Just Zip and Swish!

A little while I ago, I shared a circle skirt I made out of an old sheet and thrifted zipper. After I posted it, a reader asked for a tutorial on putting a zipper in a circle skirt.DSCN4488

Now, what I’m about to share is neither revolutionary, nor is it even perhaps the best method. But it works for me! So without further ado, here’s how I do it!


  1. fabric, cut to be a circle skirt
  2. scissors
  3. a zipper – I use a 7 inch zipper, but a longer one will work.
  4. thread and sewing machine
  5. zipper foot
  6. seam ripper
  7. iron


  1. Cut into your lovely circle, from hem to waist. Try your best to keep it a straight line.dscn4563
    1. Note: You can either attach a waist band using your favorite method before you cut, or after. You can even attach it after you’ve sewn in the zipper, and add a button closure, like you see in the photo up top.
  2. Now sew it back up!dscn4569 With right sides together, use your machine’s longest stitch from the waist down to where the zipper will stop, about seven inches, and then sew the rest of the way to the hem at a regular stitch length.
  3. Press the seam open.dscn4564-copy
  4. Now pin the zipper along the pressed seam.dscn4567-copy The key is to make sure the center of the zipper teeth line up perfectly with the pressed-open seam. If you’re off, then the zipper will be slightly wonky.dscn4565-copy
    1. In the interest of full disclosure, my zippers may sometimes be slightly wonky…
  5. Now hand baste the zipper. dscn4566-copyWhile you can technically skip this step, I highly recommend it. I always get a much better finish, and the hand basting gives you a chance to double check that the zipper is aligned with the seam. It also keeps the zipper in place even better than pins for the next step.
  6. Now, using the zipper foot attachment on your machine, sew the zipper in place. dscn4560Make sure to sew over the bottom end a few times so it’s secure.
  7. Once you’ve sewn both sides of the zipper, remove the basting stitches.dscn4559
  8. Finally, the magic happens. Turn your skirt right side out and grab your seam ripper. Carefully undo the top part of your seam, the bit that’s hiding the zipper.dscn4562 Don’t rip out any stitches from the bottom of the zipper down to the hem – only rip from the bottom of the zipper up to the waist!
  9. And Ta-Dah! Your circle skirt now has a zipper!dscn4557
    1. If you already attached the waistband, you’re good to go! Otherwise, attach the band and then add a button closure above the zipper.

Hopefully you find the tutorial helpful! If you have any questions, let me know. Good luck with your circle skirts!



Thrift Score!

With summer drawing to a close and back-to-teaching looming, I’ve been sewing and crafting double-time, while I still have time. Over the weekend, a friend and I decided to tackle making circle skirts and hit up a thrift store for fabric.

By fabric, I mean bed sheets. So much fabric for so little money, and for trial projects, fiber content isn’t too important to me. But I found a sheet I really liked, and I’ve already worn the resulting skirt twice!DSCN4487

But I’ll come back to the skirt. Because I found something awesome. Somethings, rather. I found tons of zippers!DSCN4475

Someone must have cleared out their stash, because in the craft section were about 10 bags, with 6-10 zippers in each. Each bag was only $1.50, and I grabbed them all. I found slightly guilty, but hey. That’s the joy of thrifting. You gotta get what you can while the getting is good.DSCN4477

And I already used one of the zippers – on my new skirt! So I ended up getting all the supplies I needed (except thread, which I already had) for about five dollars!DSCN4480

Now, my friend and I were planning full circle skirts, but this one isn’t ’cause I messed up the measurement. But I was able to resurrect it and now have a perfectly respectable 3/4 skirt. Bonus: I realized my error before my friend cut her fabric, so we had a great learning moment. And then I put in one of my thrifted zippers, and a cute button from my stash.DSCN4488

And I liked the blue/white floral print so much that I used some scrap on another project I’ll be sharing soon! Stay posted 🙂