How to make a half circle skirt

Happy Spring Everyone! It’s time so get out those pretty colorful fabrics that you have been storing or eyeing all winter and start making some skirts. I have a few full circle skirts in my closet that I rarely wear because they are a bit too full. I think they work well for certain people but for my body type, circle skirts make me feel and look bigger than I care to appear. I like the half circle skirt pattern because it is less full and accents my body shape better. The overall style is less subtle than the full circle skirt.

For this tutorial I used a rayon cotton blend fabric. With the flowing nature of the half circle skirt, I think soft fabrics work best. The pattern gives the skirt a natural twirl which is hard to get with regular weight cotton without having a bulky appearance. Knit fabrics should work well for this pattern as well. This pattern also has a natural waist wide elastic band which is easy to sew and looks like a normal interfaced band but without the zipper. I hope you enjoy the tutorial.


The side and the back has a nice amount of bounce and twirl without looking too bulky like the full circle skirt. I also like the knee length. It works perfectly for work or a date night.


Your Supplies

1-2 yards of rayon, knit or light cotton fabric
1.5″ wide elastic x waist measurement long

There is a bit of math involved in getting the correct measurements but I promise its super easy. You need two measurements; l for the length minus 2″ since you will be making a waist band and r which is the radius. I wanted my length to be 20″ so my l was 18″ and my waist was 33″ so my r calculated at  10.5″. See the diagram below on how to calculate and cut on your fabric. Remember to fold your fabric in half when you cut.


Here is what your folded pattern will look like after you cut it.


Open it up and hem the bottom. I like doing a 1/4″ fold and then another 1/2″ fold at the bottom.

IMG_3310 IMG_3311

Lets now make the band. Cut a piece of fabric 3.5″ wide by waist measurement long.


Fold in half and iron.


Sew the folded band to the waist of your skirt right sides together. Serge or zig-zag the ends.

IMG_3316 IMG_3315

Using a pin, thread your elastic through the band.


Next, you will sew the sides of the skirt right sides together all the way up through the band. Sew a few additional stitches on the band so that the elastic is nice and tight.


Iron down the band neatly. (sorry this image is upside down).


That’s it, you are done!


 Thank you and happy sewing!




  1. anneweaver1974 says:

    Perfection!! The half circle creates such a beautiful line. I also find a full circle skirts tend to have too much fullness for me. I've got a Craft Gossip post scheduled for later today that links to your tutorial:
    My recent post Tutorial: April Showers Tote

  2. Look how cute this skirt is…and cute on you too!!
    Love it.
    I might have to try one for myself…..

  3. Catherine says:

    You wouldn't need elastic if you cut the waist band the size of your waist

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  4. Catherine says:

    (Sorry, the balance of my response was cut off) as the band won't expand enough to get the skirt on! Enlarge the width of the band and add 1/2 inch seam allowance.

  5. debycoles says:

    I'm not sure about how this skirt goes on and off. If I cut the waist band the size of my waist, even if I add elastic to the inside of it, the fabric won't stretch enough to pull on over my hips. And the same with the piece for the skirt. If I cut a hole to fit my waist, how will I get it on without a zip? You must have got it on though, because you say you used a rayon cotton blend which I assume doesn't stretch. How did you get your waist band over your hips?

    • stitchscientist says:

      I didn\’t have any problems getting the skirt on at all but I see your point. I am working on adjusting the tutorial. Thanks for your comments.

      • debycoles says:

        It's my own damn fault for eating so many donuts and having hips that are SO much larger than my waist!
        My recent post Toddler Dry Erase Coloring Placemat

        • stitchscientist says:

          Like I said, I will work on fixing the tutorial either by creating a zipper or by doing a feed-in elastic so that it stretches. I am not an expert seamstress like yourself and I am learning everyday. I appreciate your pointing it out to me. It fits me fine and didn't realize others may have difficulty putting it on. It is my hope that one day, I can be just as efficient like you and wouldnt have these issues. I love all of your patterns and you have been an inspiration to me! Thank you.

      • Rosemary Pohl says:

        The skirt part will stretch because it is cut on the bias……..

  6. I was wondering how do you (I) know where to stop drwaing that side cutting line?

    • My guess would be that at about hip length (7 inches or so down from the waist) then measure the hip line and make sure that it is at least your hip measure plus some ease. If not then make the cutting line larger (not length line but the partial circle line).

  7. The way I always was taught with pull on skirts is that they have to be pulled up over the hips to get them on, so feasibly they should be able to go over the hips. Technically that means that the waist should be the hip measurement especially if it is non-stretch fabric.

    • If you waist is somewhat smaller than your hips then you might try putting you skirt on over your head as
      I do. It is not always possible to pull them over my hips when I fit the waist properly.

  8. I would recommend the way to do this so you could get it on easily would be to choose a measurement to use for your waist that can easily be pulled on over your hips (e.g. make a circle out of the measuring tape and find a measurement that can slide on over the widest part of your hips) then attaching a waistband of the same circumference and threading it with elastic to fit your waist (creating a semi-gathered waistband sort of thing–there are probably tutorials online for this but I haven't really looked). For me, the measurement I cut the opening to ended up being about 10 inches more than my waist measurement, meaning that if I had used a non-stretchy fabric cut to the actual size of my waist there is no way that I could feasibly get into the skirt. I have also heard of people putting them on over their heads if you can get your shoulders through it and just don't want to bother with the elastic/zipper, or if you are attaching a bodice to make a dress, although in this case I would make the waist a little bit bigger than necessary.

    Or you could just use stretchy fabric :)

  9. If you were able to get it on quite easily without stretch fabric I am guessing that you were wearing and measuring it at the top of your hips (where hip-hugger jeans sit) rather than your natural waist, as there should be a considerable difference in those measurements. I couldn't really tell from the pictures though, so I'm not sure about this. A lot of people prefer to wear their skirts this way rather than high-waisted, so you could probably get away with this if your fabric has just a tad bit of give to it.

  10. No matter what we are planning to make but we can make and built anything only with confidence. As said that "Everything that done in this world only done with hope". So we should do be confident at every stage of life.

  11. My understanding is that even if you use a non stretchy fabric in this pattern, the fact that you are using it diagonally gives it some mechanical stretch. It is called ‘bias’. For some bodies, that might be enough stretch to pull it on. Others might need to allow for their hips / waist. I love this design and made a few wrap around versions too.

    Cheers, Anna.

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  12. Hiya, I'm a complete novice so please excuse the basic nature of my question! When you attach the waistband, do you sew the folded part of it it on to the top of the skirt?

  13. Once you have folded and pressed the waistband into a narrow strip, line up the long cut edges with the top of the skirt. After, you could zig zag over the edges all together. This will prevent fraying

  14. ana maria says:

    Thankyou! Have just made one and only took 1.5 hrs, very pleased with result and plan on making another!

  15. Thank you . This looks like a flattering skirt for many body types. I'm anxious to try it.

  16. Kay Edwards says:

    I like the idea to not use a zipper . This is great for sewers who are not experienced sewers , who may hate sewing on zippers.

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