This page has all the free printable patterns for sewing your own swirl skirt!
Read the fascinating background of how these skirts came to be, on the Skirts Story page 🙂
Patterns are in Adobe pdf format for downloading and printing on sheets of 8.5 x 11 Letter size paper which you tape together and then cut out. The different pieces have different types of dotted lines to make it easier to match them up. Be sure they print out at 100% size not “scale to fit” the paper.
The skirts can be made any size by using the number of gores you need to get the waistband size you want. A gore that’s 6″ across the top will come out about 5.5″ (it’s easier to use narrow seams when you’re matching two contrary curves) so if you want the top of the skirt before elastic to be 44″ you would use eight gores. Allow enough width to pull up over the hips.
(A “gore” is one of the lengthwise strips of a skirt. An eight-gore skirt has eight vertical seams from waist to hem.)
Spiral Skirt 3
One top piece and one point piece sewn together make one gore. The pieces are 6″ wide at the top.
Using one top piece and one point per gore, and allowing for an elastic waistband, the skirt comes out 25″ long before hemming.
Here’s a Skirt 3 in progress, showing the interesting way it looks before sewing up the final seam.
You can make the skirt longer by adding more sections of the top piece before putting on the point, as in this blue version.
Here’s one from the mailbag: Julie says she, “added a 6″ strip at the top to make it longer, and lined it. Looks great! I used scraps of rayon, georgette, and one of those big challis scarves that was popular in the 80s. Thanks so very much for posting the patterns; I’ve been wanting one of these for many years!!”
THANK YOU to Julie for sending pictures of her project!
Skirt 4 / Spiral Dress
Skirt shape based on sections of a perfect circle. These sections are 8″ wide at the top. In this version there are lots of sections to join before sewing the gores together. For my dress I used four top sections and one point per gore. Adding more sections would have made it longer and I probably will next time, but due to the spiral design, the added length gets absorbed into more ruffliness so another section won’t add as many more inches to the length as you might expect.
And here’s the raglan top part to download which includes brief instructions. You need both files to make the dress.
The top / dress pattern is size medium. I’m 38-30-42, you can see how it fits on me. Skirt comes out an uneven 27″ long, using three top sections and one point per skirt gore.
Skirt 4 with 6″ wide tops
Same skirt as above, but with 6″ panels instead of 8″
Spiral Skirt 2
This pattern would work best for little girls. Each gore is cut in one piece and requires a 25″ x 23″ piece of fabric. It comes out quite short and very twirly, only 20-22″ long (hemline is uneven) including the waistline casing.
It’s a bit wrinkly in the photo, one of these days I’ll learn to contain my enthusiasm long enough to iron things first. The pink skirt was made with the somewhat wobbly hand-drawn pattern piece, then I used AI to make perfectly circular lines and cut the red model. The red one’s shown inside-out so you can see the seams!
Spiral Skirt 1
This makes a gently-curved, conservative “Swirler” shape similar to the commercial patterns of the 70s.
Here’s the file for download with 6″ tops to the pieces
Or an 8″ version Spiral 1 with 8 inch top which also works with the bodice above to make into a dress.
Here’s the dress made with it. One’s inside out to show the seams, otherwise they’d be too hard to see!
I was absolutely in the Library of Congress for the first picture. It was not my regular sewing room with the bookshelf behind me like the other two.
Fabric requirement for this dress would be 4 and 2/3 yards– in theory according to Illustrator!
See how I figured it out in AI? I fit the pieces into a 44″ wide box, and the box is 163 inches. For a two-color arrangement it would be 89″ for the color that the sleeves are made of, and 73″ of the second color.
Combi – Skirt 3 and 4
I wanted a REALLY ruffly skirt for myself. I tried using five panels of Skirt 4 with the 6″ wide gores. It came out BEAUTIFUL– but only 24″ long! Tighter curls means shorter length as the fabric is absorbed into ruffles.
I pondered this for a while. It’s simply too short for me. If only I knew someone’s beautiful little daughter who needed a ruffle skirt! If only all those seams would unpick themselves!
But I have a secret weapon, a little buddy who will do it for $5.
To the top of each section I added one panel from skirt 3, which is a gentler curve. Then sewed it all together again, and it came out perfect. I’m glad I did because I really like these colors!
SUMMARY of how to make this exact skirt– each gore is put together using ONE section from skirt 3 (which is 6″ wide) then FIVE sections from skirt 4 (with the 6″ wide option) and then the tip from skirt 4.
Tip: if you have plenty of fabric, you can cut some of the pieces joined together to save on sewing.
To the Story page 🙂