The circle flare skirt is a full skirt and the pattern pieces are the same in the front and the back. This basic skirt can be used for many different garments including dresses. Once you know the waist calculation, it is very easy to make.
Circle Skirt Calculation
To calculate the 1/4 of the waist circumference it is a little more complex than just dividing by 4 (you’ll get a huge waist if you calculate it this way).
Step 1 – divide your waist measurement + ease (1″) by 4
Step 2 – Use the table below to add the amount indicated to your result on step 1
Step 3 – Divide result on step 2 by 2
For example, to calculate a 28″ waist, these are the calculations:
28 (waist + ease) / 4 = 7
7 + 1 3/4 = 8 3/4″
8 3/4 / 2 = 4 3/8″
I found this circle skirt template in the Italian website Cucicucicco. It might be a good option to skip all the calculations and it is a handy template to have!
Circle Skirt Pattern
Your Circle Skirt Pattern should look like this (using the example of a 28″ waist)
Step 1 – Square your pattern paper
Step 2 – Use your calculation (4 3/4″ in this example) to draw a 1/4 circle – you can slide your ruler and mark points at 8 3/4″ from the left top corner and then connect the dots. This is the waistline.
Step 4 – From the waist line, use your desired skirt length to draw the hemline.
Step 5 – Measure your waist (from the inside of the pattern) and confirm that it measures 1/4 of your desired waist (7″ in this example) – Make any adjustments if needed.
Step 6 – Add seam allowances
Step 7 – Cut – You can decide on the grain line to cut your skirt – typically the center front is parallel to the grain-line. There are a few different options to cut your circle skirt:
Cut 4 times (if you want seams on the front, back, and sides)
Cut 2 times on the fold if you want side seams
Cut 1 time folding your fabric in quarters (your skirt will look like a doughnut and make an opening for a back seam and zipper.
To finish your skirt you can add a facing or a waistband, or use it as the skirt of a dress.
A leather circle skirt looks great!
For a fashionable and modern look, layer your skirt with tulle!
You can also make a hi low circle skirt! I love them!
For the hi low look, the front piece is shorter than the back.
You can also play with different lengths – a full length circle skirt also looks great!
The Ruby Dress (one of the favorites patterns published in this blog) uses a circle skirt.
I hope you find the circle skirt calculation useful!
Other Skirt Sewing Patterns and Tutorials:
thank you for the detailed explanation , attempting to make a fishtailed one for my sister, let’s hope it comes out good lol…Happy holidays!!!!
Teach You To Sew
Thanks for this, Anabelle. This is going to save me (and a lot of readers) a lot of trouble!
Another formula is to add your seam allowance to your full waist measurement and devide by 6 28.
I use this and it works for me.