Easy DIY Circle Skirt

Skirts are one of the things I make most for myself… they are SO quick and easy to make, and for me a high-waisted short skirt is pretty much a uniform. The best thing is that you could make a skirt out of the craziest print or the most basic fabric and it will always help make an outfit look just a little extra “put together.”

There are a million ways to make a skirt. So today I am just going to focus on a circle skirt. The most iconic circle skirt out there is the poodle skirt that you most likely had as a costume when you were a kid… if not you should be really proud that you avoided that craze! ha Circle skirts can be any length or fabric and every variation will make it look just a little different. Just look how different the two are in images… and the only difference between the two is that the solid one is MUCH stiffer fabric.

Before we get started you are going to have to do a few things- first is measure. Measure your waist (called out as “W” on my drawing below) and how long you want the thing to be (I would recommend for this style to ere a little on the longer side… its pretty flippy and you can always hem it shorter if you need to). Now that you have your measurements pick out fabric and grab a matching zipper and thread. Now we can start.

1. Fold your fabric in quarters and draw out a quarter circle and the waistband (just like the drawing). Cut it all out.

2. Cut a 5 inch slit along one of the folds starting from the inside of the circle.

3. Fold the waistband piece in half the long way (hotdog way if you still think like a kid as I do:)

4. Sew the waistband to the skirt with the raw edges all facing the inside of the skirt.

5.Finish all of the raw edges with a serger or zig zag stitch.

6. Attach the zipper in the slit so that extends all the way through the waistband.

7. Fold the hem up and sew it!

8. Wear it! (I would recommend spinning at least once, it’s pretty fun!)

About tate

I love the smell of freshly pressed muslin, am a huge fan of any form of potato and always judge a book by it's cover

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37 Responses to Easy DIY Circle Skirt

  1. Jenna April 5, 2013 at 2:53 pm #

    Oh! Fun! (You are so stinking cute!)

  2. Tami April 6, 2013 at 7:45 pm #

    Not just anybody can pull off looking so cute in a high-waisted skirt!!!! :) Super cute!

  3. tate April 9, 2013 at 9:05 am #

    thanks to both of you girls… who doesn’t love a little confidence boost! :)

  4. Beth April 29, 2013 at 11:16 pm #

    How much fabric did you need for those skirts?

  5. tate April 30, 2013 at 9:40 am #

    the fabric amount totally depends on how big the waist is and how long you want it… for these I just used a square- both were 60″ X 60″ (the floral one shrunk a lot in the pre-wash… so it was probably more like 57″X 57″)

  6. Ashley May 24, 2013 at 10:52 am #

    I’m so excited to make this skirt! I’ve been looking for a pattern like this and yours is by far the easiest to understand and accomplish! P.S. Thanks for the comment and encouragement!

  7. tate May 30, 2013 at 10:39 am #

    of course! so glad I could help… let me know if you have any questions!

  8. sandie June 7, 2013 at 3:32 am #

    Other websites I’ve looked at have very complicated maths so I’m a bit worried as your way seems much easier! But do you mean your divide your waist measurement by four?

  9. sandie June 7, 2013 at 3:34 am #

    Other websites I’ve looked at to make a circle skirt have very complicated maths so I’m a bit worried as your way seems much easier! ( Thankfully) But do you mean your divide your waist measurement by four?

  10. tate June 13, 2013 at 12:00 pm #

    glad it’s clear!

    the waist part is confusing sorry- you have to take your waist measurment (say 30″) and divide it by 4 (7.5″) because the fabric is folded in quarters…. I always just take the measurement and hold that amount on a measuring tape and use that to draw the 1/4 circle. Hope that helps!

  11. Meg June 23, 2013 at 12:16 am #

    Just made this circle skirt from a cotton bedsheet that I was going to throw away!

    Overestimated my waist because I wanted an elastic waist and then I forgot that the fabric was folded four times and then that I would cut down 5″ to create the waist so my 1 1/2 allowance was wayyy too much haha

    However, I just have a skirt with a lot more pleats! And I really appreciate the easy tutorial! Next time I will follow it exactly haha

  12. tate July 1, 2013 at 11:05 am #

    sounds cute!

  13. Lori July 11, 2013 at 10:39 am #

    Hi Tate, Im confused on how to lay the fabric out to create no seam in the skirt… Is 45″ fabric acceptable???

  14. tate July 11, 2013 at 10:47 am #

    I totally get being confused, sorry to say I dont have a super clear answer:

    the fabric size totally depend on how long you want it and how big your waist is… the floral skirt in my picture was 60″ and I am typically a size medium… it is pretty short. you can measure and draw it all out before you buy the fabric to know how much you need… often apparel fabric is 60″ though.

    if you really want to use 45″ fabric you can sew two pieces together or use the gathered skirt tutorial I made- http://www.tatecreates.com/easy-diy-gathered-skirt/

  15. Lori July 11, 2013 at 10:54 am #

    My daughter is having me make several skirts for a event. waist range from 25″ to 28″ . Thank you for the info I will look at your other site as well. Thank you for getting back to me so promply… :) Happy sewing…

  16. Alexus July 16, 2013 at 11:58 am #

    How many yards of fabric did you need?

  17. tate July 16, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

    it totally depends on how long you want it and how big you are… I tend to be a size medium and the floral skirt from this post used a little less then 2 yards- it is VERY short though :) (I started with a piece of fabric 60″x 60″)

  18. Alexus July 16, 2013 at 12:41 pm #

    Thank you so much!(:

  19. tate July 16, 2013 at 12:49 pm #

    of course! good luck!

  20. Jen July 16, 2013 at 10:20 pm #

    Do we need a certain type of fabric or is there certain ones that work best? Like stretchy fabric or thicker fabric or something like that?

  21. AzshaMH July 18, 2013 at 8:33 pm #

    For the waist part I understand that you have to divide your total amount by four….but after that how to you apply the divided measurement to the piece of fabric. Also how exactly do you apply the waistband part……(how do you cut it out? how do you fold it?etc.)

  22. Kate July 20, 2013 at 3:55 am #

    i was wondering if u know a way to add an elastic waistband to the skirt

  23. tate July 22, 2013 at 9:38 am #

    really any fabric works, it just depends on what you want it to look like. The floral one in this post is a super drapey satin and looks pretty different from the olive green stiff velvet one. That is the fun of this pattern! (neither of these have any stretch)

  24. tate July 23, 2013 at 8:59 am #

    Hey Kate- I sometimes add elastic into the waistband (so it isn’t exposed). To do that cut elastic a little smaller then your actual waist (like 1/2 in smaller) and between steps 5 and 6 feed the elastic through the waistband (I use a safety pin to help) and tack the ends down before putting in the zipper. If you want an elastic waist with no zipper I suggest making a gathered skirt instead of a circle skirt, it would be easier.

    I will totally try to get a tutorial up for a gathered circle skirt (elastic waist) though soon, that is a great suggestion.

  25. Nicole July 26, 2013 at 2:26 pm #


    I was wondering if you could clarify stuff about the waist band and zipper and stuff, that would be wonderfull! I can’t seem to find many things at stores that fit me correctly and that i wanted to wear, so i was going to get back into sewing. This is by far the best explanation of how to make a circle skirt that I have found. Thanks, and great work!

  26. Thea September 16, 2013 at 3:01 pm #

    Hi, thank you so much for the instructions! Only problem for me is that I’m confused slightly on the waistband – the equation for it is freaking me out (for some reason). You’re multiplying your waist measurement by 21 and then dividing it by 2? Or is it multiplying by 21 for the length and the width is 2″? Sorry to be so confusing.
    Thank you!

  27. Leanne September 16, 2013 at 11:48 pm #

    This was a very difficult tutorial to understand. I folded my fabric in quarters and came out with 2 very short attached by a tiny piece of fabric skirt. Not a very good tutorial, please learn to be clear and concise =/ I ruined the only fabric I had to practice on as I used your tutorial over other people’s…

  28. Grace Butler September 18, 2013 at 8:08 pm #

    this is really helpful, ive been trying to find something like this. but i have a question about the lengths of the skirt. so the actual length is how long you want it + 11 inches, divided by 2? and the waist is + 21, then divided by 2? thx so much for posting this. really helpful!

  29. Emily November 17, 2013 at 10:36 pm #

    This is a wonderful tutorial! Thank you! along with some of the posters above me, I’m a bit confused about the waistband as well – how do you cut it and more importantly, how do you attach it on the circle skirt? alittle clarification there would be wonderful!

  30. Marcquessa December 6, 2013 at 11:08 am #


    I just made my first circle skirt, yah! However, my hem looks NASTY. I can’t figure out how to get the folds in my hem. How did you make your hem so pretty?

  31. Beth December 28, 2013 at 7:14 pm #

    This looks very straight forward – I will be helping my 14 year old make this. Like one of your other comments, I am hopeful you have advice about hemming a curve so that it will look nicely finished. Thanks for your advice.

  32. tate January 14, 2014 at 12:27 am #

    Hi all, since there are so many questions about this whole process (from buying fabric, cutting, and finishing) I have been working on a series of short videos to help explain everything clearly… please keep an eye out for that soon!

    thanks, Tate

  33. sarah mae February 26, 2014 at 11:31 pm #

    hello tate! i love it! this is so amazing..

  34. Kelsey March 13, 2014 at 5:23 pm #

    These are great instructions! My high school is doing Grease for our spring musical, and I was having trouble finding the right kind of skirt. (Everything was either too expensive or a cheesy poodle skirt.) This makes the perfect stage costume as well as a skirt I can wear out in public. Thanks for the idea!

  35. tate March 25, 2014 at 12:49 pm #

    so glad I could help! great luck with the costumes and the show… sounds like fun!


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