A spring circle

I’ve always wanted a circle skirt. I love skirts anyway, but a twirly, full skirt seemed perfect. I was itching to join in Casey’s circle skirt sew-along last year, but for some reason it didn’t happen.

So finally I’ve got the perfect fabric, so I’ll take part albeit a year late! I found Casey’s posts really helpful with loads of tips. Also the circle skirt party at the end gave me loads of ideas. I also found this other site, the Snugbug, with a handy Excel calculator. As much as I’m happy playing around with the maths (I did maths at uni), if I can play with an Excel spreadsheet I’m even happier!

Once I got the fabric out, I realised there wasn’t enough for a full circle, so me being me goes complicated and decides to go for a 3/4 circle. I could have made a half circle, but no that wasn’t going to be circle enough for me. I had to buy some black cotton to trim it, completely forgetting about bias or anything like that… Muggins goes gaily ahead and cuts it all out.

My cutting board was also helpful. I’ve lost the original paper which came with the board, but it has various patterns on it, including a full circle and half-circle skirt.


I got the board as a present from my parents about 15 or so years ago. It was made in Australia, but can I find it on the internet, nope. If anyone knows if it’s possible to find the original instructions for an Australian Sew Easy Designer Board, I’d be really grateful.

Back to the skirt… I cut out the pattern piece and then to make the black section at the bottom, I cut the bottom of the pattern piece so I could cut them out of the different fabrics.


The problem came with attaching the black to the flowery fabric. No way was I going to sew these right sides together. I know, no dedication to the art! I came up with a decidedly quicker and easier method. Why spend ages trying to attach an inside curve with an outside curve, when you can stitch one to the other by just attaching it to the top of the other? I’m all for using shortcuts as many of you know! I certainly made sure it was attached, back stitch and zig zag!

I made the finish neater by attaching a black grosgrain ribbon to the join. I ummed and ahhed for ages deciding whether to use silk or grosgrain, I decided in the end the silk was too shiny. I even sewed the side seam first to ensure the seams all lined up at the seam.

Strangely enough the waist was too small when I came to attach the waistband, so I had to trim some from the top! That was not the easiest, I was afraid I’d cut too much! I actually attached most of the waistband before the zip to ensure it fitted! Fingers crossed the cut was prefect.

The thing that wasn’t perfect was the waistband stiffening. It was the fusible interfacing specifically for waistbands, but after about and hour of being stuck, it came unstuck. I was not impressed. Does fusible interfacing go off after a while, since it may have been in my box for a while?

The last big job was to hem the skirt… I prefer a deep hem, as they hang better and stitching a deep hem by machine doesn’t look very nice unless it’s a blind hem. However, if you think I’m going to stitch a blind hem on a circle skirt, you’ve another think coming. šŸ™‚ So I did my usual and handstitched it!

Are we nearly there yet?

It took about three hours to go round this! Plus pleating a lot of the hem to take in the excess. I reckon the hem took the longest to finish of the whole skirt!
So the final thing…
Ā I think Mr N must have been making me laugh!

I’m wearing a circle skirt in windy Wellington?Ā 

My thoughts on this? Well after one day of wearing it, I love it. The colours are so cheerful. It’s also really comfortable and I feel happy wearing it. It’s got black in it, so it won’t be completely out of place here in New Zealand! I also love the fact that loads of different coloured tops will go with it. Mr N said I need to wear shoes which aren’t black. Oh dear, that’s a shame, I might have to buy some more šŸ™‚Ā  I have a feeling this skirt will get LOTS of wear! A success. When can I make the next one! I need an excuse to wear a big petticoat and go dancing now!
Oh, by the way, I did hang this for about a week before hemming it. The bias did not drop drastically! Hurrah! I was NOT looking forward to unstitching the black bottom and ribbon! For those interested it also has a lapped zip. The fabric came from Fabric Warehouse here in Wellington.
The obligatory spin!


15 thoughts on “A spring circle

  1. The skirt Looks great Nikki. All that maths learning didn't go to waste then šŸ™‚ so nice when we can use something from uni in unexpected ways. I'm from Sydney Aus but haven't seen a board like your sew Easy designer board. Spotlight have a cardboard one which just has a grid on it with a few bits and pieces of design lines. It's made by Wrights, a US firm. http://Www.wrights.com. Maybe they have fancier ones as well.

  2. Thanks Rebecca. Welcome to my blog! I'll check out that Wrights link, may have some useful stuff on it. If I had the patience to learn proper pattern drafting, I'd probably use more maths then, patience being the operative word! šŸ™‚

  3. He he, I think it must have been beginners luck with this one! But I really do love it. I think when I first showed Mr N the fabric, he was a bit sceptical… What do men know? šŸ™‚

  4. I came here from Kat's blog and have to say this is beautiful! Absolutely lovely contrast. The reason your waist is too small may be because you didn't alter the math for a three quarter skirt. If you used the same measurements on each piece as you would have for a full circle then you only had three quarters of a waist opening. I know this from making a half circle petticoat and having to figure out the math! Too small is easy to fix though and the end result is great.

  5. Hello and welcome to my blog! Thank you. I think that's probably why my waist was too small or perhaps I decided the bias in the waist would go further than it went! It worked out OK, so I'm happy šŸ™‚ Whether it'll work again is another matter! I can only try!

  6. Thanks Madalynne. I keep showing off to my UK friends that the weather is getting better! I'll be entirely selfish and say I deserve it, since we came to NZ at the end of summer from UK winter and two months later it was winter again, so I reckon I've done well to survive two winters!! šŸ™‚

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