An ode to the half-circle skirt.

I don’t write lots of odes here, I reserve that title only for those very special occasions that makes me really entusiastic. In fact, the only other post with that title was written well over a year ago, devoted to Colette Patterns.

DSCN3741Excuse my bad posture, but I tried to fit the whole outfit into the picture…

This time I am rejoicing the half- circle skirt. I know there is a lot of talk about the full circle skirt in our sewing community, praising it simplicity, its flattering shape, its versatility and how much fun it is to wear. I am now about to pay homage to  the even simpler, even more flattering, versatile and fun garment – the half- circle skirt.

Half-circle skirt

 If swooshyness is the most important thing for you, the full circle should still be your choice…

Back in the beginning of this century, a hugely popular tv -series aired, showcasing hundreds upon hundreds of gorgeous outfits, witty conversation and inspirstional views from New York City. Do you remember it? 😉  Sex and the City was the name of that series, not to be confused with the disappointing cinematic version sharing the same title…

IMG_0332Carrie and her half-circle.

One garment that Carrie is wearing repeatedly on that show, and with success if you ask me, is the half- circle skirt. The thing is, I thought for a long time that it was a full circle skirt she was wearing, and thus getting thoroughly confused whenever I tried to make one, and it didn´t turn out right.

Unfortunately, I don´t have a lot of photo evidence of my circle skirt endeavors, I can actually only find a blurry one from MMMay´10:

Day fifteenA badly styled circle skirt with elastic waist. It has now gone to lead a better life with someone who´ll appreciate it for what it is… 

I had more or less given up hope in the circle skirt.

Then something changed my beliefs last week. I was visiting my favourite charity shop, and on one of the racks was a creme colored, gorgeous looking skirt practically screaming out:” Sølvi! Try me!”. It was perfect. As made for me. I didn´t need to make any adjustments, it fits perfectly in the waist, and the shape was so much more flattering than any of the skirts I had tried to make!  And then it dawned on me: this is not a full- circle skirt, its just a half- circle!

Half-circle skirtSee the streamlined shape from the waist and over the hips? No excess fabric, and I love it!

The half- circle sits much more flattering on the hip, it doesn´t add tons of extra weight to your figure, it doesnt look as costumey as the full circle, and it requires less fabric. What’s not to like? I am not saying that the full circle is bad or anything, not at all, I love that shape if you for instance is going for a fun 50´s vibe! But for me, the half-circle is just so much more easy to wear.

I am wearing my thrifted beauty as I write, and I am of course planning on making some as well. First up will be a fall skirt made from a plaid flannel, underlined with a rayon lining (I´ll just add it to my FESA plan). The flannel is one of the fabrics I got from my mother when she was de-stashing, so for this project my only costs will be the zipper, the lining fabric and some interfacing for the waistband. Yay!

Green plaid flannelMy plaid flannel.

All right, that rounds up my ode, but I am curious: what are your experiences with the half- circle skirt? Do you love it?


  1. Alana on 11/10/2011 at 12:49

    Anything that can be defined as swooshy must be a good thing!

  2. Sarah on 11/10/2011 at 14:15

    What a beautiful skirt!! You’re absolutely right – it suits your perfectly and what a bonus not having to alter it! 🙂

  3. Stacy on 11/10/2011 at 17:45

    Interesting! I guess I never thought about it, but you’re right. Circle skirts are pretty, but I find them kind of excessive because of all the fabric required. Your half-circle is very flattering!

  4. Ali on 11/10/2011 at 17:49

    Hooray for finding a cut that flatters you (and, I imagine, is easy to make, though you’re a pro anyway 🙂 The full circle would overwhelm me and I’ve been curious about the half circle in my search for drapey, full, but figure flattering skirt (for me, that’s fitted waist-hip). Looking forward to seeing that plaid skirt!

  5. Scruffybadger on 11/10/2011 at 18:21

    How interesting …. the half circle it might be then? It certainly looks good on you. I have recently bought some tartan (with no particular pattern in mind) & am wondering whether I should have bought enough for a circle skirt & have been checking out Casey’s sewalongers wondering if it is for me. I do however think it would over emphasise my hips. So, back (full circle) to where I started, maybe half circle is the answer. I’ll look forward to what your check half circle looks like now!!

  6. Alessa on 11/10/2011 at 20:11

    It looks great on you! I think both circle and half circle skirts have something going for them (mostly because sometimes, I just really want to wear a petticoat) but I think most of the time, I prefer the half circle version, too. It also works really nicely in jersey – my favorite jersey dresses have half-circles for the skirt part, which makes them swooshy and flattering at the same time!

  7. Shelly on 11/10/2011 at 21:53

    What a great find, it looks fab on you! I agree with Alessa. I think both skirts have a place and I love them both but I do prefer the half circle as there’s less fabric sitting over my curvy shape.

  8. Catherine on 12/10/2011 at 10:25

    I am with everyone here that the half circle is wonderfully flattering and still suitably swishy due to its being cut on the bias.Nice find!

  9. Zoe on 12/10/2011 at 12:35

    Ooh, that thrifted skirt looks amzing on you! Excellent finding lady! Can’t wait to see your plaid version, I bet it’s going to be wonderful xxx

  10. Sølvi on 12/10/2011 at 12:45

    I´m loving that there are more than me who are thinking about the half- circle. Here´s to swooshyness! 🙂

  11. […] this post? No? I don´t blame you, it´s been over a year. BUT I´ve finally finished my plaid […]

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