Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Circle Skirt + Tutorial

I was recently inspired by Dana over at Made. If you've never visited Made, you need to go there yesterday. Dana makes some of the cutest stuff and always has awesome tutorials and patterns (plus recipes, reviews and home improvement projects)! Just check out these adorable Disney outfits she just made for a friend of hers.

Adorable, right? She made the pants, dyed the onesies and stenciled on the Disney characters! Even her gift wrapping is cute.

Seriously, Dana is one of my top 5 favorite bloggers. So I knew when I spotted her Circle Skirt tutorial that it would be PERFECT for my monster's Halloween poodle skirt (yes, we nixed the cupcake this year). I used all of the sizing and cutting steps from Dana's tutorial, but I sewed mine together different, so I wanted to share my steps with you!

For the full directions for sizing (and a cute little chart that Dana made) & cutting, as well as recommended fabrics, visit Made. I'm just going to give you a quick overview of those.

+ fabric (approx 1 yd for a girl's skirt)
+ elastic (less than 2' for girl's sizes)
+ coordinating thread
+ paper
+ ruler

I used a pretty hot pink flannel (on sale at JoAnn's for $2.50/yd last week) and some black elastic for M's skirt.

First, take your waist measurement and add 1 inch. This will be the length of elastic you need (20" for M). 

Take your waist measurement again and add 2 inches this time (22"). Divide this by 6.28 (see Dana's tutorial for the math, if you're interested). This will be the distance from the corner of your fabric to the inside curve (3.5" in my case).

Next, measure how far down you want your skirt to go and add an inch or two (depending if you're hemming or not). I picked 11". This is the distance from the corner of your fabric to the outer curve.

Measure out with your ruler in this fashion

You're now going to draw your pattern piece. Take some blank paper (I used 2 sheets of printer paper) and tape them wide sides together. Then take your ruler and measure out from the bottom left hand corner the distance to your inner curve. Measure out from that corner in multiple directions and mark a dot at the end.

When you feel you have enough dots, connect them to form your curve. Then repeat this method with your longer measurement. (For detailed pictures, visit Made). 

Once you have your 2 arcs drawn, cut along the lines and keep the center piece.

Next, get your Monster to stop stomping on your nicely laid out fabric (mine seems to want to stomp on all my fabric every time I lay it out!!!)

Then, fold your fabric in half and in half again. And if you have my luck, your toddler with then try to cuddle the nice soft flannel....

Once you've refolded your fabric, align your pattern piece on top of it so that the small curve is in the same direction and your folded corner.

Trace (or if your like me, just cut) along your curves.

You may need to take a break to stop your toddler from playing with the sewing machine (or pulling out all of the thread, in my case).

After you've cut your fabric and unfold it, you should have what looks like a giant donut and you're ready to start sewing! (Note: This is where my pattern begins to deviate from Dana's!)

First, use your zigzag stitch and sew around the bottom of the outer circle. I always do it in a little ways and trim when I'm finished, but you can do it however you like. As an alternative, you could hem here instead. You're also going to do a small zigzag right up against the edge of the inner circle.

Next, take your elastic and stitch it together about a half inch in. Fold down each side individual and make a straight stitch so that the seam lays flat. (Dana has some good pictures of this).

Pin your elastic inside the top of your skirt (wrong sides facing - the wrong side of the elastic is the side that does has the wings you stitched down on it). You will need to stretch your elastic to be the same length as your fabric and it will ruffle up a little bit. You do not want to go all the way to the edge of your elastic, leave about 1/8" space between the edge of the fabric and the edge of the elastic. Straight stitch around.

Flip your elastic up and zigzag stitch around the bottom of the elastic (NOT on the fabric). Why did I do it this way??? So that there are no edges on the inside of the skirt! The edge for the top of your skirt is now safely tucked under your elastic, which means no fraying or bunching on the inside of the skirt.

And that's it! You're done!

I used flannel because I'm turning this into a poodle skirt for Halloween and flannel is washable, whereas felt is not.


  1. That is SO cute! I love the poodle skirt. M looks beautiful as always! Can't wait to see her all dressed up for Halloween. :)

  2. This skirt turned out soooo cute! Wonder if it would work in my size? Hmmm...

  3. I love this! Thanks for sharing it :)

  4. Will you please come teach me how to use my sewing machine? *le sigh*