Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Paneled Circle Skirt Tutorial

Back with another tutorial!  Someone commented on a sewing forum I'm a part of the other day asking about sewing a paneled skirt and I figured since I've made 'em before (they were actually one of the first types of skirts I've made) that I'd do a tutorial for anybody else who might be wondering about it. 

Oh and as a side note, I wanted to make sure I was spelling "paneled" correctly, and while looking it up I found out that both "panelled" and "paneled" are acceptable.

Spelling lesson aside, lets get started!  The skirt I'm making in this tutorial is going to be an 8 paneled circle skirt.  First step is making the template. I use this site to figure out the measurements I need, but there are other sites out there that give you the formula if you want to figure it out yourself.  The measurements for the skirt I'm making (for my 2T sized daughter) were 3.5 inches for A, and 10 inches for B.

Get your pattern paper ready. I'm making my pattern on freezer paper because I like being able to iron it down on the fabric to cut instead of having to trace it.  Add your A and B measurements together, and put a pin in your measuring tape at that mark.  So for me that was 13.5 inches. Then push that pin down at the corner of the paper and into the carpet.  What we are doing is essentially making a compass, like in geometry class.

Pull the tape so it is straight out but don't pull it so tight that it pulls it up off the floor and pulls up the pin. Take a marker  and put it at the 1" end of the tape.  I just poke mine through the little hole in the metal tip. Then draw an arc across the paper, making sure to keep the tape straight.

Then take the pin out, and place it in the tape at the mark of your A measurement, for me that was 3.5", pin in back in the corner of paper, in the same spot as before, and draw another arc.

Now you have a paper, with two arcs, the smaller one inside the larger one.

^Ignore my ugly lines.

Cut along the outer line.

Now fold it in half, bringing the two straight edges together.

^The blue line is the fold.

Now cut along the small arc, unfold your piece, and cut on the fold. This will give you two pieces like this.

Each piece is 1/8 of your skirt.  If you wanted to add more panels, you could fold a piece in half again and cut on the fold and that would give you a 16 paneled skirt.  You could do any number of panels you want if you just figure out the measurements of the angle and whatnot.  I don't like geometry that much though, so I prefer to stick to simple ones like 8 or 16.   Essentially what we did was drafted the pattern for 1/4 of the skirt, then cut it in half.

Moving on though.  Take your pattern piece and trace it onto your fabric and cut it out. You'll need 8 pieces total.

Arrange your 8 pieces in the order you want them.


Take two of the panels, and put them right sides together and sew along one of the straight edges. Make sure you finish the edge either by serging, with a zig-zag stitch, or pinking shears.

Take your next panel place it right-sides together with one of the pieces and sew along the straight edge.  Repeat til all the pieces are sewn together.

Here are all the panels sewn together.  Now to close it up and complete the circle, line up the two raw edges left, wrong sides together and sew that seam.  For a more professional appearance iron and top stitch each seam.

The last step is to hem the bottom and attach the waist band. I wanted to add a contrast band at the bottom so I factored that in when I calculated my measurements in the beginning.  You can also hem it using bias tape, rolled-hem, zig-zag stitch, or folding over and stitching down. 

For the waist band,  I opted to just sew a wide elastic band to the top. There are tons of tutorials out there for different waist bands and how to attach them, so I'll go ahead and just let you google and use whatever method you prefer.

Here is the final product.....

Now go forth and craft!


Super cute skirt. I love the fabrics you chose. I might make my daughter one to add to her Spring/Summer wardrobe I'm making her.

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