Skirt Options | Full Circle | Half Circle | Maxi

Differences between a "Full circle Skirt", "1/2 Circle Skirt", and "Maxi Skirt"

When Ordering a Maxi, or Flowy gown, you might be confused or overwhelmed by some of the terms or questions asked about what type of skirt you would like for your gown. The most often asked question we get is: “What is the difference between a full circle skirt, a 1/2 circle skirt and a maxi skirt? We’d like to answer this question for you here and hopefully this will make ordering a little easier for you.


The first one we’ll go over is a “Full Circle Skirt”.  When making a dress, the very first thing we need to do is cut the amount of fabric we’ll need from the roll.  The bigger the skirt, the more fabric that we’ll require.  

A full circle skirt is cut in a way so that when the skirt is laid out flat on the floor or table, it forms a perfect full circle.   The result is a very full skirt for the dress and also gives a nice “twirling” effect.  So when you spin, the skirt will flare out into the full circle it was originally cut to.  

In order to create the “full circle” that we need, we require 7 yards of fabrics.  This is so that we can attain a 58″- 60″ diameter length of fabric from the center all the way around. (Prior to cutting out the waist) Why 58″-60″?  58″-60″ is the standard width of almost any fabric.  Some fabrics we can order in wider lengths, however, our jersey knit is almost exclusively 58-60″ wide.  After the waist is cut, we usually have a skirt length of about 48-50″.   Generally this is plenty of length for most women with some length to spare. 

A full circle skirt requires two pieces of fabric, each 3.5 yards in length, folded with the selvedged edge on the outsides rather than together.
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Reya Gown with Full Circle Skirt
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Full Circle Chiffon Wrap Skirt

1/2 circle skirt

Now that you understand better how a full circle skirt is made, a 1/2 circle skirt should make much more sense.  

A 1/2 circle skirt is exactly how it sounds.. it is esentially 1/2 of what we did above.  We do need a little more fabric than the 3.5 yards that would makeup 1/2 of a full circle skirt to allow for a larger waist opening.  But essentially it is 1/2 of a full circle skirt.  This gives you the flow and fullness of a full circle skirt with a much more reasonable price.  

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Bianca Gown with 1/2 Circle Skirt

Full Maxi Skirt

A full maxi skirt uses approximately 3 yards of fabric and is cut in a way that the fabric will flare out slightly into a “bell” with generally enough at the bottom to pool at your feet, but usually only by about 5-6 inches, depending on the height of the woman wearing the dress.  These are the easiest types of skirts to have length altered if you’re looking for a dress that you want to wear for everyday use or to an event. 

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Anna with Full Maxi Skirt