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By Dawn On 03/29/04  

Hi, all!

I am coming out of lurkdom to ask for help. I need to make a basic circle skirt for a performance on Friday. It is going to be an underskirt, so I just need the plainest instructions possible. I'm not even planning to hem the thing if I run out of time. I will make the skirt either out of black chiffon or some shiny silver fabric, depending on which is the cheapest. I know that making a circle skirt is easy, but I'm the kind of person who needs instructions to use as a guideline. I'm scoping out a book from the library, but in case it's not there when I go, could some of you who have actually made such a skirt post directions here? I know I can search the web for instructions, but I'm not necessarily interested in making the skirt "correctly". I just need it fast, so cheating or shortcuts are welcome.


By invisilurker On 03/29/04  

I made one, but it was from a pattern so they did it in panels.
Get some sewers chalk or a giant sheet of butcher paper though, for making the pattern with.
Really though, you just need to measure around your waist, and then add a few inches. I'd use elastic for the waist.
Draw a cirle of that circumferance.
Then measure how long you want it to fall on you.
Draw lines out from the center circle of that distance, plus some for hemming. Then draw a circle that is of that circumferance.
Cut out your pattern from the paper and carefully put it on to see how it works.
If it's okay, then cut out your fabric. If you have to make it into panels because your fabric isn't a large enough piece, cut the pattern into four equal pieces, and use those. You have to sew them together, but at least they'll fit on your fabric that way. If it does fit w/o cutting, then obviously that would be much easier!

By me_here On 03/29/04  

could you in any way draw a picture? Or is that *way* too demanding?

By Dawn On 03/30/04  

Thanks, JediEmpressMel! Question:

What if I can't find a piece of paper big enough to draw an entire circle pattern? Is there some kind of way I can make a 1/4 pattern and fold the fabric so that I can cut the whole piece at once? Does that make since?

Dawn :O)

By antigone On 03/30/04  

fold the fabric twice, divide your waist measurement by four, attach pencil to a piece of string the desired length for your skirt (+hem), hold end of string in folded corner while drawing with the pencil, cut, cut out waist, sew?

By jhenscott On 03/30/04's my two cents worth: Dig deep to remember those geometric circle equations.
spend 20 minutes with a pencil and paper, then the skirt will whip up in seconds.
You'll need a donut shape of fabric, where the circumference (C1)of the inside circle in the size of your waist (or wherever you want the skirt to sit) and the Circumference of the outside circle (C2) is dependant upon the length of the skirt.
use this equation: C=2(pi)r where r is the radius of the circle, to find the radius of both the inside and outside circles.
now fold your fabric in quarter and from the corner (using the pencil and string technique mentioned) draw the quarter circles using 1/4r for both radius'. does this make sense?
cut. and you'll have a big donut.
now you'll have to get into it somehow, so the easiest, quickest way is likely to make one slice through the donut and add a zipper or velcro. I'd finish with seam's quicker than hemming.
if the math is too vague, I had to figure it all out myself and have a diagram I could email you. let me know.

By mishakitty78 On 03/30/04  

Here are some links that will help you out:

great pattern and directions:>

another pattern:>

and one more (this one shows you how to fold the fabric)>

on hemming:>

If you're just using it as an underskirt, you may want to go with silk essence fabric, as that is way cheaper than chiffon. Also, as for hemming, it's suggested that you hang the skirt (for like a week!) so that the fabric will stretch. Since you don't have the time, I'd do it without the hem, then hang it and hem later. Just make sure you use something like fray check if it is a fabric that will unravel.

Good luck with the sewing and your performance!


By Dawn On 03/30/04  

Thanks, ladies!

I knew there was some math in there somewhere - my brain just refused to function properly. I will take a stab at this skirt and post pictures of the results. In the meantime, if anyone else has tips to share - post away. I won't be starting on the skirt until tomorrow or Thursday, anyway.

Dawn :o)

By Dawn On 04/02/04  

So, I made the skirt - I'm very pleased with it. Considering that it was a rush job and I've never actually sewn any clothing before, I think I did a good job. I used these instructions to make my skirt:

They were very well-written, and the measurements were perfect. The radius calculator doesn't work, though, so you'll have to figure that out yourself. Also, for the part where you are using string to draw your circles, after you draw the circle that equals B+C, you should cut the string to the measurement of B, *not* C. I think that's a typo. At any rate, the lady gets two thumbs up from me. For anyone interested, she also includes instructions on how to make a handkerchief hem skirt.

Here is a picture of my skirt:>

I made it out of silver tissue lame, which was a colossal pain in the a** to work with. It's pretty, but it kept snagging on my needle, and it "sheds". I will not be using that again. I will use the remnants to make detachable circles to line the inside of the sleeves on my jacket (see pic below).

Here is a picture of me at the performance tonight:>

You can see what a big difference that silver underskirt makes. The effect was lovely, especially when the whole ensemble was paired with a black lace beaded cover up that I just bought from an Indian gentleman at a fair. Sorry the picture is so dark. We were outside at dusk.

I will definitely make more of these skirts, now that I see how simple it is. No way am I going to continue to pay $35 and up for these babies!

By antigone On 04/03/04  

aww you're cute! good job too.

By Dawn On 04/04/04  


By invisilurker On 04/05/04  

Yay! I'm so glad you got your skirt made.
Dawn, you are so pretty!!

By Dawn On 04/05/04  

Y'all are sweet! I would blush if I could. ;o)

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