Skater skirts ( or short circle skirts ) are what I wear at least 4 out of 7 days of the week - I wear them with a collared shirt and tights to work , with a band tshirt when I'm off to the markets and love going dancing in them as they are super swishy and flirty, great if your are fond of twirling or wiggling your hips on the dancefloor.
They are also incredibly simple to make so if I'm going out to the movies but cant be bothered making a dress I will whip a skater skirt up in about 45 minutes.
You will need :
- Around 1.5 meters of fabric (ideally as long as it is wide)
- Chalk or easy removable fabric marker
- Fabric scissors and pins
- Measuring tape
- A 10cm zipper
To begin :
Fold your fabric in half on a big table or ideally on a hard flat surface like on your floor if you have floorboards or lino.
Using a measuring tape , find the precise middle of the fabric (measuring along the top of the folded edge) put your finger on the number that marks the middle then not lifting your finger , spin the measuring tape 90 degrees so the start of the tape points down vertically. Pin the measuring tape a few times where your finger is so it is secure.
With your chalk, make a mark where the tape ends, then keeping the tape taunt , move it a couple of inches and mark that spot also. Keep repeating this step till you get to the top of the folded fabric and you have half a semi circle.
Double check you have gotten your measurements right by filling in the chalk marks and repeat the step above so the other side has been marked also so you have a semi circle.
Cut along the chalk lines till you get to the top ( as you have folded the fabric in two and are cutting along a semi circle - when you lay the fabric out flat you will have circle)
Now we need to measure your waist (about 2-3 inches above your belly button) once you have this measurement we are going to do one of those equations you thought you would never use again outside senior maths in high school .
We need to find the radius of a circle - we know the circumference - which is the measurement of your waist, so now we just need to do a simple equation remembering Pi = 3.14.
The radius of my circle skirt is :
75 cm waist divided by 6.28 which equals = 12 cms
Now we get out measuring tape and pin it to the exact middle of the folded piece of semi circle fabric and using the chalk again we make a mark at the 12cms (or your radius answer) all the way around so you have a smaller semi circle.
Once marked out we cut along the chalk mark:
Then unfold so you have a circle the circumference of your waist.
Then on one side cut a 10cm slit so you will be able to put the skirt on (then put a zip in of course)
With the fabric discarded from cutting the bigger semi circle - cut out a rectangle the length of your waist and fold in half inside out - this will become your waistband.
Sew a straight stitch down along the edge where the folded fabric meets .
Then we need to turn the sewn fabric inside out again so the pattern can be seen. You can do this by folding back one opening and pushing the fabric through so it looks like a travel umbrella case :
Once the right way out , we pin the seam of the waistband to the edge of the smaller semi circle.
Once pinned all the way around, sew a straight stitch about 1.5cms from where you have pinned , taking out the pins as you go.
Once you get to the end ,double back a few cms to make sure it wont come undone then simply push the waist band up so the seam you just sewed on top of is now the bottom of the waistband when you turn it up the right way.
To sew the zip in:
Fold the edge of the waistband along with side of the slit we cut earlier a cm , place on top of one side of the zip where the teeth start, then top stitch to the end of the zip (where the teeth ends not where the zip ribbon ends)
Keeping the needle in the fabric , spin the fabric 90degrees , sew a till you get to the other side of the slit , then repeat this step till the other side of the zipper has been sewn with the start of the teeth being where the waistband starts also. CLICK HERE to see a very informative video to master putting zips in the easy way.
The only thing left to do is to hem the skirt.
Hemming a circle skirt is slightly more difficult than other skirts as the edge is perfectly curved all the way around. You will need a great deal of patience as even I stuff up sometimes when my mind drifts off. As long as you are alert you should have no problem.
You will need to make sure the pressure foot is exactly the width of fabric you have folded over and straight stitch very very slowly. Every 2 inches you will need to stop and realign the fabric so the next couple of inches are perfectly straight and the same width of the pressure foot.
The fabric will always try to shrink at an angle so you have to keep the hem taunt and pay attention otherwise it will be super wonky and you will have to unpick the hem and start over
(Think it took me at least 4 goes the first time before I had a perfect circle skirt hem so don't get too frustrated - sewing is super fun once you have these skills :)
Then you are all done baby bear congrats!