Tutorial! How to Make a Circle Skirt with No Pattern and No Side Seams!



30 Minute Square Dance or Poodle Skirt  


 I had a great time making a square dance out of this sheet.  Did I tell you it was a sheet from the thrift store?  Well it was...but the fabric was so cute that I couldn't pass it up. I shared this at Gina's The Shabby Chic Cottage for her anniversary Show and Tell called Transformation Thursday. So many great ideas!

Here's how to make a circle skirt in 30 minutes without a pattern.  First, we need to do some quick math.  Formula for Width and Length of Square:  2 x Length of Skirt  plus at least 1/4 of your waist measurement.  You can always cut it a little bigger. 
Now fold the huge square in half and then in half again like a paper napkin. That gives you four layers. You now have a smaller square which when measured at the diagonal (longest point) is the length of your skirt plus the 1/4 of your waist.

 Fold it one more time so that it's a big triangle.  (You will have eight layers now.)


Now for some more math! Measure your waist and divide it by 8. Add a 1/2 an inch to that measurement.
For me that was 5 1/2". I laid my tape where I could reach both sides below the top point of the triangle and it was exactly 5 1/2 inches.  Draw a line with a marking pencil there. Cut off the point of the folded square at this spot to make the circle for your waist plus some extra which will be gathered by elastic.



Now measure from the cut waist edge all the way down the first side using the length of your skirt (plus hem of course ) For me that would be 18 plus about 2"  or about 21". (In the photo I had not cut the point off so I had to mark it lower.)   Mark that spot with a pin or chalk pencil.



Move over to the center and mark the skirt length again....and then a couple of more times all the way to the other side of the skirt triangle.

Next, draw a slightly curving line which matches all the spots you marked into one smooth cutting line.
Cut through all the layers on this barely curved line which is your skirt edge (hem line).

Now you can unfold it and Voila! You have a perfect circle skirt!! The picture above is the skirt still folded in half because I couldn't unfold it all the way and still get it in the picture or on the table.

Now fold under about a 1/2 an inch at the waist and sew about 3/8 inch from the edge to make a casing for the elastic.  Measure the elastic around your waist and maybe just a bit snugger (whatever is comfortable). Cut the elastic and thread it through your casing with a bodkin threader. Stitch the elastic edges together several times. 



Then hem the bottom with a narrow rolled hem. If you want to add lace or homemade ruffle that would be a great way to embellish this. Or if you are doing a poodle skirt, buy a poodle applique at Wal-mart and some rick rack for a leash to use for embellishment.

Here's the pattern for the blouse...it's so quick to sew once you figure out the ingenious way they have you sew the sleeves so that you don't have to inset the them.

**********************************************************

Caroline of Church Sexy had some very good questions and I'm answering them here...

Caroline, I don't mind answering your questions. In fact, I've got eight little posts done (this one was NOT little) and now I'm free to comment and answer Q's.. more free time! The house looks great!

Waistband: Yes it is elastic, but the way I cut out  the skirt results in a very small opening at the waist--just enough so you can pull it over your head--so no bulk at the waist.
Tie on Sash : I made the sash from the top edge of the sheet. I just zig-zagged the raw edge. It was barely visible. Then I tied it on top. 
Petticoat: No, I actually purchased the petticoat. But I do have a whole bolt of chenille to make my own. Just no time! Yipes!  I will be doing that and it will make a great post. The fact is I know someone has done a tute on that online but I can't remember where.  A ruffler foot, which I have, would be very helpful on a project like this.

I posted this on Wardrobe Refashion and I do actually mention about the sash since I forgot to do so on the post.

**********************************************************

Mickey..at The Works of Our Hands, who DESIGNS costumes all the time for plays suggested we use a just trace our own applique for a poodle skirt..and I agree! So I added this.
For a Poodle to applique on your skirt - Here is a clip art you could blow up, trace on wonder-under ironed to white fabric, and could make your own poodle applique.
Here's a photo of a poodle skirt to give you an idea of what yours could look like...


14 comments:

mickey said...

Aren't they fun?! Circle skirts have saved my costuming life! Another option for the poodle is to cut one from a scrap of felt-- I'd bet someone's got an outline online somewhere to use if your sketching skills are like mine... y'know, a little 'sketchy'!

Caroline said...

I've always wondered how an elastic waist circle skirt would look on an adult, whether the gathering would look okay or add too much bulk. But it's cute. It pulls on, right? And you've made some sort of sash to cover the waistband? Did you make the crinoline to go under? Sorry I'm asking so many questions. I know you are trying to cut down on blogging time .... :) Have a great day!

Donna said...

Caroline, I don't mind answering your questions. In fact, I've got eight little posts done (this one was NOT little) and now I'm free to comment and answer Q's.. more free time! The house looks great!

The way I designed the skirt you have very little fabric at the top--so no bulk. I made the sash from the top edge of the sheet. I just zig-zagged the raw edge. It was barely visible. Then I tied it on top. No, I actually purchased the petticoat. But I do have a whole bolt of chenille to make my own. Just no time! Yipes!

I posted this on Wardrobe Refashion and I do actually mention about the sash since I forgot to do so on the post.

Julia said...

I wish I'd had this tutorial before I had to make 8 circle skirts for a dance class of little girls who were ever shape and size! I've filed this away so I'll remember it next time!

Melissa said...

This is great Donna!I love that black and white gingham! I am sorry, I did not realize it was an entry to the Sew What! skirt challenge or I would have posted it with the others. I will post it next week though! Are you participating in this weeks?

Diana said...

30 minutes! Wow, that's too cool.

Lorraine said...

you look as if you are about to go jiving..love that black net underskirt

Yllute Adekobah said...

Heloo Donna:)
thank u for the comment! i like ur blog too especially this, always admire ppl who sew since im so lousy at it. Very nice skirt and u look cute wearing the skirt! hehe

Victoria ObSEUSSed said...

I was searching to make a poodle skirt and came upon your blog. I have a hard time with patterns but this is an easy to understand tutorial- great pics. I've spent over 30 min. browsing. I love it all. I especially like the time management publication as I've just started my own blog and it is so time consuming getting it going. Thanks for your great insight. Victoria, www.obSEUSSed.com

Jeanna said...

OMG! A circle skirt tutorial that I can actually understand. Thank you so much!

Jeanna said...

OMG! A circle skirt tutorial that I can actually understand. You are a life saver!

Can I link to this post on my blog?

Belinda Turner said...

Thanks for easy explanation.. making one for a 50s party. But how do I make the top that is pictured on your pin?? Many thanks

Belinda Turner said...

Thanks for the easy explanation. Now ready to make one for a 50s party. But how do I make the top that is also pictured on your pin?? Many thanks

Anonymous said...

What size sheet did you use?