## Wednesday, October 26, 2011

### Tutorial for Circle Skirt with Ruffle

Originally written and posted June 5, 2010.

After posting the pictures of my newest skirt, the circle with a ruffle, I was asked about the pattern. I rarely use patterns (although I do enjoy experimenting more with them these days!) and I didn’t use a pattern for this skirt…I designed and then made it. There’s probably already some pattern out there that resembles this…personally, I think it’s too obvious a design for there not to be a pattern already! But you don’t need a paper pattern to make this skirt! It’s so simple; all you need is some math skills! And trust me, if I can do the math, so can you!

I made a diagram of the cuts that you’ll need to make on the fabric. Sometimes it does make all the difference in the world if you can actually see what I’m talking about! I’ll explain the math, and how you figure out your measurements. Then you can just plug in your numbers and figure your own. Keep in mind, you can’t make this skirt any longer without altering the ruffle’s fullness. When I made this skirt, I wanted to have a ton of ruffles, and I knew it would be long enough, if not quite as long as I would usually like it. It turned out plenty long enough, but if your waist is bigger, and you take up more fabric that way, you can alter the ruffle to make up for the fabric lost in the making of the waist.
Here is the diagram of the cuts. I’ll try to explain it the best I can!

Ok, so if you open this baby up, it’ll be a circle! Magic! Well, not really magic, just some math and scissors… However, if you’ll notice, you really won’t be able to get this thing on. (My regular circle skirts are different than this, as they have seams that you can put a zipper in!) That’s pretty unnacceptable, so you’ll need to cut on side of this open. Like so….dotted line is the cut, in case you couldn’t figure that out!!!

Now, you’ll need some sort of waist deal going on. I just put a facing in mine, but you could also sew a waistband on. I think it really depends on the fabric you’re using. To make the facing, all I did was take 2 scraps (from the corner we cut out) and I laid them on top of the waist circle (to get the angle and measuring right,) and cut out the facing. Does that make sense at all? Then I sewed them on, right sides together (2 of the edges of the facing are sewn together, with both open ends where you’ll put the zipper in) and also sewed a line on the facing, through the seam allowance where it was sewn onto the skirt, to keep it from rolling. Well, that’s what it says on the patterns when it tells you to do that… After you get a waist made and attached, you can sew the seam (the one that you cut in the circle) up until the 7 or 9 inches where your zipper will be, and then put the zipper in. If you don’t know about putting zippers in and all, there’s probably other online tutorials dedicated to that…as well as the waistband situation, if you want to Google that. I’m no expert when it comes to those things; usually I decide what kind of waist and closure to use when I work with the fabric.

So now we have a finished circle skirt, just missing the ruffle! If you refer back to the original diagram, You’ll see that remaining 48 inches divided into 4 sections. These are all equal in width, 12 inches each. You need to sew all these together into one enormously long strip. It’s actually 240 inches long, which feels like maybe 2 miles when you’re hemming and gathering it. You’ll see. After these are all sewn together, you need to hem one loooong edge, and put a gathering stitch in the other loooong edge. To make this easier (and since I tend to break gathering stitches, which causes extreme frustration in my case,) I did a new gathering line at each seam, so I had 4 sections. I divided my circle into 4 sections, and pinned a seam of the ruffle at each division. Then I pulled up and adjusted the gathering stitches one section at a time. I pinned it as I went, and went ahead and sewed the ruffle down, when I got to each section division. It was easier to me to do it this way, instead of doing the whole thing at one time. It took forEVER. I’m used to turning out circle skirts in a couple of hours, though, so this probably wasn’t too bad…I am just too impatient when it comes to sewing!

Let me know if you have any questions, or if I forgot to add anything…I’m sure I did! Here’s the finished skirt, which, of course, you’ve already seen! I hope the tutorial is helpful and clear! I’m not used to writing them…yet! :)

And if you missed it, the picture post highlighting can be found here.

~Kayla