In this tutorial, I’ll walk you through the process of creating a plus size circle skirt using a vintage fabric panel. These panels are a little difficult to find, so I’ll give you some alternative fabric choices as well.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a percentage if you make a purchase using these links. I only link to things I like and use!
- Circle skirt fabric panel (these don’t turn up that often on Ebay, so you’ll have to keep checking. There are a lot of Christmas tree skirts, though, if you want a holiday skirt!)
- OR a vintage round tablecloth (these are easier to find)
- Foldover elastic
- bias tape
Make your plus size circle skirt:
Start with your pre-printed panel. It will look something like this. Joann Fabrics used to sell these, but they don’t anymore, so you’ll have to find one on Ebay (linked above) or from a local secondhand shop.
I always hesitated to buy these because they only give instructions for sizes small to large, and I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to adjust it for a plus size circle skirt. Well, I’m happy to say that it’s easily done!
The panel has instructions printed right on it, which is kind of cool. I decided to ignore most of this, however. The instructions say to cut it in half, sew it back up, add a zipper, and add a fabric waistband plus button. I chose not to cut it in half, and I gave it an elastic waistband so I wouldn’t have to fuss with a zipper.
Use this tutorial by Simple Simon and Co to figure out your measurements for a circle skirt. Fold your skirt in quarters like you’re making a giant snowflake (this is a great analogy from the Simple Simon and Co tutorial linked above).
Add 1/4″ to 1/2″ to your measurement and mark your skirt, measuring from the point (see the blue dotted line in the picture below–it’s kind of light on the blue fabric, sorry!). I clipped the sides of my skirt so that the fabric wouldn’t move while I was marking/cutting it. You want your skirt to be bigger than your waist, so that you can gather it with the elastic waistband, which will allow your skirt enough stretch to easily slip on and off. I measured 7″ down from the tip, and my skirt is quite comfortable. You can see that my line is a few inches lower than the line printed on the fabric, but my plus size circle skirt was still a good length. I was worried it might end up too short!
Now you’ll want to add your foldover elastic to create a waistband. Experiment with your foldover elastic by stretching it around your waist until you find a length that is comfortably snug. Cut your elastic and sew it into a continuous band. You can use a zigzag stitch or serger to join the ends together. Now mark your waistband into quarters, and do the same for the top of your skirt. Match up the quarters on the waistband and skirt, and pin them together. Stretch the elastic as you sew it onto the waistband. Keep it open at first and use a zigzag stitch to attach it to your fabric. Then fold it down and zigzag over it again to enclose the raw edge. Here’s a good guide to using foldover elastic.
And lastly, I added a rolled hem to the bottom of the skirt with my serger. The instructions called for bias tape, and I think that would look nice, too.
Here’s the finished skirt and a few shots of me wearing it: