The Circle Skirt: Made for Twirling



(Photo-heavy post alert!)

I don’t think I’ve ever had a ‘true’ circle skirt. My brain in a fabric store is kind of an odd beast: I always think, ‘ooh! I’ll make a big fluffy skirt out of this! I can get that out of a meter of fabric, right?’… and then it’s some big surprise when I don’t have enough to do what I want. You’d think I’d have learned my lesson but here we are…


I spent a long time getting these pictures just right, so you get to see ALL of them!

I’d say this qualifies as a true circle skirt because it is, in fact, a circle. That said, I still ran out of fabric and had to piece some bits on to get the length I wanted. In case anyone asks, this is a design element.


This one was a bit of a stretch from my usual Wardrobe Architect silhouette – I was mildly concerned that I was going to end up looking like a nun in this much skirt, but the color is tried and true for me, so I figured it was worth a shot. You know that bridesmaid’s motto? “you can always shorten it and wear it again!” – That was kinda the backup plan.


The fabric is a plain woven 100% viscose, and I used all but scraps of the 2 meters I bought. I hesitate to call this one a ‘self drafted’ pattern as there wasn’t any actual drafting involved… it was more of a ‘make it up as you’re cutting’ type situation. I just laid my fabric out on the fold, and then drew two semi-circles with chalk stemming from the center point of the fold line: One for my waist (plus seam allowance!), and one for the hem.


If you squint, you can see the added-on section here.

I cut out the hem and used some of the scraps to piece together the width I needed to complete the circle. Then, using my chalk line as a guide, I stay-stitched the waist circle for stability before cutting it out, and cut a slit up the center back for an in-seam zipper.


By the time I got to this point, I realized the only available zipper I had wasn’t the right color! After seriously considering making a special trip to get one I decided to run with what I had (in the spirit of DIY!). I used a half-lapped, half- invisible zipper insertion to hide as much of it as I could: It worked really well! It’s completely hidden, although I may at some point put some nail polish on the zipper pull to help it hide in case it slips out amidst the twirling.


Right, you can see a flash of the zipper amidst said twirling after all.

I constructed the waistband from the scraps leftover after cutting the skirt. I ended up having to sew it on twice as I didn’t give myself room to breathe the first time, but the fit is spot on now! (you’ll recall from this post that this is the second time in as many skirts that I’ve made my waistband too small…need to work on remembering to add breathing room… note to self: elastic waistbands?). I was originally going to put a regular buttonhole in the waistband, but the skirt decided it didn’t want a buttonhole, and who would I be to ignore that? Instead, I added a little fabric loop for my button. Incidentally, the button is a mystery object: I have no memory of where it came from, but I found it in the bottom of my sewing box recently hiding out all alone with the bias tape makers.


After attaching the waistband and doing some obligatory twirling around the house, I hung the skirt for the rest of the week to let the hem drop. By this point I’d pretty much decided that the skirt was more ‘modcloth’ than ‘nun’ – very happy I stuck with my gut! Jon was a bit confused at why there was a skirt hanging in the bathroom (I thought the steam would help it drop), but he did listen through my whole explanation of the behavior of woven fabric hung on a bias while occasionally nodding his head. Small victories.


It occurs to me that I should have taken a better photo of the lapped zipper..

I hemmed the skirt with self-bias tape, which I think is probably my ideal finish for a project like this. I’d originally intended to make a continuous strip but I was working on ‘fabric fumes’ after piecing together the skirt extensions and the waistband, so I just cut 1.5″ bias strips from all the large-enough leftovers and stitched them together. I did have enough, but only just.


There was consideration of pockets, but I had a few issues. There are no side seams, otherwise I would have done some in-seam pockets, but the skirt sits snugly over my waist and I couldn’t figure out how I’d work pockets in to the mix without introducing seams and bulk. If its pocketlessness drives me crazy, I’m sure I’ll let you know about it.


So far, I’m really enjoying swishing around in my new circle skirt! I’ve worn it a few times already, and against Jon’s “You look like you’ve dressed up to be a schoolteacher in a 1940s reenactment village” I have obtained two separate compliments from other people. Also, it is very fun to walk down stairs in this skirt.


Here’s this week’s Me Made May outfit wrap-up:

Mmmay week 3

Lots of Ginger Jeans again this week, and a sneak peek on Tuesday of next week’s cardigan blog post! Plus, the purple cropped tee I made on Monday night to go with said cardigan. Note also the house clothes on Saturday: not only 100% me-made, but also 100% Merino!

And here’s what I wore that wasn’t me-made, per my pledge:

  • Monday: That pesky nude bra again. *rolls eyes*
  • Tuesday: I wore my down jacket on the way in to the office.
  • Wednesday: 100% Me Made!
  • Thursday: 100% Me Made again! Bonus knitted socks.
  • Friday: 100% again!
  • Saturday: 100% Me Made Merino but also didn’t leave the house today…
  • Sunday: Owl shirt. My outfit today was the one you see in the circle skirt pics 😉

I’ve achieved LIFT! *nerd alert*

Next week, I’ve got something awesome to share with you! Well, really – I get pretty excited about all my projects, but I promise next week is exciting in a new way! See you then 😉



7 thoughts on “The Circle Skirt: Made for Twirling

  1. Merry Pinbender says:

    Absolutely twirlriffic! 😀
    That’s the SAME color as the one (and only) circle skirt I had! (The Aunts said it complimented my pale skin. Glad someone liked pale, at that age it wasn’t me) Mine had a same color cardigan, I wore it with a pale (that word again) pink w/pink pinstripe buttondown shirt. My skirt was above the knee short ,but that was fine on fourteen year old legs. No pockets in mine either. Takes me back. If you have half as much enjoyment wearing yours as I did mine it won’t be your last circle skirt. Now about
    those shoes! I now also have shoe envy!! Btw, I wore my skirt with my all time favorite penny loafers. They had crepe rubber soles and a 2″ heel. Would kill for a pair today, yours come in second. What size did you say? Heh heh. I wear long and skinny especially at the ankle. 😀
    Good thing your too far away to “barrow” from.
    And the photos are the bomb, baby! Luv, luv! (I’m a sucker for old stone and lichen)
    Glad you’re having fun! Always, Merry

    • Kat says:

      Haha, thank you as always Merry! Your circle skirt outfit sounds positively fabulous, especially with a pink pinstripe buttondown shirt! I can just about picture it with the penny loafers!
      The shoes are my only pair of ‘nice’ heels – I don’t know much about them other than that they’re leather with a label that says ‘Artisan’, and I’ve had them for three-ish years. I do love them, they go with just about everything!
      I ventured to a different corner of the park for photos this time – the stone was a refreshing change from my bright-white fence! Thank you as always for stopping by to leave a comment! You always make me smile 🙂

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