I own a small sewing business in Downeast Maine. I have been making circle skirts for a Middle Eastern dance troupe, and some of them come out fine but others are terribly uneven. I am appealing or help to anyone who has experience with long circle skirts made of silks. (Some may be polyester, but most are habotai or chiffon. They dye there own silks, so the finish is already washed out.)
I construct these by folding however much yardage they give me into continuous squares. Using a homemade protractor, I cut the perfect circle for the waist, then cut the bottom. I clothespin the sides (lengthwise and cross grain) then hang for a few days. If I feel they are a looser weave, I mist with water to get the bias to stretch further.)Then back to the table and I recut the circles. Most times material is cut off, sometimes they are still fine.
These skirts can be a half circle up to 4 full circles, depending on the yardage (they are marked in quarter circles on the pile of folded fabric), they are hip to ankle length, and I gather the waist and fold over for an elastic casing.
Judy from Threads and I agree that part of the problem is that waists are not circular, but oval. The dancers tell me that “the sides are uneven” but of course there are no “sides” to a circle–the sides are wherever I put them. (I do sew a label in the back.) Judy suggests that I mark each and every one (uhg) while the dancer wears the skirt, but I’m concerned about labor costs. Does anyone know an easy way to mark voluminous skirts? Or a way to cut them more evenly? Or an easier way to make the waistband on the very full skirts?