When making stage costumes for dancers, a circle skirt is a good choice. Circle skirt patterns are easy to draft and the shape of the skirt makes it move nicely on stage, and especially on dancers.
Select the fabric
- Select a knit fabric with significant stretch in at least one direction. For best results, use a fabric with at least 4% spandex content. Ask at your fabric store, or check the website description of the fabric. Here is an example of an ideal fabric for this project.
- For a 24” long skirt for an actress with an average waist measurement (24” – 30”), you will need approximately 2 yards of 60” wide fabric. This is a standard fabric width for spandex knit fabric.
Draft the pattern
- Measure the actor’s waist. Measurement should be taken at the natural waistline where the actor usually wears pants or skirts. This is usually 2-3 inches below the navel.
- Measure the length from the waistline to the point where you want the skirt to end.
- On a large piece of tissue paper or kraft paper, trace around ½ of a circular dinner plate or other disc-shaped object (frisbee, etc.). Enlarge or shrink this circle to match ½ of the waist measurement.
- Using a ruler or other straight edge, draw a straight line along the edge of the ½ circle. Extend the line on each side of the ½ circle by the desired finished length of the skirt.
- prefDraw a rectangle pattern piece with these dimensions;
- Width = 2x the desired width of the waistband + 1”. I usually prefer to make my waistbands 2” wide finished. This means that I cut the rectangle 5″ wide.
- Length = Waist measurement minus 1”
Cut the fabric skirt
- Cut 2 of the skirt pattern from your fabric OR place the skirt pattern with the straight edge on the fold of the fabric and cut 1 doubled skirt piece on the fold.
- Using the waistband pattern, place the pattern on your fabric with the longest pattern edge along the fabric direction with the greatest amount of stretch. Cut 1 waistband piece from your fabric.
Sew the skirt
- If you opted to cut 2 skirt pieces in Step 1 above, sew the 2 pieces right sides together along the straight edges to make one skirt. If you cut 1 skirt piece on the fold, you can skip this step.
- Fold the waistband piece end-to-end, right sides together, and seam the ends together with a ½” seam along the short edge, forming the waistband into a circle
- Fold the circular waistband piece in half, wrong sides together, and seam the long sides with a zig-zag machine stitch.
- Divide the circular waistband piece into ¼’s, placing a straight pin to mark each quarter.
- Divide the skirt piece into ¼’s, placing a straight pin to mark each quarter.
- Pin the skirt to the waistband, matching quarter marks, right sldes together.
- Sew the waistband to the skirt as pinned, stretching the waistband as needed to fit the skirt.
- If desired, serge the seams to finish the skirt.
- No hem should be needed for skirts made from spandex fabric