Half circle skirt

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Half circle skirts are the best sort of a-line. The seams are on the grain, so they sew up without pulling and make it relatively easy to put in zippers. A half circle is a nice amount of fabric for an every day flared skirt. It’s not a dramatic as a full circle, which makes it easier to wear. And a half circle pattern is very easy to draft.

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To make a pattern for a half circle skirt, you will need your waist measurement and the skirt length. In this pattern the front and back are identical. For patterns this simple I generally just draw on the fabric with a piece of chalk. For each piece, you will start at a corner and draw two quarter circles – a small one near the corner for your waist, and a larger one farther away for the hem.

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Divide your waist measurement by 3 to get your waist radius (people who like trigonometry may be tempted to divide by pi, but rounding down helps balance out the stretch along the bias angled parts of the circle). Hold one corner of a yardstick or tape measure at the corner of your fabric and measure out your waist radius. Swing the yardstick along the fabric, keeping one end in the corner, and mark out points as you go. For example, if your waist radius is 10″, you would mark out several points 10″ away from the corner of the fabric at different angles. Connect these points with a curve.

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Add your skirt length to your waist radius to get your hem radius. Mark out points at this distance, as you did for your waist. Cut along both curves. This is the front of your skirt. Do the same thing at the opposite corner (or trace the piece you have) to make the back.

Sew up the side seams, putting in pockets if you want them, and a zipper on one side. Hem the bottom and finish the top with bias tape or a buttoned waistband.

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7 Responses to Half circle skirt

  1. serial mint says:

    Be sure to measure your subject from their waist to their ankle or whatever length you want the skirt. Once you know this number, you’ll do the same thing with the tape measure but you’ll be starting your measuring from the partial circle you just created, rather than from the corner.

  2. Variadee says:

    I have been looking for a long time just for this skirt pattern. Thank you.

  3. Cindy M in Oregon says:

    Thanks for the tutorial. It looks a lot easier than some others I have seen.

  4. Jean says:

    What kind of fabric would be best for this?

    • Naomi says:

      You can use any woven fabric – a half circle is one of the most forgiving shapes. This skirt is made out of quilting cotton, but I’ve also made half circle skirts out of light weight silk or heavy fabric like corduroy. The only thing I would avoid is very stretchy fabric, which might not stay up well with this design.

  5. Claudia says:

    Can the fabric be folded before drafting so that you would have only one seam down the length with a seam allowance so that a zipper can still be inserted?

    • Naomi says:

      Yes! You’ll just need to start with a slightly larger piece of fabric, since there’s a bit more waste. But if you have a big piece there’s no reason not to!

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