This post mainly applies to chiffon and satin charmeuse fabrics. These have more of a stretch on the bias whether pleated or not. Once in a while, you may find that you don’t have enough fabric to cut your skirt, especially if you are not using our Bias Circle Skirt Fabric Calculator! Or you might have some extra fabric laying around and you want to use it for a new sample. You lay it out on the cutting table only to discover you are just an inch or two short of your desired length. What can you do? Well, you have two options:
Option one is to make a whole new bias skirt pattern that is an inch shorter. This is kind of a pain just to shave a 1/4 inch off the pattern. (Remember, for every inch you shorten a bias full circle skirt you gain or lose four inches of fabric. Read more about this in our Bias Circle Skirt Fabric Calculator.)
Or…since the fabric you are using has stretch on the bias grain, you can just steal some space along that grain. Just overlap your patterns as in the image below, and cut it in between the overlap. If your fabric is very stretchy with a long skirt length, you can overlap as much as four inches. MAKE SURE YOU TEST THE FABRIC FIRST! To be safe, overlap two inches. That means you are shaving about one inch off your panels. If you are still unable to get your desired length out of your yardage, you can consider cutting a center back seam in one of your panels. In the center back layout below, notice that you will use less fabric since you can tuck the circle panels closer together because one of them is cut in half. In addition to that, if you overlap the patterns on the bias you can save even more fabric. Problem solved!