Circle skirt calculator – A ready reckoner for making circle skirts

Measure, calculate and cut fabric the right way to make a circle skirt - Cut Full, half and quarter circle skirts and even from less fabric.
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When you want a flared full skirt, nothing better than a circle skirt. A full circle skirt block is a big circle with a small circle cut off from the inside. And what a flare this shape gives to the skirt! Here is a tutorial for different ways to cut a circle skirt – an easy circle skirt calculator.

Circles one inside the other - the basic pattern to make circle skirt

A circle skirt is your best way of making a very full skirt, without adding any bulk at the waist. So in my mind, the best way of making a full skirt.

But there are some caveats. Choose a flowy fabric to sew the circle skirts and also one without any directional prints. No stripes, absolutely no stripes.

There sure are many other ways to make skirts -check out the skirt making tutorials here.

Similar posts : Sew a long flared skirt; Sew a full length skirt; Sew an A-line skirt; Sew a pencil skirt; Sew a mini skirt .

circle skirt will look like a doughnut with a center hole when it is laid out flat

Check out this post for some beautiful patterns (16) to make a circular skirt from bloggers all around the world

In a circle skirt, your waist is taken as the circumference of the inner circle.

The center hole is for the waist circumference

You can cut out this circumference from a suitably long and wide fabric piece to fit snugly about your waist by finding the center of the fabric and marking the radius of this circle inside. To find the radius when the circumference is given you can use a simple formula.

The radius of a circle = Circumference of the circle (your waist round) divided by 6.28

Circle skirt calculator

Full circle skirt

You can make a circle skirt very easily with the following dimensions, on the above principle.

Measure the area where you will tie your skirt, using a tape around your torso. Take this as A

Divide A/6.28. Take the result as B

Add 1/2 inch to B ( for seam allowance at waist); Take this as C; C is your radius

folding sequence for drafting a circle skirt


Take a fabric measuring twice the length of the skirt you want plus C. Ie if you want a skirt of length 20 inches and you got C as 6 , then 2 * ( 20+6) = 52 inches + hem allowance of 1/2 inch is the width as well as length of the fabric you need to cut your skirt from.

To construct a full circle skirt, Fold the fabric once by the middle, then again vertically resulting in the fabric having 4 layers.

Keep the tape along the tip of the corner and mark C ( you will get a curve); this is the marking for your waist.

Mark the waist and the hem of the circle skirt

Now from the waistline, mark the length of the skirt+ hem allowance all along the fabric (again in a curve)

Cut it out. You will get this doughnut shape which is your full circle skirt.

Cut out on side seam to attach a zip opening.

Full circle skirt from less wide fabric

Most of the time, as an adult, you will need a skirt of at least some 25 inches length and that means you will need a fabric with a width of at least 60 inches to construct a full circle skirt. So what do you do if you do not have this wide fabric? And you do not want the not-so-attractive-seam along the face of the skirt (when you join extra fabric it shows)

You can get the same flare with the skirt by using the same formula but cutting 2 skirt pieces and then joining. Yes, there will be two seams to this full circle  skirt instead of one but you will get the same flare that you wanted from full circle skirts.

Cut 2 half circles joined to form one full rose

To make this skirt Fold the fabric by half ( do not fold again as you do with wider fabric) and then measure from the tip and cut out as usual.

Folded fabric with the waist circumference marked at Y ; X-Y = waist circumference divided by 6.28


This will give you two fabric pieces which will look like this.

Join one seam fully and the next seam partially to attach a zipper.

join the 2 half circles

Another method, When fabric is not wide enough

The disadvantage of a full circle skirt is that you never get a long enough skirt when sewing with fabric having normal widths like 36 inch or 44 inch. If you want to sew circle skirts from your normal width fabrics (44″ or 36″) you will have to add extra fabric along the selvages to increase the width ( and thus increase the length of the skirt).

circle skirt calculator whenless fabric is there

You can find instructions on how to go about this in this tutorial to make a full length skirt.

how to sew a full length skirt

Half circle skirt

If you do not have much fabric and you are ok with a less flared skirt you can make the half circle skirt. Simply change the formula a little bit and cut out your radius the same way as earlier.

The formula is as follows

Radius  of the circle “C” = waist circumference divided by 3.14

Just mark this from the tip of the corner as you did earlier and you will get your half circle skirt.

Quarter circle skirt

To draw a pattern for a quarter circle skirt you have to take a fabric piece and mark the following dimensions. You have to cut out the waist portion x-y equaling 2 times the waist circumference divided by 3.14.

quarter circle skirt - mark waist on y ; x-y = 2 * waist circumference divided by 3.14


Gathered circle skirt

If you want to give your waistline some more ease than in a normal circle skirt use this calculation. (The difference is that instead of 6.28 you divide the waist circumference by 4)

Measure the area where you will tie your skirt, using a tape around your torso. Take this as A

Divide A/4. Take the result as B

Add 1/2 inch to B ( for seam allowance at waist); Take this as C; C is your radius

Everything else is same as earlier described.

How to cut out a circle ruffle for your skirts

A flounce is a circle shape fabric piece added as trim to fabric edges. Check out the post on flounce for more detail.

Related post: Sew a reversible full skirt.

diy reversible skirt


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Author: Sarina Tariq

Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.

11 thoughts on “Circle skirt calculator – A ready reckoner for making circle skirts”

    • The explanation was very l will have confidence on making a full circular skirt. Thank you very much.

    • Doing the half method would probably work best for adding pockets (so they can attach right into the seams), or you could cut from the waist down and then just have a seam above the pocket.

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