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Highland - Jig
How to make a full-circle Jig skirt without a pattern (karma: 2)
By rosalinde Comments: 1973, member since Fri Jun 19, 2009
On Mon Dec 27, 2010 01:01 AM
Made sticky by TheMidlakeMuse (78507) on 2010-12-27 19:07:54 stickified!

This is a simple tutorial for those dancers who need a simple full-circle Jig skirt but don't feel like having to buy patterns. This works for all ages and sizes!!

For all patterns:
* Add seam allowance after drawing your pattern. This is not included in the maths. 15 mm is normal.
* For plus-size dancers, add 2-5 cm of length to the back. Because these dancers usually have a bit of a booty, you'll need to compensate for the difference in 'curves' between the front and the back of the body. Average size adults can often use 1-3 extra centimetres in the back too. Children and slim teens don't need this.
* You can put elastic in the waist, in which case I'd advice to use the hip measurement as the waist or the dancer won't be able to get into the skirt. The elastic will be the waist measurement.
* If you use a waistband and zipper (neater, but more fiddly), you can use the waist measurement.
* Of course you can use a combination of waist band and elastic to allow for a little flexibility combined with a sleek finish. In that case, take the waist measurement for the skirt to be half-way between the waist and the hips.

What do you need?
* Dancer (just kidding . Just take her measurements.)
* Measuring tape in either inches or centimetres.
* Pattern paper. Preferably with squares, but blank paper will work too.
* Calculator (cell phone will do nicely in a pinch).
* Pen or pencil, scissors.

* Fabric (any supple non-stretch fabric is good), 20 cm zipper and snap OR elastic band (depending on what you choose, see above)
* Sewing machine

RIGHT, HERE WE GO!

FULL-CIRCLE SKIRT
(The drawing is for this pattern)

1. Measure waist of dancer, and required skirt length. (example: waist 72 cm, skirt length 46 cm -- you can also do this in inches, it won't make any difference. It's just that I'm used to the metric system.)
2. Divide waist measurement by 6. (example: 72:6=12 cm)
3. Draw a line on the pattern paper, which is skirt length + measurement you got in step 2 (example: 46+12=58 cm).
4. Draw a 90 degree angle off one end of the line, and draw another line of the same length (example: again 58 cm).
5. Connect the two lines to make a 1/4 circle. I usually draw about 8 more lines from the 90 degree corner so I can easily sketch the 1/4 circle.
6. Measure the amount of step 2 (here 12 cm) from the corner and draw another, smaller 1/4 circle.
7. Add seam allowances to both curved lines. Small circle is waist line, big circle is lower edge.
8. Cut out 1/4 circle. Cut out the small 1/4 circle too.
9. You now have 1/4 of a full circle skirt. My advice is to draw another 1/4 skirt and tape it to the original pattern piece so you have a 1/2 circle.
10. Place the 1/2 circle pattern on the fold of the fabric and cut out. You now have a full-circle skirt.
11. For ELASTIC WAIST: fold over waist to make a little tunnel. Thread through the elastic. Hem the bottom of the skirt.
12. For WAIST BAND: Cut strip of fabric of waist length + 5 cm. Cutting it on the bias will give a bit of stretch, but this is not totally necessary. Cut 20 cm slit down from waist seam for zipper. Stitch waist band to the waist line (extra 5 cm will give overlap to attach the snap). Put in zipper. Hem bottom of the skirt.

10 Replies to How to make a full-circle Jig skirt without a pattern

re: How to make a full-circle Jig skirt without a pattern
By booverly Comments: 1980, member since Fri Jul 02, 2004
On Tue Dec 28, 2010 10:49 AM
Great instructions rosalinde! I'm glad it's a sticky. karma for you!

I'd like to add two more things:

1) I like the instruction to add a few more inches to the backside of larger dancers, but would like to point out that if your front is larger that your backside, add the extra length there instead. I've even met dancers whose hips are larger so the extra length went on the sides.

2) You can use this skirt on a national dress instead of a gathered skirt. Just substitute the bodice waist measurement for the skirt waist measurement and sew the two together.
re: How to make a full-circle Jig skirt without a pattern
By kaykay6 Comments: 246, member since Thu Apr 03, 2008
On Wed Dec 29, 2010 12:19 AM
and if you like it a bit fuller join in extra 1/2 circles - my oldest DD has two full circles in her jig skirt.
re: How to make a full-circle Jig skirt without a pattern
By Ainsmom Comments: 56, member since Tue Feb 10, 2009
On Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:12 PM
Does anyone have a photo of the skirts they've made using this pattern (especially if you added circle to it for a more full look)? Thanks!
re: How to make a full-circle Jig skirt without a pattern
By their_best_fan Comments: 308, member since Mon Oct 24, 2005
On Tue Aug 23, 2011 10:11 AM
Nice detailed instructions.

I've made jig skirts like this, but I make the waist about 3 times the hip and gather it on a waistband. I also use 3 pieces about 120 degrees of a circle so I can put the opening in the back and not get a seam in the center front. I also use 2 layers of fabric so there's one color inside and one outside.
re: How to make a full-circle Jig skirt without a pattern
By Remi76 Comments: 20, member since Wed May 02, 2012
On Mon May 07, 2012 06:33 PM
Love this! Thanks for posting it.
re: How to make a full-circle Jig skirt without a pattern
By sew_what Comments: 113, member since Mon Mar 18, 2013
On Fri Apr 12, 2013 02:28 AM
great instructions. I made a circular skirt on my daughter's national dress so that the waist wasn't so bulky but the fullness was still there. The only thing I don't like about them is that if you are going to have a large hem it is a bit tricky to do.
re: How to make a full-circle Jig skirt without a pattern
By hdgirls5 Comments: 131, member since Wed Feb 22, 2012
On Thu May 08, 2014 04:23 AM
Great instructions! Saved myself a ton of money making my own and it was great highland bonding with my girls. Very easy to make. I had two complete skirts, aprons and cummerbunds made in less that 5 hrs. THANK YOU!
re: How to make a full-circle Jig skirt without a pattern
By dancingnatalie Comments: 28, member since Fri Apr 18, 2014
On Sat May 24, 2014 09:47 PM
Thank you so much! This saved us so much money and the outcome was amazing!
re: How to make a full-circle Jig skirt without a pattern
By DancrColleen Comments: 24, member since Sat Jan 02, 2010
On Thu Jun 18, 2015 07:24 PM
Also, when you are hemming a circle skirt, you should baste 5/8 inch from the edge with a long machine stitch, and then pull up the basting in places so that the hem lies flat.
re: How to make a full-circle Jig skirt without a pattern
By punkqueeniemember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 1345, member since Tue Dec 17, 2002
On Thu Jun 18, 2015 09:34 PM
There are a lot of tutorials with tricks on sewing circle skirts. This one helped me the most, especially the spreadsheet: www.thesnugbugmercantile.com . . .

I used it to make the skirt and underskirt on my white dress. The skirt is a full circle and the underskirt is 3/4 circle so it's harder to grab them both at once.

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