How to Make a Dress With a Flattering Quarter Circle Skirt

The Crafty B
by The Crafty B
11 Materials
1 Hour

Circle skirts flare out beautifully, showing off your legs. Think of the iconic Marilyn Monroe skirt and how gorgeous the flare was. Quarter circle skirts are perfect for all body types and are always flattering.

You might wonder what a quarter circle skirt is and how it is made. The quarter-circle skirt formula uses a 90-degree formula. It also uses the least amount of fabric of all the circle skirts.

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to make a quarter circle pattern, using your measurements, paper, and a marker. You can attach the skirt to a top to make a dress, or just keep it as is. Let’s get started making a quarter circle skirt!

Tools and materials:

  • 2 yards of fabric and lining
  • Zipper: you’ll need at least a 15-inch one for both the bustier and skirt
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Paper
  • Marker
  • Ruler
  • Measuring
  • Sewing machine
  • Zipper foot
  • Serger (optional)
Quarter circle skirt with a 90-degree flare

This quarter circle skirt has a 90-degree flare.

Quarter circle skirt formula

1. Make the quarter circle skirt pattern

Measure your waist and your desired skirt length. Once you have those measurements, grab a large piece of paper. You can also join together the paper with tape if you don’t have a large enough piece.

DIY quarter circle skirt pattern

Fold the paper in half diagonally to make a triangular shape.

The skirt's bottom is a 90-degree flare. I’m using a 28-inch waist and an 18-inch length for this quarter circle skirt tutorial.

You’ll need to add 2 inches of seam allowance to the waist size and divide by 2 to plot your waist measurement on the paper.

For the length, add 1 inch for hemming allowance plus ½ inch for joining allowance, for a total of 19½ inches. 

What is a quarter circle skirt?

Start with the waist on the pattern paper. The measurement is 15 inches in this tutorial. Find the 15-inch span on the paper and mark.

Quarter circle skirt tutorial

Plot your measurements on the folded paper, making sure all the measurements are equal across the span.

Measuring the length

Measure the length down from the waist measurement.

Marking the pattern

Mark across the span of the paper.

Marking the joining allowance

Add the ½-inch joining allowance above the waist. Once all the measurements are marked, cut out the pattern.

Unfolding the paper

If you unfold the paper pattern, you’ll see the back center seam.

Cutting out the pattern in fabric

2. Cut out the pattern

Lay the folded pattern on both the fabric and the lining, making sure they are folded as well. Cut the fabrics out. Cut the lining to be 2 inches shorter than the outer layer so it doesn’t peek through.

Plotting the zipper measurement

3. Start sewing

You’ll need to plot your zipper measurement with at least 1 inch extra at the bottom of the zipper allowance. In this tutorial, I used 8 inches. Mark both the fabric and lining.

How to sew a quarter circle skirt

Fold the center seam over by 1 inch on either side. Have the fabrics right sides together. Sew the seam down the center, from the space left for the zipper all the way down to the hem on both the lining and the outer fabric.

Serge all the raw edges except for the waistline on both fabrics. 

DIY bustier top

4. Attach the top (optional)

If you're making a dress, attach the skirt to the top, with the right sides together. I'm adding a bustier top.

Pinning the top to the quarter circle skirt

Pin in place starting at the center back where the zipper starts all across the span of the waistline to the other side. Sew using a straight stitch.

Insert the zipper from the bustier top down through the zipper space in the skirt. Sew up the skirt hem.

Inserting the lining

Insert the lining by notching the lining at the waist and inserting on the inside of the zipper tape on one side. Pin that side and then the other side of the zipper.

How to sew a dress with a quarter circle skirt

Pin the lining across the waistline and sew right sides together with a straight stitch.

DIY dress with a quarter circle skirt

DIY quarter circle skirt tutorial

While this quarter circle skirt has a bustier top, I hope my quarter circle skirt pattern helps you make your own quarter circle skirt. You have the basics right there.

Please let me know in the comments if you made this and how lovely it turned out.

Suggested materials:
  • 2 yards of fabric and lining
  • Zipper: you’ll need at least a 15-inch one for both the bustier and sk
  • Pins
See all materials

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