Have I ever mentioned how much I like quick, easy sewing projects? Only about a hundred times, right? The other day I was trying to sew (amidst the mess that is our family of seven in between moving house AGAIN) and I just kept running into problems. Like putting on a pocket, only to realize I didn’t like the location, so I picked it out, then sewed it on again, and realized that even though it was now in the right place it was somehow crooked, so I had to pick it out again… And I decided I’d just better make something easy or I might just give up sewing forever.
And so I made a circle skirt for my daughter. In 20 minutes. That’s right, less than half an hour after I started she was dancing around the house, twirling her little heart out. If you need a quick, easy sewing project with instant gratification, this is the project for you!
What makes this skirt quite so fast to put together is the cool fabric I used – it’s the vegan leather from Girl Charlee that I told you all about on Monday. Since it comes 60 inches wide, you can make a circle skirt for someone with up to a 30 inch waist without sewing any seams! Basically, you just cut a donut from your fabric and sew on an elastic waistband. What could be simpler?
And, since this vegan leather doesn’t fray, there’s no need to hem it, which saves TONS of time on a circle skirt. Just cut the edge nice and smooth and you’re good to go!
Less time sewing, more time twirling.
Ok, before I show you just exactly how easy it is to make a faux leather circle skirt, I have to give a shoutout to Delia, over at Delia Creates. She just made some GORGEOUS vegan leather circle skirts for herself and I totally stole this idea from her. Go check out the way she styled them – she always looks so gorgeous and pulled together!
How to make a 20 minute circle skirt:
Start by going to the circle skirt app at By Hand London. Type in the waist measurement and tell it to do the math for you. If you’re making a skirt for a little girl, you’ll want to ignore the length choices they give you – you just want the skirt radius number. My daughter’s waist is 20, so her skirt radius number was 3. I wanted her skirt about 9.5 inches long. This is small enough to use less than 1 yard of fabric. If you make a bigger, longer skirt, you might need 1.5 to 2 yards of fabric.
Fold the fabric in half, then in half again. Start measuring out from the corner that has no raw edges with a ruler. Use the ruler to mark the skirt radius – mine was 3, so I marked 3 inches away from the corner in a curve all the way across the fabric (first curved dotted line below). Then add the skirt length to the waist measurement and repeat (9.5 plus 3 makes 12.5, which is shown by the second curved line of dots).
Carefully cut along the dots, making sure the cuts are nice and smooth. You’ll end up with what you see below (which, when unfolded, will look like a donut). Time elapsed so far: about 8 minutes.
Next, cut a piece of 1.5 inch wide elastic to your daughter’s waist measurement (for me this was 20 inches). Put the two ends of the elastic together and sew with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Open up the seam allowances and sew them flat, as shown below. Now you have a waistband. Time elapsed so far: about 13 minutes.
Put the waistband down on a flat surface with the wrong side of the seam facing out. Open the skirt donut as shown below with the right side facing out.
Now, pin the waistband to the outside of the skirt, matching the top of the waistband with the inner circle of the donut. The waistband will be slightly smaller than the inner circle of the skirt, so pin it on with the excess material distributed evenly. Time elapsed so far: about 17 minutes.
Sew the waistband and skirt together, stretching the waistband slightly as you sew (so it will be the same size as the top of the skirt). Flip the waistband up, and you’re done! In just about 20 minutes.
Alright, the very first time you make one it might take a little longer, but once you’ve figured out what you’re doing these skirts are so easy and so fast! Instant gratification sewing.
I made one in silver too.
Since my daughter is prone to excess twirling, I make sure she wears leggings under these most of the time – I think it looks really cute!
Remember to check out Monday’s post on how to sew with vegan leather because there’s a Girl Charlee gift certificate up for grabs right now – you could make your first couple of skirts for free if you win!