Clothing + Fashion how to sew a circle skirt

Published on May 16th, 2012 | by Guest Contributor

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How-to: Upcycled Circle Skirt from a Vintage Bed Sheet

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by Amanda Brandenberg

Ed Note: We’re thrilled to have this guest post from Amanda Brandenberg of Ninth Street Notions! Amanda shows you how to turn a vintage bed sheet from the thrift store into a super sweet, retro circle skirt.

how to sew a circle skirt

I’m Amanda, from Ninth Street Notions. One of the main reasons I learned to sew was to be able to create great vintage fashions that fit. I also wanted it to be inexpensive for me to dress like some hip 1950s housewife. I discovered that thrifting materials and re-creating them into something entirely different is a great way to cut costs and conserve resources.

Here’s how I’ve managed to combine my love of vintage clothes, vintage fabrics, and thrift stores: A circle skirt created from a thrifted vintage sheet.

What You Need:

  • Vintage flat sheet
  • Vintage bias tape
  • 1/4″ non-roll elastic
  • String or twine
  • Safety pin
  • Marking pen or tailor’s chalk
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine

vintage bias tape

When thrifting sheets, check to make sure there aren’t tears or stains. It’s possible to work around them, but it’s easiest not to. You can find vintage bias tape at estate and yard sales. I found this pack in my mom’s stash. If you can’t find it, use new 1/2″ double-fold bias tape.

1. Take your measurements. You need your hip measurement as well as how long you want the skirt. Then, take your hip measurement and divide by 6. Feel free to round up 1/2″. This is measurement H. Next, add 1 1/2″ to your length. This we will call measurement L.

2. Cut a length of string that is measurement L plus about 10″. Tie the marking pen to one end of the string. Tie a knot at a distance equal to the H measurement. From that knot, measure the L measurement and tie a second knot.

3. Fold your sheet in half width-wise. Fold it in half width-wise again. You should have a square. At a corner that does not have the large finished edge (the part you usually put at the head of your bed), pin the string with the W knot. One side of your corner should have what appears to be a single fold, and the other side should have two folds.

sewing vintage circle skirt

4. Draw an arc from one side of the square to the other. Move the pin to the L knot and pin to the corner once again. Draw a second arc.

5. Carefully cut through along the two drawn lines. You should have a great big circle with a cut-out circle in the middle when unfolded.

6. Make a few marks 1/2″ down around the waistline. Pin the bias tape to the waistline, sandwiching the sheet between the bias tape, and lining up the edge to these marks. Keep the narrower side of the bias tape to the outside of the skirt. Very close to the edge of the tape, stitch around the bias tape, but stop before reaching the other end.

bias tape

7. Cut a piece of elastic to fit your waist, plus about 1″. Attach a safety pin to one end of the elastic and use it to thread the elastic through the bias tape waistband. Overlap the ends of the elastic, pin, and try on the skirt. Make any adjustments to the tightness of the elastic to make it fit. When you’re pleased, use a zig-zag stitch to attach the two ends together.

8. Cut the unsewn bias tape end so that it overlaps the other end by about an 1″. Fold the end under 1/2″, pin to the skirt, and carefully edgestitch it to attach.

9. Finish the skirt by making a 1/4″ double-fold hem. The entire project takes only about 2 hours and $2 to complete.

finished circle skirt

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