Béatrice Curtis - Egyptian Dance

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Circle Skirt Pattern

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You will need:-

  • 5 yards (4½ metres) of fabric

  • approximately 1 yard (1 metre) of elastic, 1 or 1½ inches wide (3 or 5 cms wide)

  • thread

 

First cut two half circles from the fabric. 

 

 

You do this by folding the fabric into 4, like this

 

 

Be very careful when you fold & cut the fabric that you end up with two half circles rather than a half and two quarter circles. Use the Pin-String-Pencil* method to draw two reasonably even quarter circles- one small for your waist/hip, the other large for the lower hem. Place the pin at the corner marked A above, where you have two folds of fabric. Take care not to make the centre circle too small (you won't get it over your hips) or too big (you have to gather it too much at the hip band & it makes the skirt shorter). It is best to make the centre circle too small initially, and then extend it- if you make it too big you cannot correct it so easily.

 

Sew the two half circles together at the selvedges to make a large circle with the centre cut out.

 

Cut the elastic so that it is long enough to fit around your hips, when stretched a bit. Then sew the two ends of elastic together into a circle. Sew the elastic onto the hip edge of the fabric. Use a zig-zag stitch, so that it will still stretch. You can turn the top of the hip edge of the fabric over to the inside as you pin/sew the elastic on, to neaten the finish.

 

Hints for finishing the skirt hem:-

 

  • Leave the skirt hanging up for a week or two so that the fabric can "drop".

  • I would suggest you get a friend to help with the hemming, by pinning the hem & checking it is level, while you are wearing it, before you cut it or do any sewing. It is almost impossible to do this on your own.

  • Keep a note of which is the front & which is the back of the skirt, so that the hem will take your natural curves into account. For example, I always make sure I have the seam in the elastic on my Left hip.

  • If you really cannot sew, it may be possible to "seal" the edge of the fabric. You can only do this with man-made fibres. You seal it by running the edge through a candle flame. TEST BEFOREHAND on spare scraps of material to make sure your fabric will be suitable for this!!! Also, you have to be very careful with this technique, if you go too slow you will melt more fabric than you intended. 

 

 

Drawing Circles and quarter circles

Sellotape a piece of string to a pencil (fairly low down, near the point), position a pin where you want the centre of your circle to be, let the string out far enough to cover the radius of your circle & pin the string at the centre of the circle. I generally pin the fabric to my carpet at this centre point so it doesn't shift around. Keeping the string taut draw a circle in the same way you would use compasses. 

Back to pattern

 

 

There are plenty of other sites with instructions for circle skirts, so if these instructions don't work for you, you can try Elaine's pattern, or Madame X's pattern.

 

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Updated 24th January 2010