how to sew a circle skirt

How to Sew a Circle Skirt

A circle skirt is a swishy, flared garment that’s both flattering and fun to wear. Possessing some fundamental sewing abilities makes it feasible to create a personalized circular skirt effortlessly. Here’s how:

  • Measure your waist and desired length
  • Calculate fabric needs based on those measurements
  • Cut out a circular skirt pattern piece
  • Sew the skirt pieces together
  • Create and attach a waistband
  • Hem the skirt
  • Try it on and twirl away!

Ready to add some vintage-inspired flair to your wardrobe? Let’s get started!

Understanding the Circle Skirt Pattern

A skirt that is typically cut to fit at the waist and hips is known as a traditional skirt. In contrast, a circle skirt is made from a circular piece of fabric that is cut into a full or half circle. This allows the fabric to flare out from the waistline.

The Circle Skirt’s Flattering Silhouette

The circle shape creates a retro-inspired full skirt perfect for highlighting an hourglass figure. On most body types, it skims over problem areas while accentuating the narrow waistline. It’s an ultra-feminine and flattering style.

Choosing Skirt Length

Circle skirts look amazing at any length from mini to midi to maxi. Just be sure to consider the fabric’s drape if going with a longer skirt. You may want to use a lighter material for greater swishability!

Creating the Circle Skirt Pattern

To draft the pattern for your circle skirt, you’ll need just two measurements – your waist circumference and desired skirt length.

Determining Pattern Dimensions

For a fuller, more circular skirt, the pattern’s circumference should be 2-3 times your waist measurement. So, if your waist measures 28 inches, your pattern could have a 56-84 inch circumference.

The radius for a circular pattern piece is calculated as: Radius = (Desired Circumference) / (2 x π)

Cutting the Pattern

Use a plate, bowl, or compass to draw a quarter-circle shape onto pattern paper with the calculated radius. Cut this out, then use it to cut the remaining three quarter-circles, creating an entire circular pattern piece.

Alternatively, you can use patterns from online retailers or pattern books to skip the math! Many include multiple size options.

Sewing the Circle Skirt

Sewing the Circle Skirt
Photo credit: pexels

With your pattern piece cut out, you’re ready to start sewing! Gather fabric, a zipper or elastic for the waistband, thread, pins, scissors, and your machine.

Cutting the Fabric

For most circle skirts, you’ll want to use a drapey woven fabric like cotton, linen, or rayon. Cut out the circular skirt piece from your fabric, taking care to follow the pattern’s layout guide.

If using directional prints, be sure the pattern is oriented the same way on each quarter piece.

Sewing the Sides

With the right sides together, pin and stitch the curved side seams using a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Finish the seam edges by serging or with a zig-zag stitch.

Creating the Waistband

You have a few options for the waistband:

  • Invisible zipper: Sew in an invisible zipper after stitching the waistband closed
  • Elastic: Cut 1-inch elastic to your waist measurement plus 1 inch for stretching over hips
  • Casing: Create a casing and feed elastic through, then stitch closed

Attaching Waistband

Quarter the waistband piece and pin it to the skirt, matching up quarter marks. Stitch the waistband piece to the skirt using a 1/2-inch seam allowance.


To hem, simply turn under the skirt’s raw edge twice, press, and stitch in place. This neatly encloses any frayed fabric.


What fabric should I use for a circle skirt? 

Drapey woven fabrics like cotton, linen, rayon, or lightweight denim work best for circle skirts. The fabric should have enough weight to fall in folds but still allow movement.

How much fabric do I need? 

The amount of fabric needed depends on the skirt’s diameter and length. In general, buy 1-2 yards more than your skirt circumference to account for cutting layout and seam allowances.

Can I make a half-circle or 3/4-circle skirt? 

Absolutely! Instead of cutting a full circle, you can cut a semi-circle or 3/4 circle pattern piece. This creates a skirt with less volume that can be perfect for petite frames.

How do I hem a circle skirt? 

The simplest way is to turn under the raw edge twice, press, and stitch in place using a 1/2-inch seam allowance. This neatly encloses the fabric edge.

And there you have it – a twirl-worthy handmade circle skirt! What other sewing questions can I help with?


Main image: pexels

Priti Nandy
Priti Nandy
Articles: 249

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