Instructables

AutoCAD Circle Skirt

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Step 3: Make the skirt pattern.

First, decide how many panels you want the skirt to have and how you want the circle divided. It helps to draw the pattern out on paper first. I've included the AutoCAD .dwg and .dxf files for two patterns here: one for a full-circle skirt with eight equal 45 degree panels, and a second for a full-circle skirt with four 30 degree panels and four 60 degree panels, alternating between the wide and narrow panels around the circle. There are .dwg and .dxf files for both the full-circle drawing and the individual panel patterns.
I used the second pattern to make the skirt shown here, using solid blue satin for the wide panels and a patterned, lighter-weight blue satin for the narrower accent panels.

In AutoCAD:
Draw two concentric circles. Set the circumference of the inner circle equal to your waist/hip measurement, then set the dimension of the distance between the inner and outer circles equal to your skirt length measurement.

Next, draw lines dividing the circles into the correct number of panels, and dimension the angles between the lines as desired.

You should now have a picture of the whole skirt, with lines representing each of the seams to be sewn. (See full-circle images below for examples.)

To make the pattern you'll use to cut out the individual panels, first add lines for your seam allowances on one panel of your full-circle drawing. Add one circle with a radius 1" less than the inner circle for the waist seam allowance, and one circle with a radius 1" more than your outer circle for the bottom hem seam allowance. Then add lines parallel to the straight-line borders of one panel, offset outside the panel by 1". Trim out all lines outside these seam allowances, and you'll be left with a complete pattern for one panel.

If you're making a skirt with panels of different sizes, repeat this process for each type of panel.

Once you've got the complete pattern for your panel(s), print them out on a large-format printer and cut along the seam-allowance lines.

For some resources on drawing out circle skirt patterns by hand, check out:
http://www.madamexcostumes.com/newpages/ttcostumes.html#circle
http://www.zilltech.com/FAQCostumeCS.html
http://homepage.ntlworld.com/crispin.roche/circular.htm
(These links also include information about constructing the skirts and making simple elastic waistbands.)
 
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