As you’ll see, I made a dress with a semi-circle skirt. Below, I’m sharing a tutorial for how to draw the perfect pattern for such a semi-circle skirt.
What is a semi-circle skirt?
– less suitable for directional prints than a gathered skirt
The tutorial below shows you how to make a pattern for a semi-circle skirt which perfectly fits any bodice, whether it is for children or women.
The tutorial assumes that the circle skirt is closed; so for instance, that there is no zipper running through the back of the skirt. If you would like your bodice zipper to extend through the skirt, simple cut your pattern in two for the back panel, and add seam allowance for the zipper as you are fcutting the fabric.
1. Measure the width of your bodice pattern. Measure it at the bottom, right where the skirt and bodice will be joined (so just above the bottom seam allowance). Include the side seam allowance.
2. Divide this by 0.79. Next, subtract from this the seam allowance which you will use to stitch the skirt to the bodice.
Example in inches: I have a bodice with a width of 10″ and will stitch it to the skirt with a 0.5″ seam allowance:
10″ divided by 0.79 equals 12.75″
12.75″ minus 0.5 equals 12.25″
Example in cm: I have a bodice with a width of 25 cm, and will stitch it to the skirt with a 1 cm seam allowance:
25 cm divided by 0,79 equals 31,8 cm
31,8 minus 1 equals 30,8 cm
3. Take a large piece of paper (doesn’t have to be pattern paper; you can also use a newspaper, or wrapping paper), a pencil, and a piece of cord which does not stretch (I used my phone charger).
Fold the piece of paper in two diagonally, as shown in the picture, so as to create a 45° angle.
Take the number you calculated in step 2, and measure this distance from the top left corner to the top edge of the paper, and onto the diagonal fold you just made. Mark.
4. Tie the piece of thread around the pencil. Congratulations – you just made your own compass!
5. Next, determine how long you would like the skirt to be. Add to this the seam allowance you will use to stitch skirt to bodice (same number you used in step 2) and also the allowance for the hem of the skirt.
Tip: with a semi-circle skirt, the smaller the hem, the easier to achieve a perfect finish. Use no more than 1 cm (3/8″) – I personally prefer 0,7 cm (1/4″).
Length finished skirt + seam allowance + hem allowance
Example in inches: I would like the skirt to be 8″ long; I’m using a 1/2″ seam allowance; and I will hem the skirt by folding it in by 1/4″ twice (so I’ll need 1/2″ in total).
8″ + 1/2″ + 1/2″ = 9″
Example in cm: I would like the skirt to be 20 cm long; I’m using a 1 cm seam allowance; and I will hem the skirt by folding it in by 0.7 cm twice (so I’ll need 1.4 cm in total).
20 cm + 1 cm + 1.4 cm = 22.4 cm
6. Measure this distance from the marks you made in step 3, onto the top edge and diagonal fold.
Take your poor man’s compass to connect the two new marks.
7. Cut out your pattern…
… and fold it open again. You now have a pattern for one half of the semi-circle skirt. Pin it to a double layer of fabric, and cut out.