TUTORIAL + VIDEO: Circle Skirt with Enclosed Waistband

We’ve sewn A LOT of circle skirts together over the years.
Looking back at the original tutorial it’s crazy to compare little Lucy twirling around in a plaid flannel skirt, with older Lucy today (almost 15 years-old) twirling around in another flannel skirt….in front of a white wall. Haah. So many pictures in front of white walls.
Life is flying by! The kids are growing up! I guess that’s why I’ve made a lot of circle skirts. They keep growing out of them.

CIRCLE SKIRTs we’ve made:
Kid skirts
Adult Skirts
BABY Skirts — with downloadable pattern piece
Double-Layer Skirts + Double-Layer BABY Skirts
Costume Skirts
Poodle Skirts!
How to Hem a Circle Skirt
How to Cut Curved Lines

One of the most frequent questions I get is:
You’ve come to the right place!
Let’s do it.

If you’re a VIDEO person, you can watch this project by clicking the play button below (or watch it on my channel here.)

And you can watch the original circle skirt video here:

If you prefer step-by-step photos, here you go!


• 1-2 yards of fabric (cotton, flannel, chambray, lightweight denim, knits)
• 1-inch-wide elastic (I prefer braid elastic–similar to this)

PATTERN: You need to create a “1/4 of circle pattern piece” to fit your waist size (or hip size). See the graphic below for figuring out your measurements. For additional detailed info, watch my video here and tutorial here.

For kids – I would go with the waist measurement. The extra 2-5 inches depends on how gathered you’d like the waistband to be.
For adults – I would go with the hip measurement. Or try the waist measurement + 2 inches. It’s a bit of trial and error since everyone has a different hip/waist ratio.
Fabric Width – It can be hard to find fabric wide enough to make a full circle for adult sizes. If you can find 60″ wide fabric, that’s a good option. If not, you can cut 2 semi-circles and sew them together with side seams. Bonus to that, is that you can add side seam pockets! Check out my detailed video here.

1. Cut out your fabric. Fold your fabric in fourths (fold it in half, and in half again). Place your 1/4 circle pattern piece on the folds, and cut around the curved areas. If you’ve folded properly, you have a full circle when you’re done! For more help see my detailed video.
2. Cut out your elastic, the same size as your waist measurement. You do not need to add any extra length for seam allowance. I find that the elastic tends to stretch just a bit as it holds up the weight of the fabric.

3. Cut out your Waistband Piece: 3.25″ wide x (the waistband circle + about 5 inches of tail) long We need to add a separate piece of fabric for the waistband, rather than simply folding the skirt fabric under (as we’ve done with a simple skirt). If you remember from math class, convex and concave lines won’t lay flat when folded over like that. So….
• Length: Measure around the inner circle of your skirt—the waistband circle—then add about 5 inches to that length. This is how long we want to cut the strip of fabric. We don’t need to be precise with the length right now.
• Width: If you’re using 1-inch-wide elastic, cut your strip 3.25″ wide. How did I get that number? The elastic is 1 inch wide and the fabric will go around it on both sides (it will be folded in half). So let’s give some wiggle room there and say 1.25″ +1.25″ for the elastic areas. We’re at 2.5″. Then add a .25″ seam allowance for each side. Now we’re at 3″. Then add one more .25″ for extra wiggle room as we’re sewing. 3.25″
If you’re using 2-inch-wide elastic, you’ll need to make adjustments.

• Press the two long edges of the strip over 1/4″ to the wrong side of the fabric, then fold the whole thing in half, length-wise. And your waistband piece is ready to go!

4. Attach the waistband piece. Start with the WRONG side of the skirt fabric, and the RIGHT side of the waistband fabric together (I know that sounds wrong in your head, but the waistband will eventually fold over to the right side of the skirt. Note: my fabric does not have a technical wrong or right side. But if yours does, pay attention to that detail)
• Start in the middle back of the skirt, leaving a 2-3 inch tail on the skirt, with the raw edges of the fabric aligned together (unfold the previous creases made with the iron). Pin the strip of fabric around the waistband circle, pinning all the way around:

• Sew the ends of the waistband piece together. When the two ends of the fabric join back up, there will be a tail of fabric on each side. Match the pieces together and mark a line where we need to sew the waistband together (you can use a fabric marker, or place a line of straight pins to guide you). This will enclose our waistband piece for a nice precise fit. You can see this in-action in my video above.

5. Sew the waistband to the skirt with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Sew right along the previous crease that we made, which gives you a 1/4″ seam allowance.
6. Fold the waistband in half (along the previous crease) so it folds over to the RIGHT side of the skirt and pin it in place. Make sure the final creased 1/4″ edge is tucked under as well, so all the raw edges are enclosed.
7. Sew the waistband in place, leaving a 2 inch opening in the waistband. I like to mark this with double-pins so I don’t accidentally sew it closed.

8. String elastic through the skirt. Attach a safety pin to one end of the elastic and push it through the waistband opening. Attach the other end of the elastic to the skirt with another safety pin. Push the elastic around the casing (careful not to twist the elastic) till it comes out the other side of the opening.
9. Overlap the ends of the elastic 1 to 1.5 inches and sew them together with a zigzag stitch.
10. Sew the opening closed. Pull the waistband taut, and sew along the same the stitch line from earlier, sewing the gap closed.

11. Hem the skirt. Fold and press the edge under 1/4″, all the way around. Then fold it over another 1/4″. And sew it in place! If you’re having trouble with this step, watch my How to Hem a Circle Skirt video here.

And you’re done! 
One gathered up circle skirt, with an enclosed waistband.
It kind of looks like a giant scrunchie!

Enjoy your twirl!

Squeeze the Day QUILT

I’m so happy I can finally share this with you!…in all it’s full-size cheerfulness!
This is the quilt I made for the Quilty Box January subscription box.
It’s called the SQUEEZE THE DAY QUILT.

If you missed my last post….I am the guest designer at Quilty Box for the month, so I designed a fun pattern that comes in the January box, along with my SQUEEZE fabrics to make the quilt, plus some other surprises and goodies.

This is a baby size quilt 42″ x 48″, so if you’re new to quilting it’s not overwhelming.
It was fun to take most of the “basics” prints in the Squeeze collection and come up with a simple quilt that uses a FQ (Fat Quarter) of these 7 prints. And then of course figuring out which fabrics to use for the backing and binding is part of the fun as well.

Note: in the QuiltyBox you get all the Squeeze fabrics, but you will need to supply the white background fabric, binding, and backing fabrics. Hawthorne Supply Co. is an awesome shop that carries all the SQUEEZE prints.

I’ve been sharing a bunch of process photos on Instagram this month. And what is it about WIP quilting photos??  They are much more fun to take than photos of a sleeve going into the armhole of a dress. Haah (guess I need to work harder on those WIP garment-sewing photos).
But seriously, it’s been so fun making quilts this year and documenting the process along the way!

This quilt pattern is Beginner-friendly and like my other patterns, I like to include all the details you’ll need—like how to attach the batting/backing, and ideas for the “quilting” on top, and how to attach the binding. I wish I had a video to go with it! (though you CAN watch two IG videos of me sewing these flying geese here…and quilting the top here) But I have quilting video goals for the coming year. And if I say it out loud, I feel like it will happen.

A couple things I tried differently this time around:

1. Spray basting. Some of you recommended this over safety pins. And I was skeptical. But it worked pretty great! (I used the Odif 505 spray) There are a few kinks I need to work out myself…like a couple spots that have small folds that bug me. But I’m sure I will get better with the spray basting next time around.

2. Machine sewing the binding. I actually still prefer to hand sew it…but I was pressed for time, and I wanted to try it out (machine binding is really fast!) I know everyone loves different stages of quilting. And I love that moment at the end where you sit with your quilt and quietly hand sew the binding in place.

This wavy print on the back of the quilt might be one of my favorite parts. At first I thought I’d use the Oranges or Lemons print for the back, and I’d use the wavy lines for the binding (wouldn’t those lines look AMAZING as a binding? Another quilt.)

But I feel like a quilt just speaks to you. I love holding different fabrics next to the quilt top and then boom! When you find the right backing, you just know it. Btw, another great thing about this size quilt is that you don’t have to piece the backing together. It’s just the WOF (width of the fabric) on the bolt. Ding!

Okay, one last bit.
A little surprise! 

There’s a personalized label in the box! Designed by me!
The labels are printed by Jammin Threads, which are really awesome, and so soft.

Was that a long enough post??
Tis the season to be excited about happy colors and saying goodbye to 2020.
If you want to snag box, you can grab the Classic Box (this quilt you see here) or the EPP Box (English Paper Piecing, with a smaller project)

Happy Quilting!
And Happy New Year’s Adam (and Eve….my kids are obsessed with saying Christmas Adam. I love it)

RECIPE: Chocolate Brownie Trifle

This is one of my favorite desserts to make!
It’s such a crowd pleaser and sooooooo easy to make.
Whenever Owen requests it he quotes Donkey from Shrek:

You know what else everybody like?…Parfait. Have you ever met a person and you say, ‘hey let’s get some parfait’, and they say ‘hey no, I don’t like no parfait.’ Parfait is delicious!

Everybody loves parfait…or chocolate trifle, or whatever you choose to call it. Personally I think “parfait” sounds cuter. But I’ve called it Chocolate Trifle for so many years that I’m sticking with the technical name.

A Trifle is a dessert made of layers, so you can really make this any way you like! I’ve made a strawberries and cream version, mixed berries, banana and strawberry. But this chocolate toffee brownie version is definitely the crowd favorite. And I always make it at Christmas time. So if you’re looking for a quick last minute dessert, here you go!


All of these ingredients are flexible. Use more, use less, throw in extras.
This chocolate trifle can be made a day ahead, but if you’re using fresh fruit I would only prepare it a few hours ahead of time, or the fruits start to release liquid into the dessert.

• 2 small boxes of Instant Chocolate pudding (any brand or chocolate flavor)
• 2 8oz tubs of Whipped Topping (real whipped cream can be substituted)
• 1 boxed brownie mix (I prefer Ghiradelli Triple Chocolate) baked and cut into small squares
• 1 cup of toffee bits (Heath bar bits, or break up some Heath or Skor bars)

1. Defrost the Whipped Topping as you prepare the other parts of the trifle.
2. Bake the brownie mix according to the box directions. Cool and cut into small bit size squares.
3. Prepare the chocolate pudding according to the box directions and chill in the fridge till you’re ready to assemble.

This is the fun part!
It’s looks beautiful to use a glass dish, so you can see all those layers. But if you don’t have a glass dish, just use a large serving bowl. A traditional Trifle bowl has a base, so it stands up tall and regal (just make sure it will fit in your fridge!) I got my Trifle dish at Target, but here are some pretty ones on Amazon. Great gift idea for someone…or for yourself.

Grab all of your prepared ingredients:
Brownie bites, chocolate pudding, whipped topping, toffee bits.

First, in the chocolate pudding container, fold in a large mound of whipped topping. This is optional. But I think it makes the pudding more airy and looks pretty to see the marbling of the pudding/whipped topping. It helps to use a spatula for all these steps.

• Place brownie bites in the Trifle dish, so it covers the bottom of the dish.
• Sprinkle toffee bits over the brownies.
• Spread a layer of chocolate pudding.
• Spread a layer of whipped topping.
• REPEAT the above steps till you’ve used all your ingredients.
• Finish the top layer with whipped topping and sprinkle with toffee bits and brownie crumbs.

I can usually get 2-3 repeating layers out of this. And if you have any extras, make a side dish to sample while this chills in the fridge.

Chill in the fridge for 2-3 hours, or overnight.
Then serve in small cups or bowls.