STITCH IT: TABLECLOTH SKIRT
» Tablecloth I suggest buying a
few cheap ones from yard sales
as prototypes before cutting into
» Measuring tape
» Fabric marking pencil or chalk
» Sewing machine (optional)
» Zipper, 8" or 10"
» Single-fold bias tape length = your
waist measurement + 6"
» Hook and eyes, button, or ribbon
» Blue painter’s tape (optional)
It’s easy, fun, and quick to make a circle skirt from a
round tablecloth. Tablecloths come in great colors
and prints. You can buy them cheap at yard sales,
online, and at discount stores, and they’re often
100% cotton. I prefer to work with tablecloths at
least 60" in diameter, but you can find one that
will work at every length from “tutu” to “majestic
floor-sweeper.” And best of all, you’ll avoid the most
difficult part of making a circle skirt: hemming it.
1. Wash, dry, and iron tablecloth.
Wash and dry at the hottest settings, then iron with
plenty of steam. You don’t want to be surprised by
any shrinkage later! For vintage tablecloths, wash,
dry, and press as you would a finished skirt, then
check carefully for any minor stains or holes, and
decide where on the skirt you would want them to
fall — the sides are usually the best place for a stain
or small hole to be least noticeable. Mark them with
blue painter’s tape in a big X, so that you can’t miss
them when you start cutting. Also, cut off any labels!
3. One seam, or two?
Once you have your waist measurement, decide
whether you’d like to have 1 side seam or 2. I prefer 2,
so that I can put a pocket on the side opposite the
zipper. These instructions are for a skirt with 2 seams;
alter accordingly if you want just 1 seam. For each
seam, leave 1" for the seam allowance.
Then comes the math: 30" waist, plus 2" ( 2 side
seams), minus 1" (because the waist circle cut on
the bias will stretch) = 31". And, if you remember
your high school geometry, the formula for finding
the radius of a circle when you know the circumference is to divide the circumference by 2π.
31 / ( 2 3. 142) = 4. 93
Round that to 44", and then subtract ¼" for the
waistline seam to get a radius of 43". Find that on
your measuring tape (Figure A).
2. Take one measurement.
To make a circle skirt from a tablecloth, you only
need 1 measurement: your waist. To measure your
waist for this project, pull the tape snugly around
you, where you want the waist of your skirt to fall.
You may want to measure a couple of times to
make sure you have this number right.
4. Make a skirt doughnut.
Fold your tablecloth in half, and then in half again.
Arrange the tablecloth carefully, making the hems
even and smoothing out any wrinkles. Pin the zero
mark of your measuring tape firmly at the pointy
end of your tablecloth-pie (Figure B).
I like to cut a hole in my measuring tape at the right
point and stick a pencil through it (Figure C) — that
way I can mark the cutting line in one clean sweep.
Once your waistline is marked (Figure D), cut it
out carefully (Figure E), and you’ll have a big skirt