DIY Belly Dance Circle Skirt
Any soft fabric that drapes and falls well will make a beautiful bellydance circle skirt. Eg. chiffon, soft satin, panne velvet, soft rayons, soft lightweight cottons, T-shirt fabric. Works for both woven and stretch fabrics. Avoid heavy and stiff fabrics!
How Much Fabric?
You will need 4 x your "Radius + Length" measurement. Take note of the fabric width too. It must be wider than your "Radius + Length" measurement. Eg. Radius 16cm + lenght 93cm = 109cm. You will need 4.3m of 112cm wide fabric. (You can save a little fabric if you cut carefully by lining your 2nd pattern piece on the opposite edge of the fabric to where you cut your first piece.) You will also need 2.5cm elastic the length of your waist and matching thread.
Making the Pattern
Take your hip measurement at the widest part of your hips/bottom (not where your skirt will sit but the biggest part you will have to pull your skirt over). Use the table to work out your “Radius” measurement.
Take the measurement of your skirt length from where you wear your skirt to your ankle. Add 2 - 3cm to this measurement for seam and hem allowance. This will be your “Length” measurement.
On a large square sheet of paper, mark your “Radius” in one corner. You can use a compass or a tape measure and marker. This is the waist of your skirt.
Add your “Radius” and “Length” measurements together. Trace another circle with this length from the same corner of your paper. This is the hem of your skirt.
Cut this shape out and you have your pattern! It should look like 1/4 slive of pie with a bite taken out of the point.
Place your pattern on the fabric with a fold at one straight edge and the selvedge along the other straight edge. Cut this shape. Do this again so that you have 2 semi-circles.
Also cut a waistband. Width = 2 x elastic width + 2 x seam allowance. Length = your Hip measurement + 10 - 15cm. You can use a rotary cutter and quilting ruler or measuring tape and scissors.
You can use a sewing machine or overlocker. Place the two 2 semi-circles right sides together and stitch along the straight sides. Remember to neaten all seams.
Measure the waist of your skirt (careful not to stretch it), then measure your waistband to match adding seam allowance. Iron your waistband in half lengthways, rightside out. open out the waistband again and stitch it into a loop leaving a small gap in the seam to thread the elastic through later.
Fold the waistband back as you have pressed it. Mark the quater points of the waistband with pins or chalk. Also mark the quater points of the waist of the skirt. Match the quater points on the waistband to the quater points on the skirt and pin right sides together. Continue pinning and easing the fabric to fit as you go. Stitch this seam.
Measure the elastic around your waist or hips where the skirt will sit. Thread elastic through the waistband. Pin and then stitch the elastic together making sure it is not twisted. Hand stitch the elastic opening closed.
First you will need to hang your skirt so that the fabric can "drop". You can do this by hanging it on a hanger in your wardrobe for a week or more. If you’re impatient, wet it and hang it on the clothes line to drip dry. Your hem will most likely be very uneven.
Try the skirt on and have someone use a ruler and chalk or pins to mark an even length from the floor. (Standing on a table or chair makes this easier for your assistant!) Or if you dont have help you can peg it to a hanger, making sure the waist doesn’t droop, and do it yourself, measuring up form the floor.
Hem the skirt with a narrow hem or rolled hem or just a simple zig-zag stitch.