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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! Especially after today, when I show you the easy way to hem a circle skirt!
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 (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, just look at the bottom of the last Newsletter you received for the link and password.)
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Sew the circle 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.
The easy way to hem a circle 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 steam 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 your 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 just one lesson in the Cucicucicoo Bias Tape series! Take a look at the other technical lessons and fun project tutorials, and you’ll soon discover how much you can do with bias tape!
Do you want all the new sewing techniques and cool modern sewing projects, in addition to the FREE circle skirt template? Then sign up for the Cucicucicoo Newsletter here for access to dozens of free printables!
If you liked this tutorial showing the easy way to hem a circle skirt with bias tape, check out the other lessons that are part of the FREE Cucicucicoo Learn to Machine Sew beginner’s sewing course!
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36 thoughts on “The easy way to hem a circle skirt in 15 min. with bias tape!”
I know next to nothing about sewing, but this looks like a great tip for hemming a circle skirt. Thanks for sharing your how to with us at Snickerdoodle. Pinning.
Thanks, Beverly! It’s a great tip to make this sort of garment super easy for beginners!
Popping back by to let you know we’ll be featuring your tutorial at tomorrow’s Snickerdoodle Party. Hope to see you there!
Oh, thank you so much, Beverly! I am at Snickerdoodle every week, so I’ll definitely be there! 🙂
Great tutorial! The floral bias tape makes the hem pretty! I’ve got a Craft Gossip post scheduled for tomorrow morning that features your tutorial: http://sewing.craftgossip.com/?p=91978 –Anne
Thanks so much, Anne! Yes, I love the touch of the floral tape, also because I’m normally not big on florals, but as a little detail like that it’s perfect! 🙂
Thank you so very much for these excellent tips! I’m currently on my 4th girls circle skirt. I’ve been using bias tape on both lining and skirt as its a pain trying to get a nice hem in the normal way. I’ve also been using satin tape because it was visible as I was doing it so the tape showed from the right side! Now I can use basic bias on the lining and a prettier one that can be seen when she twirls because it is undoubtedly the easiest and ‘cleaner’ looking hem for these skirts. Now, why didn’t I think of that! No response required as I’m feeling daft enough already. With many more of these to make as I’ve 3 granddaughters, it will be a blessing, particularly as sometimes I persevered and just turned up the lining (twice!!!! as the stress was killing me trying to get a nice hem) …….aah confessing to that has helped!!
That is so funny, Janet! I know the feeling of spending so much time on something without it occurring to me to make a little change to make it easier! Life and learn, right? Happy sewing!
Brilliant, I have ‘gasp’ non circle skirts but I do love that twirliness so I may have to correct this wardrobe error soon! Pinning, thanks.
That should say no circle skirts, I don’t even think non circle skirts is a thing . Why oh why don’t I check before I hit Post?
Haha! I knew what you meant, Julie! Yes, definitely do correct this wardrobe error, because they are really easy to sew and impossible not to twirl around in! These skirts are definitely my most fun garments to wear! 🙂
This is a great tip. I sew a lot but I wouldn’t think about this and the hem on circle skirts is always the worst thing ever. Too long and ridiculous to work with. I will try this next time I make a skirt 🙂
Oh, Martina, then you DEFINITELY need to try this out! It saves SO much time and hassle, you wouldn’t believe it! Give it a go, and then come back to tell me how life-changing it was! 🙂
As well as cutting down on sewing time, the bias adds a fun touch to the skirt. Featured today, Lisa.
It does! I love that little hidden touch under there! Thanks so much for the feature, Pam!
Hello! I love your bias series and this tutorial! I’m currently working on a half-circle-and-a-bit wrap skirt and was wondering if I could also do this trick with satin ribbon? That’s what I have in my stash, and I don’t have nice bias tape to match (or fabric to make enough from).
Thanks a lot!
Oh, that makes me so happy that you’re enjoying the bias series, Yasmin! I think that satin ribbon has enough give and flexibility to use this way. I wouldn’t try with a woven ribbon, but satin should work. I might try a little test on a small scrap of fabric with a similar curve, just to make sure, though. Let me know– I’d love to know how it turns out! 🙂
I love this circle skirt tutorial. Your bias tape hem sounds pretty easy too. I think I am going to try making a skirt. The decorative ribbon you put on this last skirt really dresses it up. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks, Lorena! You should try it, especially if you’re using a fabric that doesn’t crease well when ironed, like this synthetic fabric that I used was. It makes life so much easier! And I’m glad you like the ribbon! I felt like there was just something missing, and I think that with the ribbon it’s just enough of an added touch!
This is the first time I’ve ever seen ribbed fabric cut w/lines going in a horizontal direction instead of maintaining its vertical lines. Rather than focusing on the hemming, I was stuck thinking the weight of vertical ribbing would eventually sag ruining the entire garment …
Hi, Lissa, this was fabric that I inherited from my grandmother upon her passing. It’s not stretchy ribbing, but more like the faux ribbing you see on denim, that runs diagonally across the grain. I’ve worn this skirt quite a few times and this ribbing hasn’t created problems, though the whole skirt is a bit on the heavy side simply because the fabric itself is far from lightweight!
OMG this is amazing — thank you so much!
Haha! It seriously is amazing! So much faster and easier than hemming a curve the traditional way, and the curve comes out perfectly!
What a great idea. I adore the hidden bit of brightness like that. Thanks
Isn’t it so fun, Lorraine? I also love that little hidden bit!
This is genius! Plus I love how pretty it looks, you kinda want it to show! I wanted to sew skirts for my kids (my oldest is 13 and likes skirts but what is sold out there is either too short for her taste or too ‘adult’ looking). I will try this! Thanks for sharing.
I totally agree! It’s too cute NOT to show! I hope your kids like these skirts! My daughter certainly does!
Thank you so much for this tip! I love full skirts and have been sewing for over 50 years. Bias tape used to be a sewing standard but self hemming the fabric has become more usual now. I’m definitely going to do this on the skirt I’m currently making — about a 3/4 circle. I have those easy bias tape making jigs (see Wish — Get $5 off your first purchase with code: hpdzcql
https://dl.wish.com/RKKbf) and now they’ll be coming in super handy.
Just tried this method on a skirt with a circular ruffle edge and it was a breeze!! And, the bias tape gave the ruffles a bit more body. Thanks for the great idea – it’s a keeper 🙂
Ooh, how wonderful that it works with a ruffled edge, too! Fantastic idea!