New Denim Circle Skirt

Just over a year ago I made myself a denim circle skirt. I’ve worn it loads, it goes with everything and I love it!

I wore it a lot during Me Made May and mentioned that there were a few issues with it and that I wanted to make a replacement.

The waistband is too loose so I added belt loops – but even with a belt it drifts down and I feel uncomfortable in it. It only has one pocket because I put the zip in the side seam at the other side. And the zip is a bit wonky!

Here’s my second attempt!

I decided to go for a paler denim because I fancied something different and I know I’ll wear it a lot in Spring/Summer. I’m also planning to make a longer dark denim skirt to wear with boots in the winter… maybe with a gathered waist rather than a full circle.

It still isn’t perfect, but it’s a much better fit around the waist and has two pockets! I promised that I would do a quick guide to making a circle skirt once I had made a new one… so here it is:

  • Start by measuring your waist circumference and required skirt length.
  • Divide your waist circumference by pi (3.14 will do!) to find your diameter and then half that to find your radius. Make a note of these measurements!

I made the above skirt using a half circle for the front and two quarter circles at the back with a centre seam and invisible zip (which I’m not showing you… it’s very neat but definitely not invisible!). It also has a pocket in each side seam. If that’s what you want to make then continue as follows:

Start by making a paper pattern (I used brown parcel paper).

Front

  • start by drawing two lines at a right angle then draw a quarter circle using your radius measurement (please use a ruler and set square… the below is just a rough sketch!)

  • Measure your required length down from each edge and draw in the bottom curve.

  • Don’t forget to add seam allowance (I did 1.5cm) on all edges apart from the centre front which will be cut on the fold to make a half circle for the front.

Back

The back is pretty much exactly the same pattern as the front but will be cut as two separate pieces so you also need to add seam allowance to that edge.

Waistband

  • I made mine 2.5cm deep – you might want deeper or narrower – just decide on the depth and cut a strip of fabric to your required depth x2 plus seam allowance and the length of your waist circumference plus seam allowance on both ends.
  • Then cut a piece of interfacing the same length but half the depth and iron this to one half of the reverse of the waistband.

Pockets

  • I don’t have much in the way of tips here… I just drew around my hand in a roughly pocket shape and cut out two sets!
  • Sew the pockets to the side seams – this video is quite a good guide.

Putting it all together!

  • Join the side seams and finish the edges however you prefer.
  • Pin the skirt to the waistband evenly and stitch.
  • Insert zip (!) and stitch back seam. The technique for inserting your zip will vary depending on what type of zip you use. You should be able to find a guide to suit you on Pinterest or Youtube. If you’re new to zips I would recommend practising on scrap fabric first.
  • Clip into skirt top if necessary to ensure the waistband sits flat.
  • Fold half of the waistband over to the back, tuck under the raw edge and hand-stitch in place along all edges.
  • Sew up the hem and you’re done!

This is just a quick guide and I’m not an expert – so if you have a play and add any improvements please do let me know in the comments.

I’m planning to fill my wardrobe with lots of swooshy circle skirts!

Denim Circle Skirt

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while – you will know that I’m very good at planning sewing projects…but not very good at actually doing them!

Part of the problem is my fear of zips and buttonholes. I used to be pretty good at sewing after attending a dressmaking, pattern cutting and grading course, but after a long break it all seems to have fallen out of my head!

After the success of my skirt in a day I decided that simple circle skirts were the way forward. Then I took another three year break from the sewing machine! I bought some lightweight denim a couple of years ago with the intention to make a Merchant & Mills dress, but as that never transpired – I thought a denim circle skirt would be a good addition to my new minimalist wardrobe.

Unfortunately it ended up taking a bit longer than a day to make! First of all I couldn’t find the notebook where I’d written my notes from my previous skirt so I had to start from scratch. Then I didn’t believe my tape measure and added a few centimetres to the circumfirence just in case – which meant I cut all the pieces far to big!

Then a had a bit of a saga with the pockets. Because a denim skirt should definitely have pockets yes? I put them in so low on the side seams that I had to hunch over to put my hands in the pockets! Lots of unpicking later and I started to put them in directly below the waistband…then realised that the zip was going in the side seam so I was putting one of the pockets where the zip needed to go!

At this point I decided that one pocket would be adequate. So my new skirt has one pocket and the most perfect zip I’ve done in years. The bottom of the waistband is completely misaligned, but I’m so chuffed with the zip that I don’t care! Just look at that lovely zip. I used this tutorial to remind me how to do it and it was really helpful.

I’m really happy with my new swishy denim skirt – it’s going to go with everything!