DIY Circle Skirt Tutorial

Perfect for dancing, flirting and twirling...

Don’t spend hours looking for the perfect skirt, get out your tape measure, dust off your sewing machine, sharpen your sissors and have a go at making this fun vintage-inspired full circle skirt with this easy tutorial!

Materials that you will need

• tape measure
• 3 metres of 150cm wide woven fabric
• 1 metre of vilene (light weight pattern making paper)
• lead pencil
• calculator
• scissors
• thread
• sewing machine & overlocker if you have one
• one button
• one 20cm invisible zip
• waistband interfacing the length of your waist + 5cm extra
• dinner plate


1. Measure your waist, this is generally just above your belly button. The area that shapes in the most. Using your calculator take your waist measurement and then divide by 3.1416 and then divide by 2. This will give you your waist radius.

Example: waist measurement = 80cm
80 / 3.1416 = 25.4647
25.4647 / 2 = 12.7323 this is your waist radius measurement

2. Next get your length measurement, this is how long you want the skirt, it can be as short or as long as you like (just keep in mind if you want a skirt to go to the floor you may need to look for wider fabric). To get this measurement measure from your waist down to the length you want, our sample skirt is made to sit just above the knee – 55cm - 60cm

3. Now you need to make your pattern, the measurement you will be using is your waist radius that you got from step 1. Starting at one corner of the vilene measure down to your waist radius, which in our example is 12.7323 (I will round this down to 12.7) and make a mark, then repeat this on the other side., refer to picture 1 for a visual.

4. Using these 2 marks take your dinner plate and line up the plate so each point you made before is in line with your plate and then draw in your waist curve.

5. Measuring down from your waistline make a mark for the skirt length you have chosen adding a seam allowance of approx 1.5cm, continue pivoting your tape measure around the waist line making a mark every couple of cm's, refer to picture 3a, b, & c for a visual. This creates your skirt pattern.

6. Next fold your fabric in half matching raw edges together then fold in half again matching your selvedges. Pin your pattern piece onto your fabric ensuring that one edge is along your fold lines, then cut out your skirt.When you open out your fabric it should be one large circle with a small circle in the middle. Slit the skirt down one side, this is going to be your back seam where you will inset your invisible zip.

7. If you have an overlocker, overlock all your raw edges except for the waistline, if you do not have an overlocker then use the overlock stitch or zigzag stitch on you machine. For those who have an overlocker and are fairly experienced in using the overlocker you may wish to put a very slight gather in the hem so that you do not need to put in tucks when sewing up the hem.

8. Using your zipper foot (or if you have one an invisible zipper foot) and stitch your zipper in place. To do this you will need to open the zip up and pin right side of zip to right side of fabric and tack in place, move your needle position to the far left and stitch the zipper in place getting as close to the teeth as possible without sewing them in. Repeat on the other side, to ensure you have the zip lined up, do the zip back up and then pin in place, undo the zip once pinned and continue tacking and sewing zip in.

9. Once your zip is in place do the zip back up place right sides of fabric together and finish off your seam using a seam allowance of 1.5cm.

10. Cut a length of your fabric the same length as your waistband interfacing, decide on the width that you want your waistband to be. Iron the interfacing onto the wrong side of your fabric, fold in half again with right sides of fabric facing each other and press to give you a crisp edge, stitch down the two small ends and the turn in the right way.

11. Once you have your waistband measure from one end the length of your waist and make a mark, pin onto the waistline of your skirt from the start end to the mark you just made, leave the excess fabric to make your tab for the button hole. Once you have pinned the waistband onto your skirt stitch in place. If you have fond the waist of your skirt has stretched a little run a line of stitches around the waist opening and ease the fabric back to the correct size by pulling the bobbin thread.

12. Next make a buttonhole the same size as your chosen button, and sew your button on making sure it is lined up with the buttonhole you have just made.

13. All that is left to do now is to sew up the hem, if you have put a slight gather in the overlocking then simply turn the hem up approx 1.5cm and stitch in place. If you haven't put a slight gather in the overlocking then turn up the hem approx 1” putting little tucks in the seam allowance to ensure an even hem.

14. Done!

For more information on Vintage Dressmaking Classes plus heaps of material and sewing products, visit

Don't miss the Stitches and Craft Show Brisbane this weekend March 21 - 24! For more information, visit

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