How to Sew a Circle

Written by barb barker
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How to Sew a Circle
Make this cute little pincushion by learning to sew a circle. (Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Making round accent pillows, decorative pockets or even pretty pincushions can be accomplished by sewing a basic circle. The key element in sewing any round item is learning to navigate around the curvature of the circle's edge. Many novice sewers will find their first attempt at sewing a circle to be a challenge. But they will quickly learn to master the process. You will soon be sewing circles around items such as new placemats, coasters and hot pad holders.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Fabric
  • Matching thread
  • Hand sewing needle or sewing machine
  • Lid or other round item
  • String
  • Fabric marking pencil
  • Straight pins
  • Measuring tape or small ruler

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  1. 1

    Lay your fabric onto a flat hard surface. If you need more than one circle, lay down two layers of fabric so that you can cut through both at the same time for exact shapes. Lay a round lid, plate, glass or any other round item of the size you desire onto your fabric. Remember to add 5/8 inch for a seam allowance all the way around to allow for hemming. Draw all the way around the lid, marking your fabric.

  2. 2

    Create larger circles using the string method. Cut the string length to one half of the width of your circle size. Tie one end of a string to your marking pencil and the other to a pin. Hold the pin straight in the centre of the fabric. Draw all the way around, holding the pencil straight as you go.

  3. 3

    Cut out your circle with a pair of scissors. Mark your 5/8 inch seam allowance around the circle, using your measuring utensil and marking pencil.

  4. 4

    Place the right sides of your fabric circles together if you are making a round pillow or pincushion. Pin the two circles of fabric together all the way around the edge, with the pins pointing toward the centre.

  5. 5

    Stitch around your circle with a hand needle and thread or a sewing machine, staying on your seam line. Continue stitching in this fashion until have sewn three quarters of the way around your circle. Stitch slowly with your sewing machine, using your fingers to gently guide your fabric around the curve of the circle.

  6. 6

    Tie two knots at the end of your hand sewing stitches. Back-stitch to secure your stitches, if you are machine sewing.

  7. 7

    Clip V shapes out of the edge of your fabric all the way around your circle, being careful not to cut into or past your stitches. This allows room inside your circle for the seam, so that it won't bunch up.

    Turn the circle inside out through the opening that you haven't sewn. Add stuffing if you are making a pillow or pincushion.

  8. 8

    Pin the remaining portion of the circle, folding your seam allowance to the inside. Stitch this closed using the sewing method of your choice, either needle and thread or sewing machine.

Tips and warnings

  • Use a thimble to prevent sticking yourself with the needle.

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