How to Make Your Own Whirling Spinning Skirt

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Belly dancers wear fitted tops and long, full skirts. Now you can have your own!
Belly dancers wear fitted tops and long, full skirts. Now you can have your own! (Image: Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Whether you want to be a belly dancer or you just want a full skirt for everyday wear, you can make one with minimal sewing skills. Design your own pattern so it fits your body perfectly and lets you spin and twirl to your heart's delight. Choose lightweight fabrics in bold colors for a skirt that is as entertaining to watch as it is to wear. Add a pair of ankle bracelets and some sparkly makeup and you're ready for any dancing occasion.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Yarn
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Push pin
  • Fabric
  • Large cutting surface
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Quilt binding

Measure the distance from your hip to the floor, going down your leg. Add 4 inches to this measurement and call it measurement A.

Tie a length of yarn around a pencil, leaving the other end of the yarn still attached to the ball or skein. Measure the yarn until it is the same as measurement A, then add one more inch and cut the yarn with scissors.

Lay out your skirt fabric on the table in front of you with the wrong side facing up. Position the free end of your yarn so that it is in the center of the fabric, and poke a push pin through the tail of the yarn, 1 inch in from the end. Pull the other end of the yarn (the one attached to the pencil) taut.

Hold down the push pin with your left hand and hold the pencil with your right. Use the yarn to guide you like a giant compass and draw a circle on the fabric; the radius of the circle is measurement A.

Cut the yarn down so that the distance from the push pin to the pencil is 4 inches. Draw a second, inner circle on the fabric using a 4-inch radius.

Cut the inner circle entirely out of the fabric using scissors. Cut around the larger circle so you have what resembles a big fabric doughnut. Cut a slit up the doughnut's side from the outer edge to the inner edge.

Finish the edges of the fabric with your sewing machine. To do this, fold the cut edges of the fabric toward the wrong side of the fabric by 1/4 inch then 1/4 inch again and sew a seam to hold the hem. Do this for the inner and outer circles as well as the sides of the slit you cut.

Cut a length of double fold quilt binding bias tape that is two times the circumference of your hips. Open up the binding and sandwich the inner circle of the fabric inside its fold. Center the binding on the skirt so the tails hang out evenly on either side of the skirt's waist, then use your sewing machine to attach the quilt binding to the skirt fabric. Position a straight seam along the folded edge of the quilt binding to do so.

Try on the skirt, positioning it so the slit is along one of your legs. Tie the quilt binding in a bow or a knot to hold the skirt on your hips, then whirl and twirl away.

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