If you have tried my online circle skirt calculator or used the formulas for different types of circle skirts (also referred to as circular skirts), you ended up with three numbers: angle under which the circle skirt pattern is drawn, circle radius for the waist and circle radius for the hem of the skirt. In this tutorial, I will show you how to draw the actual pattern for a circular skirt based on the results from the circle skirt pattern calculator or formulas.
In this tutorial you will learn:
What tools do you need to draw a circle skirt pattern?
- Large paper (either pattern paper or hard paper in a roll)
- Pencil (I prefer a mechanical pencil)
- Protractor or printable angle template (download here)
- Long ruler
- Long string or strong thread that DOES NOT stretch (at least twice as long as the hem radius)
How to draw a circle skirt pattern step by step?
In this tutorial I’m going to show you how to draw a quarter circle skirt pattern on a piece of paper so that it can be kept for future use. As you might have noticed, the circular shapes will be drawn without a compass.
1. Draw the centre front (and back) and side seam
1. Make sure your paper is large enough to accommodate the pattern in the first place. It must also be smooth and straight as creased or bent paper will result in an inaccurate pattern.
2. If you do not have a protractor, please download, print and cut out the angle for the quarter (or other type) circle skirt (see the images below).
You can use the angle templates below for your selected circle skirt type.
3. Take your ruler and draw a long line near the edge of the paper This will be the centre of you pattern (both front and back).
4. Draw a marking at the beginning of the line, which will become the centre for the circle radiuses. Both at the waist and at the hem (see the image below). Label it so that you know that this point will be the centre of the circular sector for the waist and hem. I labelled mine “C” (see the images below).
5. From this point measure the circle radius for the waist and hem. Mark the circle radius for the hem and circle radius for the waist (see the images below).
6. In between the waist and hem, mark the line as CENTRE FRONT and CENTRE BACK (see the images below).
7. Take your protractor or cut out template (I prefer using a template) and place it at the very first marking. Now mark the 22,5° (or other selected) angle on the paper.
8. Draw a long line passing through this marking (see the image below). This long line will be the side seam. You can label this line as “side seam”.
Now, we will draw the actual waist and hem of the skirt.
2. Prepare the string and draw the hem of the skirt
1. First, prepare your string and draw a marking near one of its ends (see the image below).
2. From this marking, measure a distance that is: 2 x radius at hem and draw another marking.
3. Cut off the excess string leaving about 10 cm (4 inch) after the marking.
4. Tie a knot connecting the two ends of the string exactly at the markings you have made in the previous steps (see the image below). Add some extra knots (about two or three) at the same spot to ensure the string will not untie.
5. Punch a hole with a pin at the C point, you have marked at the beginning.
6. Stick the pin from the bottom of the small hole you have just made (ie, from the other side of the paper). Its hidden head is now fixing it in a firm position.
7. Take your tied string and pull it through the standing pin (see the image below). The pin will be the pivot point for drawing the hem.
8. Stick the pencil through the other end of the tied string. With one hand hold the protruding pin while with the other one stretch the string with the pencil. The pencil point should be exactly at the marking for the hem. Get the pencil pin through the string cautiously so that it doesn’t break.
9. Hold the pin with one hand to make sure the string is fixed. With the pencil in the other hand, draw a curve from one line to the other – from CENTER FRONT/BACK to SIDE SEAM (see the image below). You have just created your own pair of compasses in which the pin and pencil tip are the ends of its arms. Bear in mind that you have to keep the string stretched.
10. The hem of the skirt is ready. You can label it “HEM”.
3. Prepare the string and draw the curved waist of the skirt
To draw the waist of the circle skirt, you will repeat the very same steps as for drawing the hem. Just the string length will be different. Follow the steps below:
1. Prepare your string and draw a marking near one of the ends (see the image below).
2. From this marking, measure a distance that is: 2 x radius at the waist and make another marking. Cut off the excess string leaving about 10 cm (4 inch) after the marking.
3. Tie a knot connecting the string exactly at the markings (see the image below). Tie several extra knots (about two or three) at the same spot to ensure the string cannot untie.
4. Get the looped string through the pin. This time the pin will be the pivot point for drawing the waist of the skirt.
5. Stick the pencil through the other end of the loop.
6. Hold the pin with the one hand to make sure the string does not get loose. With the pencil in the other hand, draw a curve from one line to the other (see the image below). Bear in mind that you have to keep the string stretched.
7. The waist of the skirt is ready. You can label it “WAIST”.
The quarter circle skirt pattern is ready
Your (quarter) circle skirt pattern is ready now. Keep in mind that it is one half of the front and one half of the back. Therefore, remember: As you transfer the pattern, do not cut through the centre line! Also make sure to add seam and hem allowances to the actual pattern as you transfer it to the fabric. This is it as for the fabric.
I am sure you will not forget to sew a waistband and a suitable zipper. As the skirt matches your waist, you would’t be able to put it on without a zipper..
If you wish to learn more about circle skirts construction, please read my previous blog post.