had to walk to school, including over a bridge where it could be windy. Needless to say, I ignored skirts after that!
    Later in life, although my location has not changed, the weather has – not the winter as much as the other seasons. Summers have long periods of unrelieved heat and humidity and all seasons seem subject to high winds. I have realized that skirts are the most comfortable to accommodate the conditions. I usually wear shorts under them if the skirt is wide enough to blow up, although I think I will make some pretty half slips that can handle exposure. 🙂
    Circle skirts are my favourite! I am happy to have methods to suit any size/direction of fabric. I am in the process of setting up a sewing room after several years without. I do have a few unfinished projects but this one might take precedence considering how close is the change of season.
    Thank you!

    • Oh yes, I agree that skirts can sometimes be a little difficult when it’s windy, especially circle skirts, but that doesn’t keep me from wearing them! Making little short leggings to wear underneath skirts is on my to-do list to avoid these issues for both my daughter and me.

      I’m so glad to hear that you have a new sewing room in the works! It sounds lovely and I’m sure you’ll get to work on a lot of fantastic projects! Good luck with it!

  2. This project looks great. Congratulations on a very good job. A very useful tutorial! I like such ideas. Thanks for the inspiration. I hope that there will be more such inspirations! Thanks a lot. Good job!

  3. I am unable to access the circle skirt template even though I have subscribed.. Can you tell me what I need to do to print this.

    • Hi, Jan, I see that you’ve subscribed successfully. Click on the link that has been sent to your email address, then insert the password that’s also in that email. Then all you have to do is click on “Pattern” under the circle skirt or whatever else you want to download. I’m not sure about other browsers, but then there’s an arrow in the top right corner of the screen in Chrome and Firefox to save the file to your device. If you continue to have difficulties, please email me (lisa @ cucicucicoo.com ) and we will sort it out! 🙂

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