Having always enjoyed making my own clothing, I’ve fallen in love with dressmaking even more this past year. So I want to introduce it to you with this starter project, which is just right if you’re a beginner. A circle skirt is very much how it sounds – made from a circular piece of fabric, it can be made to any length, a mini, midi or maxi. Add a waistband and a hem to your desired length, and you’ve made yourself a skirt!
YOU WILL NEED
Printed fabric, as per your body measurements (see Step 1)
Extra fabric for the waistband, your waist measurement plus a 1.5cm (58in) seam allowance at each end
Zip, 15cm (6in) in length
Sewing machine and matching thread
1. Start with a square of fabric measuring no less than 1x1m(40x40in) – the exact size will depend on your waist measurements and the desired length. I chose my fabric to measure 115 x 115cm (46 x 46in), as I want my skirt to be a mini length.
2. With the right sides facing, fold your fabric in half, then in quarters.
3. To calculate the radius measurement for your waistline, measure your waist in centimetres then divide this measurement by 2 x Pi (3.14). For example, if my waist measures 75cm (2912in) and I divide this number by 2 x 3.14, the radius for the waistline of my skirt will be 12cm (434in) when rounded up.
4. Once you have calculated your own waistline radius, measure this distance from the centre corner of your folded fabric (the corner with no raw edges) and mark this at both edges of the fabric. Draw a curve between the points then cut out with scissors – you can attach a pencil to a piece of string to help you draw a smooth curve. Repeat this process for the skirt length measurement then cut away the excess fabric and unfold to reveal your disc-shaped circle skirt (A).
5. Print your disc-shaped fabric using the Fruit and Vegetable Printing technique. Dry and fix by following the instructions on your fabric inks then press to finish so you are ready to complete your skirt. I like to print my design once the skirt shape is cut to achieve the best layout for my repeat pattern.
Tip: Use a different print making technique to print a smaller scale pattern onto your waistband.
6. Cut a slit for your zip, which should be the same length as the zip you will be using.
7. Cut the fabric for your waistband so it is twice the desired finished width – I cut 15cm (6in) – and 3cm (118in) longer than your waist measurement (see step 3).
8. Sew your waistband then pin it to the top of your skirt, right sides facing, so the raw edges align. Sew the waistband and skirt together with a straight stitch, reversing at the start and finish to secure the seam. Then finish the seams off.
9. Insert the zip and press. Then fold over the other side of the waistband and pin this into place, hiding the messy raw edges inside. Slip stitch for a seamless finish then add a hook and eye at the top of your waistband for a professional touch.
10. Lastly, sew your hem with your sewing machine before pressing again to complete!
Tip: Try adding a border print or vary the scale to make more circle skirts.
From How to Print Fabric by Zeena Shah
Published by David and Charles