Make A Circle Skirt // Buy Your Fabric

It's time to start the second of my 'step-by-step' beginner sewing projects. The first were these cushions but I know many would-be sewists would really prefer to make their own clothes than their own decor. This project is great for beginners because

1. It doesn't have a Zip or Buttons
2. It's very easy to wear
3. There are different options for what shape and length so you can adapt it to your own style
4. There is a handy 'circle skirt app' to work out how much fabric you need and how to cut it up

PLUS there are loads of stretchy fabrics out there that would work well for this skirt. This first step is instructions for which sort of fabrics will work well, and which will be easier to work with for beginners. Working with stretchy fabrics can be very easy but only if you buy the right kind of fabric. So without further ado let's see what you need to look for.

As I mentioned before when I wrote about fabrics there are two ways that a fabric can be stretchy. The first option is 'knitted' fabrics. These fabrics are formed with non-stretch threads that are then combined together in a way that makes the finished fabrics stretchy. This can be an excellent option for beginners because they tend not to be too stretchy. Look out for terms like 'double knit' if you want something thick and heavier or 'single knit' for something on the lighter side. They should be made from 100% cotton (or other non stretchy material). My skirt is made from a double knit. I have been able to wear it through the summer but it's warm enough for autumn and winter too when I wear it with tights.

The other kind of stretch fabric is made from stretchy materials. They are usually made up from a combination of cotton and lycra (the brand name we commonly use for elastine or spandex). When starting out you will need to find something with a small percentage of lycra, 3-5%. This will give you enough stretch to pull the skirt up over your waist but small enough that it won't fall down again. Plus small stretch means its easier to sew with. Be careful though that you don't confuse the percentage of lycra with the 'stretch percentage'. The stretch percentage of a fabric is how much bigger it can be stretched to and then go back to its original size. Also try not to get something too thin as this also makes the sewing more difficult, not to mention you'd be able to see your knickers through your skirt, oo-la-la!

How Much
The only question left remaining is how much fabric to buy? You will need to decide on what kind of skirt you want to make, 1/4, half or full circle (my red one is a full circle) and what length you want it to be. Then when you have decided head over to the By Hand London Circle Skirt App and pop in your details. All you need to know is you waist measurement and then pick your options. They will tell you the radius of your waist (write this down for later) and the length of your skirt (write this down too). Then buy your fabric and when you have it home WASH IT!

I know there is no need to shout, but seriously wash it as soon as you get it. Stretch fabric is particularly prone to shrinking so you really must prewash it and the sooner you do it the sooner you'll be ready to start cutting and sewing.

Exciting stuff. Come back next week and we can sew it together (It's so quick you'll be done before yo know it). This is what you can expect:

1. Cut Your Fabric and Sew The Side Seams
2. Sew on a waistband and hem your skirt

Thats all there is too it. See you then. Zoe x

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