With my recent HUGE fabric haul I wanted a midi skirt that would carry me through holidays, summer and all the way into the autumn. I wanted a simple a-line skirt with no gathers or pleats at the waist. I was aiming for a high-waisted skirt with a contrast waistband. I basically had the perfect skirt clear in my mind but couldn’t find a pattern that would realise my perfect skirt.
I was searching online for some ideas when I can across the By Hand London circle skirt calculator. It’s a fab idea, you insert your waist measurement, whether you want a short, midi or maxi skirt, and whether you want a full, half or quarter circle skirt. You then get a couple of measurements to tell you how to measure and cut your fabric. To make a midi skirt with the narrow fabric, I took about 3cm off my waist measurement, and the fit is just fine.
My only query when I was marking my pattern piece, was whether the ” fabric length” that is calculated for you is the radius and the length of the skirt, or whether it was the total length. On reading it I would assume that it was the total length, but with the picture it looks like you should measure the length after you measure the radius, so this is what I did – sticking to that old adage of you can always cut it shorter but you can’t add it on.
A quarter circle skirt has only one seam up the centre back, so its such a quick make. It took my only one episode of Desert Island Discs to measure, cut and sew (Desert Island Discs is my new sewing soundtrack. I listened to Matt Lucas’ discs whilst making this skirt in case you were wondering).
I then added a 2inch wide black elastic as a contrast waistband. I didn’t stretch the elastic at all as I didn’t want any gathers at the waistband, and the elastic waistband is purely decorative. I then added a 9 inch exposed gold metal zip to the centre back.
The waistband is a little loose, but for a skirt I’ll be wearing in the height of summer, that’s never a bad thing.
When I tried the skirt on I realised the length was much much longer then I anticipated. It’s much more of a maxi skirt then I wanted. Maybe my measurements did go awry. As this skirt’s first outing was on holiday, I decided to hem it at the length it was, wear it as a maxi skirt, and then I’ll consider shortening it mid-calf length at the end of summer. I’m not convinced about the length, if I was designing a maxi skirt I’d make it about 4inches longer, but I think it works well for now, and has options for the future.