cssa: cutting out

Are you excited? We’re actually to the cutting out portion of our circle skirts! This part is just a matter of laying all the pieces we drafted out and tracing any pattern markings onto the fabric.

Since my skirt is too long to be cut out in one piece (side seam on the fold), I’m using the following layout for the front and back (note the waistband along the bottom edge only needs to be cut once):

If you’re making a skirt that will fit onto your fabric so you can cut it in one piece, here is the layout you would use (note the extra fabric at the bottom to cut out the waistband), cut on the fold along the side seams (eliminate the side seam allowances that we added in the drafting portion):

Additionally, you may be able to play around with the pattern if you use a quarter (rather than a half pattern; like we drafted. Just fold your pattern in half down the center line.) pattern. This would be helpful if you have limited yardage and need to try and fit things in. Just remember to keep the center front line on the straight grain! The waistband will also most likely need to be pieced for this layout (I’ve shown it as half the length, cut on the double). Here is how you’d cut it:

Note that none of these includes any additional details you may be adding like patch pockets; be sure to lay those out as you determine the best cutting layout for your skirt pieces—you want to make sure you have enough material! Nothing is worse (and I’ve done this!) than cutting out the major pieces of a pattern, only to find that you don’t have enough for the details…

Repeat if you are using an underlining or lining for the skirt body pieces.

Once you have cut out the waistband, be sure to trace the center length line and overlap line (1 5/8” in from the left side if you’re looking at the piece right side face up) from the pattern piece onto the fabric’s wrong side. This would be a great point to add any embellishment like embroidery prior to construction. I cut out my bee skirt (which is done—I need to take some photos!), embroidered it, and then started construction. It just proved to be less cumbersome than trying to wrangle the entire skirt and all the fabric at once.

Next: we begin construction! How is your circle skirt coming so far?

September 12, 2011 · 24 lovely thoughts
posted in sewing · tags: ,

NoirGirl September 12, 2011 at 16:06

Ooh these layouts are really helpful! Thanks so much! I’ll be cutting my skirt this week. I still need to draft my waistband, but hopefully it won’t take long. Think I’ll be swapping the fabric I chose with another from my stash because my original choice isn’t enough for what I want to do.

Quick Question: after you cut your pieces and before embroidery, did you need to secure the cut edges in any way to keep them from fraying?


Casey September 14, 2011 at 08:05

I didn’t end up having to do anything to finish the edges of my skirt material right away (I did that during construction), as I was using a fairly firmly-woven broadcloth. But you could always serge the edges (blade down–you don’t want to trim those seam allowances!), or zig-zag to keep things from fraying during handling.

♥ Casey


Blanka September 12, 2011 at 17:37

It looks wonderful!
I have only one silly question… when I fold the fabric, does it mean that I will cut the waistband twice? :D


Casey September 14, 2011 at 08:06

No–just cut it once! :)

♥ Casey


Annabelle September 12, 2011 at 17:57

Okay, I am getting really excited about this! I still need to prewash my fabric, so no cutting for me quite yet.


Faith September 12, 2011 at 19:13

I still need to draft my pattern, heheh. But I bought some embroidery thread today for this project, yey! I’m very excited.


Rachel W. September 12, 2011 at 19:42

I labored and schemed to cut my skirt out of 57″ wide fabric all in one piece. I was very pleased with myself for about four minutes–until I realized I need to hack it into two pieces anyway if I want to add an in-seam pocket! Silly me!

My skirt’s going swimmingly, though I’ll have to make another Joann jaunt to find interfacing. I’m grateful for the pace of this sew-along: it makes me slow down and think of these things BEFORE I’m halfway through and in a muddle!


Casey September 14, 2011 at 08:07

Aw… I sometimes do that with projects! :) Lately I’ve taken to writing down everything I think I’ll need and the big steps so I can envision every notion I’ll need for a given project. Has been saving me loads of little trips to the store! ;)

♥ Casey


Halias September 12, 2011 at 20:59

Oooh, the fun part! Drafted my skirt pattern last night, and am now trying to decide whether I should cut it out tonight, and risk making a big mistake because it’s late and I’m tired, or waiting until tomorrow when I’m well-rested. Tomorrow seems like the logical choice, but I am very impatient.


Casey September 14, 2011 at 08:09

I always vote for waiting until you’ve got some sleep! :) But maybe that’s because I’ve made the worst of my sewing blunders late at night… hehe!

♥ Casey


Elissa September 12, 2011 at 22:02

I SO wanna cut out my fabric tonight, but I need to wait til later so I don’t make a mistake! My fabric SO needs to be ironed too since it’s so wrinkled from sitting here. :) Can’t wait to start…AND I get to use my surger for the first time!

Hm, maybe I should practice using the surger on a not-so-nice fabric first….;)


lisa September 13, 2011 at 03:14

This is super helpful – thank you!

(so we are not making a muslin of this skirt…correct?)


Casey September 14, 2011 at 08:10

Nope–no muslin needed! :) It’s such a simple design (and uses so much fabric), that it really doesn’t need one, unless you feel your design variations necessitate it. :)

♥ Casey


tessa September 13, 2011 at 08:13

great post !thanks for sharing this application. I realized I need to hack it into two pieces anyway if I want to add an in-seam pocket! Silly me!


KatyDidStitches September 13, 2011 at 15:25

Thank you, Casey!

I’ve cut out my skirt (had to commandeer the ping-pong table)…and I’m face-deep in applique!



Vicki Kate September 15, 2011 at 03:23

Mine’s all cut out now! I just hope the plaid is going to match up OK… It should do… I’m wondering about adding pockets. I’ve got loads of fabric, but I think they’d need to be made from Muslin and faced with the fashion fabric – does that sound like a sensible thing to do?


Littlefoot September 15, 2011 at 17:46

I’ve cut the skirt pieces, just need to do the waist now… Still haven’t drafted the pattern out for that! :/

Can’t wait to till it’s all finished and I can get twirling! :D


Amy September 17, 2011 at 00:00

If your fabric is wide enough to cut on the fold, does that mean that there isn’t a seam anywhere on the skirt? If so, how do you add a zipper? By cutting into the fabric and adding a separate piece for a lapped seam? I did something similar for a Christening gown once, but it was for buttons and not a zipper. My fabric is wide enough to cut on the fold, but I haven’t cut my skirt out yet because I’ve been trying to wrap my head around this issue. Thanks for any help you can give!


Indigo Eve September 17, 2011 at 17:31

I will be cutting out the green circle skirt this weekend if I get around to vacuuming the living room carpet ;) (only place big enough to deal with the fabric!). I’ve found that I can save fabric by cutting my two halves separately; position one half doughnut with side seams along the selvage and cut out. Then flip doughnut pattern over and position on remaining fabric with side seams along the other selvage. I’m not sure if that makes any sense but hopefully it does!


Lisa in Berlin September 19, 2011 at 16:21

One more question! I noticed that on the first figure above, the grainline of the pattern is perpendicular to the selvedge, while on the second one, it’s parallel to the selvedge. Is either one ok, i.e. will they both make the skirt drape well? My fabric is big enough for cutting on the fold as in picture 2, with the selvedge on the side, but I just wanted to make sure that that’s “ok”. :)


Lisa in Berlin September 19, 2011 at 16:23

oh wait…I just looked at this again and realized that it wont matter, since it’s a circle.


Brandy September 27, 2011 at 13:22

Well, I have finally gotten the fabric cut out. I can’t believe I am so far behind. Since I am not planning on making the petticoat (well yet anyway), I am hoping to catch up, if you do that. Anyway, I had to piece together the pattern because of the directionality of the fabric, I don’t know why I couldn’t just have half the birds flying upside down. That will however create a seam in the front. I am hoping with how busy the fabric is that it won’t matter.


Meg February 16, 2014 at 10:50

Hiya! If I was to cut the skirt out of patterened fabric, how would I lay it so that it would all line up? Thanks :) x


Care to comment? Thank you ever so much for taking time to share your comment! Although I try to answer questions, I am not always able to respond to each comment individually. But please know that I appreciate from the bottom of my heart every comment I receive!

Previous post:

Next post: