How to Sew a Half Circle Skirt
If you are a new or returning sewer, learning how to sew a half circle skirt should be your first fit project. Make it fit at the waist and hips, choose your length, and you’ve got it done. Quick and easy!Most skirts are easy and simple. There are many books on how to draft your own skirt patterns for different styles: yoked, full circular, skirt with inset pockets, etc.
If you want to learn how to sew other skirts with your own patterns,
Sew What Skirts is a book I use a lot.
after my oldest daughter showed me how she learned to draft her own skirt patterns using it. She lives in a very hot climate, so she sews her own skirts to wear. That's a great way to stay cool, and still be professional. Try to sew a skirt of your own design and I bet you’ll be making lots more.
How to Cut and Sew a Half Circle Skirt
I was puzzled. There was so much talk on the sewing blogs about how to sew a circle skirt. They’d buy commercial patterns and 5-6 yards of fabric, and cut everything out – only to discover that it’s just not much fun to carry that much fabric weight around on your body all day.
So what about sewing a half circle skirt? There was no half circle skirt in the book, and I knew there had to be an easy way to draft one. The directions for the half circle skirt are easy. The project is less expensive, and more flattering because it takes only 2-3 yards of fabric (depending on the length you choose).
You don’t need a pattern – you draw your measurements right onto the chosen fabric..
Half Circle Skirt Directions
Choose a cotton fabric with a pretty print for your first half circle skirt project. Once you see how easy it is, try other fabric types and weights to achieve a little bit different results. You’ll need approximately 2-3 yards of fabric, depending upon how long you want your skirt to be.
1. Take your waist measurement. Divide that number by thirds. Subtract 1/2”.
Waist inches ______________divide by 3 = ________ minus 1/2” = ___________.
For example, my waist is 33” divided by 3 = 11 – 1/2” =10-1/2”.
2. Fold your fabric, right sides together, in half widthwise ( on the cross grain) to create a fold. So selvedges (the woven edges of the fabric with numbers and names sometimes written on them) are on east and west sides of your cutting table, and the cut edge is south, and the fold is north. Your bottom edge will be uneven, but the fold will be straight and the sides will be straight and even with each other.
3. At the corner of the selvedge edges and fold of fabric, measure & mark the exact measurement you came up with in Step 1,(i.e. I marked at 10-1/2". Then put another mark along the top of the fold the same amount.
4. Draw a semi circle from one mark to the next, directly onto the fabric. You can use a French curve, or cut a long piece of string with a knot at the correct measurement. Be as exact as you can because even 1/8” off will affect the way the skirt fits at the waistline!
5. Mark the hemline length the same way: Get a long piece of string and holding one end at your waist, tie a knot where the length of your skirt (PLUS 1”) will be. Place the top of the string at the waistline semi circle mark, and mark the hemline where the knot is. Move the end of the string about 2” forward on the marked small semi circle, and again, mark where the knot is. Continue all around – marking a complete semi circle, and finishing at the fold. Connect all the marks.
6. For waistband length use full waist measurement + 4” for overlap. The waistband can be as wide or narrow as you prefer. For the sample, I decided on a 1-1/2” wide waistband. So I cut a 4” wide piece of fabric.
Here’s how to come up with the width:
______ finished width x 2, + 1” for seam allowances = waistband width
Cut out one waistband piece the length and width desired. Cut out one piece of fusible interfacing the width of the finished waistband, and the length of the waistband fabric.
7. Cut out both layers of skirt to create one large half circle.
8. Tip: Handle waistline curve very gently. Because it is curved, it is very stretchy. Stretching could cause your skirt to be too big at the waistline. Before handling further, you may want to carefully staystitch 3/8” around the top of skirt with a regular stitch. This will prevent excessive stretching.
9. With right sides of selvedge edges together, sew a 5/8” seam part way up the skirt side – leaving room to apply your zipper.
10. Install zipper (either centered or lapped) following directions that came with the zip.
11. Fold waistband in half lengthwise to mark fold. Apply interfacing to wrong side of fabric along fold. Mark center of waistband and center of skirt. Pin right side of interfaced side of waistband to right side of skirt. matching center points, taking care not to stretch waistline. Sew, using a ½” seam.
12. Try on skirt to make sure waist fits.
Tip: If waistline is too big, resew the waistband to the skirt, easing more skirt fabric into the waistband. Then trim and sew short ends with a ¼” seam, leaving one end longer for overlap, if desired.
13. Fold and press under ½” on unsewn long edge of waistband. Hand tack folded edge to inside of skirt. Or pin in place, and topstitch on outside.
14. You can apply a button and buttonhole at the waistline overlap, or a hook and eye, or even Velcro tape.
15. Clean finish bottom edge of skirt. Turn up hem, and sew as desired (catch stitch, blind hem on your machine, or top stitch down).
If you would like to share your finished skirt, or see pictures and comments about other finished skirts,
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