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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Circle Skirt Tutorial and a math lesson

I made this Circle Skirt right before my trip to Colombia and then forgot to take it (of course!)  I modeled it yesterday without really styling the upper half - it's my outfit from here.

It's actually a half-circle skirt, which I prefer.  A full circle is just too overwhelming for me, unless the fabric is super drapey.

The fabric I used is one of the Linton Tweeds I got on my trip to Great Britain a year and a half ago.  I figured it was about time I sew one of them into a garment!

Here is a little math lesson that will help you make a half-circle skirt.

I had a meter of fabric and wanted the skirt to be below-knee "midi" length.  To make a half circle as long as possible, I first folded my fabric in half, selvage to selvage (fold is at the bottom of this photo).  Then, I folded one end to the fold to make a triangle.

I used my trusty tape measure like a compass (remember those puppies from 4th grade math??) to measure and cut an accurrate 1/8th circle shape, keeping an even distance from the point at the right of the photo.

So now I have a lovely half circle.  Next, I have to cut a smaller half circle out for the waist.  This is where the geometry comes in.  Stick with me...

Here's my little sticky note of 'rithmetic.  Let me break it down:
My waist, where I want the skirt to sit, measures 30". 
2 pi R = the circumference of a circle, but I'm only cutting out a half circle, so...
30" = (1/2) 2 pi R
30" = pi R
30" = 3.14 R
30"/3.14 = R
9.55" = R
Any math teachers out there?  Do I get credit for showing my work?

So the radius of my half circle to cut out is 9.55", so I measure 9.55" all around from the center fold of the half circle.  (The diameter of the circle is 19.1

After that, i just cut a strip about 32" long for the waistband and stabilized it with some iron-on interfacing and grosgrain ribbon for fun.

I attatched the waistband to the skirt and lining (cut exactly the same as the tweed) and added a zipper in the one back seam. 

In the end, my 1 meter of fabric wasn't long enough for the below-knee length I wanted, so I cut a strip on the straight grain  and stitched it to the bottom of the skirt.  After a  bunch of steaming and pressing, I think it looks nice and adds a bit of interest to this super simple skirt.

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