Sew a half circle wrap skirt – custom fit pattern

self drafted half circle wrap skirt

Sew a Skirt Tutorial series from So Sew Easy. Pattern drafting, choosing fabric, darts, zippers, lining, hemming and more. Everything you need to learn to sew is here.One of the most popular posts on the site was an early one I wrote a long time back now on how to draft your own custom fit straight skirt pattern.   It was followed up with a sew-a-long series of posts for beginners covering every step in detail from choosing fabric to inserting the invisible zipper and lining the skirt too. It's been really successful and ladies have written to tell me how they were amazed that they made their own pattern and a skirt that actually fitted.  The beauty of your own custom pattern – once you've made the pattern once, you can use the same pattern over and over again to quickly sew up a whole wardrobe full of skirts without lots of fitting adjustments needed.

So today, let's do that again.  We'll make ourselves a simple half-circle wrap skirt.  You can make this is a light and floaty fabric for summer, or draft it longer and use a thicker warmer fabric for winter.  It also means, whatever your size, tiny or curvy, this tutorial is for everyone.

I'm splitting this into two articles – this first one will show you how you can draft your pattern pieces in the right size for you, and then we'll follow up with the sewing instructions later.  But I promise, both are pretty easy.

Drafting your custom fit wrap skirt pattern.

Start with this handy calculator.  It works in both inches or centimeters, just don't mix the two.  Enter your waist (or where you want the skirt to sit), your seam allowance, and the length of the finished skirt.  The calculator does the rest and gives you two numbers.  You'll need these to make your pattern.

(This allows for a little stretching on the bias of the waist, and adds in the seam allowance for the side seams, top and bottom.)

Sewing your your self drafted half circle wrap skirt

OK, so if you've been into sewing for a while, you've probably seen a tutorial somewhere along the line for circle skirts, but just in case, I'll show you how to make up the pattern from these two numbers.

1.  Take a look at the largest number.  In order to draw out your pattern piece you'll need a piece of paper at least that big square.  Any paper will do, newspaper, printer paper taped together, brown paper, wrapping paper or tissue paper.  I use this big Roll of Paper for making my patterns and for tracing.  It's intended for use in the spa but it makes perfect tracing paper and is strong enough to pin or sew together for paper fitting too.

self drafted half circle wrap skirt

2.  Make sure your paper is square at the corner and take note of your measurements above.  Let's start with line 1.  This will be your waist.  Mine was small enough that I could use a ruler.  Assuming your answer to Line 1 is 9.5 inches, place the 9.5 inch mark on your ruler at the very point of the paper in the corner.

Swing the ruler to each of the edges and mark at the end of the ruler to get a point 9.5 inches from each corner.  Now swing the ruler round in an arc, each time keeping the 9.5 inch line at the point of the paper and mark a spot a the end of the ruler.  Eventually you'll end up with a dotted arc which is 9.5 inches away from the corner at each point.  Join up the dots to get a curved line.

self drafted half circle wrap skirt

3 – For the second line you'll need to use your tape measure.  Same as with the ruler, check the measurement for Line 2, place that number on the corner point of the paper, and measure along each edge and mark. Then swing the tape throughout the arc and make little dots or lines which you can join up to make a larger arc this time.  This is the bottom of your skirt.

Cut out your pattern piece, we're nearly there.

self drafted half circle wrap skirt

4 – We'll be using this same pattern piece to cut both the front and the back of the skirt.  But this is a wrap skirt so we also need a piece for the front wrap.  We can use the same piece, but make it a little smaller.  Fold your piece in half matching the two long edges.  Crease.  Then fold it in half again so you get quarters, and crease.  Open out the paper and draw a line on one of the outer creases, so you have marked off a quarter of it.  When cutting the third piece of fabric for the skirt, we'll fold back this quarter and make the wrap over piece just 3/4 as wide as the other panels.

self drafted half circle wrap skirt

Now you are ready to cut some fabric and start to sew.  That comes up tomorrow.  Or you can download these pattern instructions and the sewing instructions together now if you prefer.

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Download the half-circle wrap skirt instructions

Download your Half-circle Wrap Skirt instructions here.  The instructions for pattern drafting and sewing can be downloaded from my design account at Payhip.  

If you have any trouble downloading, opening or printing the pattern, please see this post - How to download PDF sewing patterns.

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37 Responses to Sew a half circle wrap skirt – custom fit pattern

  1. Anna says:

    No calculator is to be found. Can you please send me instructions on how to calculate myself?

  2. Janet Hodkinson says:

    Really want to make this skirt but it seems the calculator is not working. Is there another way?

  3. Darci Ravencroft says:


  4. Chandrika Hayes says:

    Hello. I’m very interested in using this method to try a wrap skirt. I think I’m thinking too much into it, none of the pieces are put on a fold, correct? when the front and back are sewn, does that seam become the back seam? I guess I will just try it and see. thank you!

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Please read the instructions one more time, you will notice that the first piece you make will end up being the back. Imagine placing that piece on your back and the rest of the pieces will make sense to you.

  5. Jannett Miller says:

    where is the ‘handy calculator’? Or if you can post the formula, I can do math and figure it out.

  6. Tesha Johnson says:

    Is there a link or a calculator app that will give me access to the calculator? I’m a beginner sewer and do not know how to get the correct numbers.

  7. jane chaplin says:

    The calculator had disappeared. Help!!

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Hi Jane: yes it has. Not sure why, the link is no longer working. Will have to repost this article.

      • natalya says:

        hello! have you reposted the article with a working calculator? where can i find it? thank you!!

        • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

          Hi Natalya, no I have not i am going to re-write the whole thing. The calculator was a link to another blog and the blog went out of business so I had to take the link out. Please follow the instructions on this article and you should be able to do it.

          • Malissa Long says:

            Without the calculator and no math equations there’s no way to know how to calculate your waist to draft the pattern.

          • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

            HI Malissa, this post should be updated the person who had the calculator when out of business. So please stay tuned I will write another post in this space. Thanks for bringing this to light!

  8. Carolyn says:

    Hi there, looking forward to trying this pattern but I don’t seem to be getting the calculator to help me with the measurements. Can you help

  9. Nikki says:

    I’m excited to try this project over the holidays! But I’m getting a “page not found” error on Craftsy when I try to download the instructions 🙁

  10. Maz says:

    Hi, thanks so much for this tutorial and calculator. Love this pattern! I just had one question. I am rather short (ok, very short lol) and chubby. The front length of the skirt measures 40cm, but if I used that measurement at the back, I would barely cover my derriere (sp?), so need a length of 50cm. If I used the 50cm measurement, wouldn’t the front be longer than the back? I am using rayon voile, so it is very drapey. Don’t want to cut out the material incorrectly as I am using two remnants that I can’t get any more of. Thanks for your help and all you do!

    Maz, South Australia

  11. Barbara says:

    While I very much appreciate the calculator for main skirt pieces, where/how do I get the measurements & such for the waistband/tie pieces?

    • pamrezac says:

      Download the instructions for the skirt. They contain the custom fit pattern and sewing instructions (including measuring and sewing the waistband/tie pieces). The sewing instructions are in a second entry, but everything has been combined in the downloadable instructions.

  12. Amy E. says:

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you !!!!!!!!

  13. John R Small says:

    prob a dumb question..sorry…There is an asterisk by the measurements, but I do NOT see the corresponding explanation below? What is the asterisk trying to tell me please? Thank you! (newbie)

  14. Susie says:

    This is such a cute skirt. I can’t wait to try it.

  15. Keri Lyn says:

    Absolutely love the calculator! Thank you for taking the guess work out of drafting a half circle skirt pattern.

  16. Not only do I subscribe to your newsletter, I often find your work in my Craft Gossip newsletter. I hope you realize how popular you are!! A reflection of how well you communicate as well as the topics you choose. I have been sewing for much longer but you have more experience.

  17. Jennifer says:

    Just bought some fabulous Georgette in blush pink and grey just for this, cant wait

  18. Karen J. says:

    Thanks for sharing your talent and expertise with us. Love the pattern and will share pictures when I get it done!

  19. Pat Hoover says:

    I love your patterns and the tutorials are sew easy to follow. I’ll be making my skirt this week.. Thank you very much..

    • Deby Coles says:

      That’s great Pat! Will you share a photo when you’re done? You can upload your project to Craftsy, or send me an email, or share it on the Facebook Page. It makes my day to see something someone has made using a tutorial from my site. Hope it goes well for you.

  20. Ana Perna says:

    Thank you, Deby. This was excellent. I don’t usually sew clothes (my thing is quilting) but this is something to keep, as it may come in handy at any time.

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