Sewing Pattern #3 - All Circle Skirt Variations

Updated: Jul 1

In this tutorial, we are going to be drafting the classic circle skirt. So called because the waistline and the hemline are circular. This makes the skirt fitted at the waist and full at the hem. The pattern is versatile as it can be used to make not only skirts, but also, tops, flounces, trains, sleeves and even dresses.


All Circle Skirt Radius Formulas


A) Full Circle - r = Waist ÷ 6.28

Mathematical Formula

The Formula for the circumference of a circle is 2πr. In the illustration above, if we assume the Circumference of the Inner circle is the Waist, then the formula would be;


2πr = Waist. The Value of π is 22/7 or 3.14. Therefore 2 x 3.14 x r = Waist.


Now we have to find the value for R i.e. the Radius as the unknown value, because the radius is required to draw a circle (or waist in this case) Therefore;

R = Waist ÷ (2 x 3.14) Or Waist ÷ 6.28


In conclusion the formula for drafting a full Circle Skirt = Waist ÷ 6.28


B) Half Circle - r = (Waist x 2) ÷ 6.28

If Half a Circle = Waist, then a Full circle = (Waist x 2) and therefore (Waist x 2) ÷ 6.28=radius

C) Three-quarters Circle - r = (Waist x 1.34) ÷ 6.28

If three-quarters of a Circle = Waist, then a Full circle = (Waist x 1.34) and therefore (Waist x 1.34) ÷ 6.28= radius


D) Double Full Circle - r = (waist ÷ 2) ÷ 6.28

If 2 full Circles = Waist, then 1 full circle = (Waist ÷ 2) and therefore (Waist ÷ 2) ÷ 6.28= radius


How to Draft a Full Circle



1. Use the formula Waist ÷ 6.28 above to calculate the Radius.

2. Placing a tape at the corner (Point 0), mark out the radius from the point going from one edge to the other. This will be the waistline. Label as Points A and B

3. Add seam allowance (0.5inch or 1.2cm) for the waist above the waistline

4. From Point A to C, measure down the length of the skirt. Repeat the same for Point B to D

5. Add Hem allowance below the Hem line.

6. This creates a quarter of the full circle pattern. Place this on 4 quarters of Fabric.


How to draft a Half Circle



7. Use the formula (Waist x 2)÷6.28 to calculate the Radius.

8. Repeat the same steps as above. This creates half of the half circle pattern. Place this on 2 quarters of Fabric.


How to draft a Three-quarters Circle

9. Use the formula (Waist x 1.34)÷6.28 to calculate the Radius.

10. Repeat the same steps as above. This creates a third of the three-quarters circle pattern. Place this on 3 quarters of Fabric. Achieve this by folding the pattern into 4 quarter same as a full circle skirt and cut off one quarter before placing the pattern.


How to draft a Double Circle

11. Use the formula (Waist ÷ 2)÷6.28 to calculate the Radius.

12. Repeat the same steps as above. This creates an eighth of the double circle pattern. Place this on 4 quarters and cut out twice. The result is 2 full circle skirts, each having half the waist measurement. Cut open and Join together at the sides to complete the pattern.


NOTE: that the waist lines are all the same measurement, but the resulting circle patterns vary.


Variations of the Circle Skirts

1. The above method makes a circle skirt without any seam lines. Now if you want to have perhaps side seams or a centre back seam, you have to add the seam allowance to the waist measurement before calculating the radius. For example;

a) Centre back seam - plus 1 inch

b) Centre back and two side seams - plus 3 inches

c) Two Side seams- plus 2 inches<