Everybody loves a good circle skirt. There are patterns and tutorials all over Pinterest. Simple! Easy! No Pattern! ALL you have to do is take your hip measurement and divide it by pi and add the length from your hips (no was it your waist) to… hmm… maybe not so easy. In fact, there are actual circle skirt calculators and entire spreadsheets to help you figure it out. How can such a simple design require so many complicated calculations?

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There’s just something magical about a circle skirt.

It’s swingy and happy and flattering on any body shape. Depending on the fabric and what you pair it with it can be cute and summery or warm and cozy or simple and elegant.

If only it was as simple to make one as it is to style one!

Well, now it can be. Because here’s the thing, when you’re whipping up a quick elastic waist skirt, it doesn’t have to be quite as precise as all that. Averages work just fine. Plus, without all the time to measure and calculate and measure again, this skirt can be whipped up in no time!

If you want to understand a little bit about the math behind these numbers, you can read my other post on how to make an easy circle skirt. That version still has an elastic waistband so you don’t need to sew a zipper, but the elastic doesn’t go all the way around so it has a smooth front.

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How make an impossibly easy circle skirt:

  1. For a seamless circle, use a sheet! It’s cheaper, I often like the patterns better, and it’s much larger than fabric off a bolt. I LOVE sewing with thrift store sheets. You can find such pretty patterns and such low prices! If you prefer, you can of course buy new sheets as well, it will still be much more affordable than yards and yards of fabric.
Flat floral patterned sheet laid out on the floor
  1. Hold a corner of the fabric in one hand and use your arm span to measure one edge. With the corner in one hand and the edge in the other, stretch your arms as wide open as you can. Place a pin where the other hand reaches.
Kelli holding up floral sheet between outstretched arms
  1. Using the pin as a guide, fold the fabric into a right triangle. Cut off the excess on both sides.
Fabric laid out on floor with one corner folded up to form a triangle
  1. Fold the triangle in half.
Fabric folded into a triangle
  1. Fold again, edge to edge.
Fabric folded into a smaller triangle
  1. Fold once more.
Fabric folded into a small wedge
  1. Cut your fabric starting at the short edge. Use this length as a guide to cut a wedge with the same length from the middle to the end at every point.
Hand cutting fabric
Hand cutting fabric
Hand cutting fabric
  1. Use your hand to measure the waist opening. Place your pinkie on the corner of the triangle. Stretch your hand open along one edge and place a pin where your thumb reaches. Place another pin in the middle and on the other edge.
Outstretched hand on fabric wedge
  1. Cut where you’ve pinned to create the opening for your hips.
Fabric wedge with end cut off
Circle of fabric with circle cut out of middle
  1. Try on your skirt. If it does not fit easily over your hips, fold the circle into a wedge again and trim a tiny bit more.
Hand cutting fabric
  1. Fold the circle in half, into quarters, then eighths.
Circle skirt folded in half
Circle skirt folded in quarters
Circle skirt folded in eighths
  1. Using one of the edges you cut off, cut a rectangle 10 times the width of the folded waistband. This sounds more complicated than it actually is. Just line up your fabric to match it then scoot it along 9 times. Cut the width of the rectangle to the distance between your outstretched thumb and forefinger.
GIF of how to measure the waistband
Outstretched hand lined up on fabric with other hand cutting it
  1. Wrap a piece of elastic (get your own giant roll of elastic, it’s so handy!) around your waist and cut it so that with no stretching and no overlap it fits around your natural waist (the smallest part of your torso), minus the distance between your outstretched thumb and forefinger.
Elastic wrapped around waist with outstretched hand measuring gap
  1. Fold the waistband fabric in half then in half again. Place pins at the quarter marks. Do the same with the elastic. Pin the fabric and the elastic together at these three points. Place the elastic on the outside (right side) edge of the fabric.
Fabric and elastic with pins marking quarters
Elastic pinned to fabric
  1. Sew the elastic to the waistband, stretching the elastic as you sew.
Sewing elastic to waistband
Sewing elastic to waistband with elastic stretched
  1. Fold both edges of the waistband to the middle, then fold in half. Sew the end together to keep the elastic in position before moving on to the next step.
Waistband with edges folded to middle
Sewing end of waistband
  1. Sew the edge of the waistband. I’ll admit, it’s a little tricky to keep the elastic stretched and the waistband folded as you sew, but you also don’t have to worry about it getting a little crinkly, because it’s an elastic waistband and it’s going to be ruffley anyway!
How to stretch the elastic while sewing the waistband
How to sew the waistband
  1. Sew the waistband to the skirt. Be sure to sew it upside down on the outside (right side) of the skirt so that the seam will be on the inside and the outside edge will be nice. Start sewing about half an inch from the end of the waistband and stop sewing with a little room left as well. Sew the ends of the waistband together and then go back and finish attaching it to the skirt.
How to attach to the skirt
Finishing the waistband
  1. Hem the bottom of the circle skirt. See my post on how to hem a circle for the easiest method.
Sew around the edge of the skirt
Hemming the skirt, first fold
Hemming the bottom, second fold

You did it! Pat yourself on the back and take a twirl.

Vintage dressed woman wearing a circle skirt

Now you can sew a dozen more in all different patterns and colors!

You can use this method to sew them in any size too!

Mother and toddler girl dancing in matching circle skirts
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