Circle Skirt Pattern & Tutorial

Learn how to make a cute circle skirt with pleats and a tulle slip

Hi everyone!!! It’s Kaysi, from Keeping it Simple again.

Keeping It Simple

I recently went to a little party that the theme was Stepford Wives. I didn’t want to just buy a dress for it, so I decided to make a super full skirt for it. Luckily the Ribbon Retreat has a ton of great fabric, and they had exactly what I wanted for it!!

I used teal Dottie by Moda, a spool of white tulle, teal thread, 1 1/4″ elastic, 14″ turquoise splash zipper and then some white cotton fabric I had. But The Ribbon Retreat also carries a great solids section and you can find white fabric here.

Supplies for the circle skirt pattern and tutorial

For the skirt, I made it a circle skirt.

To figure out the measurements for the circle skirt pattern, you need to figure out the radius of your circle.

Measure where you want the skirt to lay on your waist/hips, mine was 35″. Usually for the circle skirt you would add two inches, but since I put some pleats in the skirt, I added 5 inches. So 35+5 =40″. That is the circumference of the circle around the waist. We need the radius, so we are going to divide the number by 6.28 (that’s 2pi). 40/6.28=6.37, I rounded it down to 6.25″.

I taped several pieces of paper together to make a big piece (a poster board would be great for this). And then I started making the pattern.

From the corner, I measured the 6.25″.

Measure the radius for your pattern

I moved the measuring tape at different angles and marked the 6.25″ at each angle.

Measure to form a circle for your pattern

I did that until I went across the paper, then I drew a line to connect the dots.

Draw a line connecting the dots

Now for the next part of the pattern. I wanted my skirt to go right under my knee, so the length was 21″. I added the 21″ to my 6.25″ which was 27.25″. I repeated how I measured for the first measurement, I made a dot at 27.25″ at all different angles on the paper.

Measure the length for your circle skirt along the bottom of the pattern

I connected the dots and then cut it on the lines. This is the pattern for the skirt, it is a 1/4 circle.

Finished pattern for the circle skirt

Now it’s time to start cutting the fabric.

To determine how much fabric you will need, you will take the last number, mine was 27.25 and double it, so mine is 54.5″. I need a square that is 54.5″x54.5″ ( I rounded it up to 55″). Since I’m using cotton and it’s only 45″ wide, I had to cut two pieces. Each piece was 27.5″ by 55″.

Measurements for your fabric

It’s still needs to be a big square, so I took the pieces and pinned them together and sewed them.

Sew the two pieces together to get a big square

Here is the big square with the hem in the middle.

A picture of the hem in the middle of the fabric

I folded the square in half and then in half again. I made sure to keep the hem on the sides. Then I pinned the pattern onto the fabric. And then I cut it, you get a really big circle with a hole in the middle, like a donut.

Put your pattern on your fabric, pin, and cut

I then ironed the bottom of the skirt and hemmed it.

Iron and hem the bottom of the skirt

I wanted to make pleats in the skirts, rather then just gather it. I made three pleats in front and two in back. I folded over the fabric about 1/2″ and then ironed it. Then I sewed the top to keep the pleats in place.

Create pleats then iron and sew along the top

I took a strip that was 3″x34″ (my waist size) and ironed it in half. You could do a really wide waistband if you wanted.

Make your waistband

I pinned the waistband onto the top of the skirt and sewed it together.

Pin the waistband to the circle skirt

And lastly, I put in the zipper. I just cut the spot where I wanted it to go and then sewed it in.

Sew the waistband and then cut and pin the zipper

And now I have a super cute pleated circle skirt.

Finished pleated circle skirt

Now to make the skirt really full, I made a slip.

Using the same pattern I cut some white fabric 55″x55″. A full sheet would be prefect for this. I cut it and hemmed it just like I did with the skirt.

Make the slip

I took the tulle and sewed it onto the bottom of the slip. Instead of pinning it, I just gathered it while it was on the sewing machine. I gathered the tulle every inch or so and then sewed it.

This tulle is 6″ off the spool. I just sewed it on to the skirt from the spool.

Sew on the tulle

There is the bottom with the tulle, I love it!

Tulle Slip

I sewed some elastic onto the top of the slip (because I want to wear this with other skirts too).

Tulle Slip with Elastic Waistband

And here are the two put together.

Finished circle skirt and tulle slip together

I loved wearing it!! I seriously felt like a little girl, I just wanted to twirl in it! It was so much fun!

Circle Skirt Pattern and Tutorial

Thanks for having me again!! I just love the Ribbon Retreat and all of their products!!

Come by and check out my blog anytime!

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Thank you, Kaysi, for this circle skirt tutorial!

Don’t you absolutely adore this skirt? And Kaysi looks stunning in it!
You know you need one of these for your summer wardrobe! :)

Make sure to visit Kaysi’s blog, Keeping it Simple, for wonderful crafts and tutorials. She is very talented!

Also your new circle skirt will look gorgeous made from any one of our fabrics from our large selection.
Specifically, check out our fun Dottie collection.

If you have great tutorials and a fun idea you would like to share on The Ribbon Retreat Blog,
please submit a project.

Have a wonderful day!

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11 Comments

  1. Posted May 16, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    This is darling! I love the polkadots!!

  2. Natalie
    Posted May 17, 2012 at 12:58 am | Permalink

    Very fun!! Thanks for the great directions.

  3. Sharon
    Posted September 27, 2012 at 12:48 am | Permalink

    I dont understand where you have added the piece. Is it along the length or the width? Did yow cut the 1/4 circle on a fold of fabric. It isnt very clear on the pics. What do you mean by hem in the middle??

  4. Posted November 3, 2012 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    I love this! I want one in every color!,,

  5. Shari
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    What a great tutorial, as a beginner to sewing this makes complete sense :) super cute skirt! Thanks :)

  6. Morgan Pickands
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Where is the Ribbon Retreat located? Great skirt! Crinoline would have made the slip fuller more like the fifties look. Morgan

    • The Ribbon Retreat
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      Hi Morgan! Thank you for your comment. The Ribbon Retreat is located in Shelley, Idaho. Thanks Morgan! Have a great one!

  7. Patra
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    This is so clever! I am just getting started with sewing again and I came across this pattern. PERFECT! I can’t wait to make it!

    • The Ribbon Retreat
      Posted June 26, 2013 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      Hi Patra! Yay! I am so glad you are starting to sew again. I love it and love that we were able to help inspire you! Have a wonderful day!!! :)

  8. Kaitlyn
    Posted March 22, 2014 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    I was just wondering why we take our waist size and multiply by 3 for the waist band. I’m trying to figure it out in my head and I’m a little confused.

    • The Ribbon Retreat
      Posted March 27, 2014 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      Hi Kaitlyn! Thank you for your question. Kaysi didn’t actually multiply the waist by 3 but instead added 3 inches to the waist size. In the tutorial she added 5 because she put pleats in the skirt. I hope this helps! Thank you again for Kaitlyn and hope you have a wonderful day! Michelle :)

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