make your own 50s circle skirt!

As requested, here are the instructions from the 1954 booklet I used to make my circle skirt a couple weeks ago. What I really like about this particular set of instructions, besides the construction details being quite polished and result in a lovely finished piece, is that the waist opening differs from most circle skirts. The cut-out for the waist isn’t a perfect circle–more like an oval, resulting in the skirt hanging from the waist a bit differently (and in my opinion, somewhat more flattering). I hope you all will enjoy this set of instructions and ideas–circle skirts are super easy and great for the beginner sewist to tackle! I could see these being perfect for the upcoming autumn too in a a cozy corduroy or wool flannel… Plus the embellishment possibilities are endless! (Be sure to scroll to the end of this post for a smattering of ideas.) Enjoy!

[ click any of the images for a larger view. ]

Below is some inspiration for embellishing circle skirts. In addition to these, I’ve see everything from hand painted motifs like bows and florals, to appliqued felt sea creatures (really!). So as you can see, the sky is the limit!

[ images courtesy My Vintage Vogue ]

September 1, 2010 · 27 lovely thoughts
posted in tutorials · tags: ,

Stéphanie September 1, 2010 at 07:29

Indeed, circle skirts are the easiest, most gratifying thing to sew!! I have tones of circle skirts and everytime I get bored of some project I cut a new circle to make me smile =)

THank you for these instructions, it’s always nice to have a different view of something you alreadydo!

m September 1, 2010 at 07:36

Back in the 1950s, you used to be able to buy circle skirt kits…but I’ve never encountered these in antique shops or at vintage shows. Also note the one circle skirt (Lower right corner) that uses the border print at *the waist* and not the conventional hem. Clever.

lap September 1, 2010 at 07:56

I loved this post so much! Thank you for sharing your resources and creating pictures where I can really enlarge them for closer examination. You’re the best.

Jennifer September 1, 2010 at 07:59

You read my mind! I have been dreaming of a cozy wool circle skirt! I just came across your blog recently and added you to my reader. I look forward to reading more!

Becky September 1, 2010 at 08:05

Thanks a lot casey this is great! I have just got a new sewing machine and this is on the list of things to make!
I agree it will look a lot more flattering with a oval in the middle – it looks great on you!
♥ Becky

Fay V September 1, 2010 at 08:56

Thanks Casey – I’ve been waiting in anticipation for this post. I am definitely going to make a circle skirt this Autumn and I will follow your instructions as I do agree re: the flattering waist. Just a little drop can make a world of difference. I was really pleased to see the ideas for embellishment – it’s so funny, I have been playing around with little birds to applique to a more A line skirt I’m making in a gorgeous deep, red wool. I had picked up some prints of little birds on a box making kit in a craft shop and I thought they’d look pretty on a skirt. Vogue obviously agree so I shall proceed with confidence : ) I also love the ric rac trim – I have a weakness for ric rac!!
Thanks as always for inspiring me xx

Holly Storm September 1, 2010 at 09:06

I may have to make one of these. I have a reception coming up (brother is getting wed in St. Lucia) and was just contemplating what to make for it.

Jesslyn September 1, 2010 at 10:12

I’m so excited you posted this! I’ve never made a circle skirt before so to do my first one from a vintage tutorial will be fun! I may have questions for you in a couple weeks when I tackle it so I hope you don’t mind.

Tanit-Isis September 1, 2010 at 11:52

Thank you! What a lovely tutorial—I especially like the waistband cutout. I’ve made circle-skirts before but not for everyday wear. They’re gorgeous… just need to convince myself that I might actually wear one. /sigh

the fabled needle (jen) September 1, 2010 at 14:06

very cute, thanks for the pattern! this is going on my to-do list.

so glad you’re back, btw! :)

Stephanie September 1, 2010 at 14:25

Thanks so much! I have one circle skirt that I bought on etsy but they are so pricey and usually very tiny waisted. I love it and I can’t wait to make my own!


Brittan September 1, 2010 at 18:11

Thanks for the scans!
This is an awesome tutorial!

Paige September 1, 2010 at 18:23

Maybe I’m just weird, but I would totally rock a skirt with an octopus on it. I don’t think I’d do it in felt, but the general idea is AWESOME.

bonita September 1, 2010 at 20:16

Thank you so much for scanning these Casey! As a beginner sewer I haven’t tackled anything really hard yet and this pattern looks like a great starting point!

Thanks again, it’s so awesome of you to share these. ^__^

b. of Depict This!

Victoria / Justice Pirate September 2, 2010 at 06:29

goodness I love me circle skirts. how beautiful this is.

ilde September 3, 2010 at 06:33

This comes at just the right time. I have an old sewing machine that I want to dust off and learn to use properly, so this is just the inspiration I need. Thanks!

Bunny September 3, 2010 at 11:26

I have been wanting a circle skirt (or two!) and can’t seem to find one I like within my price range. Thank you so much Casey for posting these scans. I am a beginner sewer and I hope this won’t be too hard ;)

Sylvie September 3, 2010 at 14:50

Wow thank you for sharing!!

Ségolène September 4, 2010 at 11:21

Hi! I’m a fervent reader of your blog, but it’s the fist time I post a comment (maybe because it’s a little difficult for me to write in english…)I love circle skirts, and I made one 2 years ago. Last week, I made some arrangements to it, because of your post! Here’s the link, if you want to take a look:
And, by the way, I really love your blog!

Olga September 5, 2010 at 10:23

This is what I was looking for, it will go directly to my project list . Thanks for shering!

Maegan September 5, 2010 at 10:51

Guess whose kids will be wearing cute courderoy circle skirts all season??? Lol…

The one thing I enjoy about being in NY right now is the coolness allows you to enjoy courderoy a LOT more.

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