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How to make a circle skirt

Updated April 17, 2017

Circle skirts are fun, flowing and easy to make. Making a circle skirt is an easy way to learn how to use a sewing machine, and a fun project for beginners who want to make a functional and fashionable project. While there are many ways to make a circle skirt, this one is especially easy because it doesn't require a pattern.

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  1. Measure the largest part of your hips to get the measurement for the elastic waist (it has to be large enough to stretch over your hips).

  2. Lay out the square of fabric and use the measuring tape to make a circle as large as your hips. Trace the circle out with a pencil.

  3. Trace another circle around the edge of the fabric. Trace the largest circle that will fit inside of the fabric square, going all the way to the edges of the sides of the square. You can trim it later or just make a larger hem if you want the skirt shorter.

  4. Cut out the inner circle and cut around the outer circle. To cut out the inner circle, fold the fabric in half and make a small cut to fit your scissors into, then proceed with cutting along the line.

  5. Measure your waist to get the length of your elastic band. Cut the elastic to a comfortable length to sit around your waist when it is not stretched. Make sure that it sits where you want it to when it is at its shortest length, because if it is stretched out at all it will tend to ride up higher than you would like.

  6. Sew the ends of the elastic together into a waistband and place the elastic circle inside the smaller circle of the skirt. Fold the fabric over the waistband and sew around the circle, being careful not to sew over the elastic, which will prevent it from stretching properly.

  7. Try on the skirt with the unfinished hem and pin the hem under at the desired length. Sew the hem with the inside of the skirt up so that you can see that the hem is uniform in length all the way around.

  8. Tip

    For a higher quality skirt, do 2 seams on the waistband and the hem. First sew an initial hem around the waistband, folding the fabric under just like in the hem at the bottom of the skirt, then add the elastic and make the waistband as instructed. This will keep you from having a loose edge with threads hanging on the inside of the skirt. For the hem of the skirt, follow the hem instructions, making the skirt slightly longer than you want the finished product to be, and then follow up with a second hem. The result will be cleaner seams and less chance of seams coming apart. For a more stylish version, add ribbon or lace at the hem of the skirt or below the waistline. To add ribbon or lace, just pin it down to the skirt and sew along the edges one at a time. Remember to tuck the ends under and sew them down so that no loose threads hang off. You can do a variation of the circle skirt as a square. In the square version, only cut out the waist hole and leave the fabric in a square shape. The result is a trendy garment with points that hang down. Circle skirts make great costumes. You can make a poodle skirt for a 50s look by making a brightly-colored skirt and adding a felt poodle appliqué, or make a gypsy or belly dancer costume by making the skirt longer with a larger square of fabric.

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Things You'll Need

  • Square of fabric -- 1 metre (1 yard)
  • Measuring tape
  • Thread
  • Enough elastic to go around your waist
  • Ribbon or lace (optional)

About the Author

Erin Currie has been making things her whole life and actively sews, knits, does needlework, crafts, cooks and quilts. She aspires to inspire and instruct on her DIY lifestyle blog at SeamstressErin.com. Mad scientist by day, seamstress by night, she's currently finishing a Ph.D. in biochemistry.

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