So how about a circle skirt? This is almost as easy to draft, if you have a large enough piece of fabric and a calculator. A circle skirt is actually two concentric circles, like a big ol’ flatty donut. The outermost circle is the hem, and the innermost is the waist. Great. So we just draw a circle that’s 4″ around, right?
Well, almost. It’s hard to draw a circle that’s a specific size around. It’s easy to draw a circle of a known radius, which is the distance from the absolute center of the circle out to any spot along the edge. Technically, to find this, you would take the square root half of the result of dividing your waist measurement by 3.14.
(Thanks to Anna-Carin for the quick catch: I want to convert the waist circumference to a radius using the formula C=2*r*pi. Unfortunately, I used a different formula – pi*r*r, aka “pi r squared”. It’s a find formula, if you want to get from a radius to an area, which is when you’d take the square root of dividing your number by 3.14. A decent calculator has buttons for all of this, and the process inside my head looks something like: 4-slash-squiggly-hut-enter-steam-shovel. Squiggly-hut and steam-shovel being the keys for pi and square root, respectively. The later should be perfectly obvious to anyone who ever read Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel. And yes, I’ve gratuitously ‘fessed up to a mistake merely to avoid deleting a perfectly good Mike Mulligan reference…)
In the case of the wine bottles, the “waist” is the neck of the bottle, which goes straight up, so I just measured and came up with a 5/8″ radius. Armed with that number, we do the following:
Carefully, without shifting the layers, cut along the outer line, then cut out the waist. You should have a big ol’ flatty donut looking shape. If this were a real circle skirt for a real person, incidentally, you’d probably have to cut it in two halves to fit it onto fabric. You’d also need to fuss with a seam allowance at the waist, and some form of waist mounting and also a slit at the waist so you can get the darn thing on. A hem would not be a miss, either. After all that, you might have something like this:
You can see the major difference between the drawstring and circle skirts here: there’s almost no bulk at the waist, even though I’ve got a waistband (which adds five layers of fabric, all told – a lot for a doll this size!) There’s an awful lot of fabric at the hem, however. It looks a little short, for two reasons: first, it’s standing away from the body because all that extra fabric has to go somewhere. The nature of circles and cones says that as things move out from the ankles, they also move up – each point essentially falls on a giant bubble around the body. (Imagine, if you will, that your skirt hem is being attacked by a slightly crazed spirograph…) Secondly, this skirt was cut to be ankle length on a doll who is permanently set to wear killer heels, since ankle length is always safer to walk in. Yes, I know, the doll doesn’t walk. You’ll notice that the thumb of her right hand is also tucked into the the side slit of the circle skirt, which is there so that it will go on over the shoulders. Technically, her thumb is in the placket/hidden pocket (plocket?) that hides the slit. She doesn’t need pockets, particularly, because they don’t carry lipstick and wallets and loose change, but, you know, I like to make the more-than-complete example. It’s an OCD thing….
Now, here’s the huge problem with a circle skirt:
Next: The Secret Life of the Gored Skirt….