As my plan is based on body suit + skirt, I need to create a pattern for a skirt. Once I have a basic pattern I will be able to modify it as needed to make it into a dress.

To get a simple ballroom skirt pattern I copied a practice skirt I have. It is based on a circle skirt but it is fitted from waist to hip to allow for a sleeker outline, better movement and modesty (if the skirt ever flew up that high, seems unlikely but maybe for a latin skirt variation it might help). The pattern below is for 1/4 of the skirt, i.e. you need to cut 4 of these panels to make a skirt.

Here is a diagram of my pattern. It is not to scale. If you want to create your own version, you will need to know:

  1. Your waist measurement. Mine is 28 inches / 71 cm.
  2. Your hip measurement. Mine is 36 inches / 91 cm.
  3. The length you want the skirt to be from waist to hem. Mine is 41 inches / 104 cm.

The rest of the dimensions are calculated from these. You will need to do some calculations with circles, so you might find this calculator helpful:

Ballroom practice skirt pattern - full circle


  • A = radius of circle used. On mine A was 30 inches / 76 cm. Note that the angle between the two seams is 90 degrees, i.e. a right-angle.
  • B = distance from the centre of the circle where the waist-hip section joins (use the hip measurement as the circumference to find B as its related radius). On mine B was 7 inches / 18 cm.
  • C = the length of the skirt from hip to hem. Calculated A – B = C. On mine C was 23 inches / 59 cm.
  • D = 1/4 of the hip measurement. On mine D was 9 inches / 23 cm.
  • E = 1/4 of the waist measurement. On mine E was 7 inches / 18 cm.
  • F = length from waist to hip. Calculated H – C = F. On mine F was 34 inches / 86 cm.
  • G = width of panel at widest. You might need to know this to work out how it fits on the uncut fabric. You use Pythagoras to work this out, find A² + A² = G². On mine G was 41 inches / 104 cm.
  • H = Length of skirt from waist to hem.

BEFORE YOU CUT… You need to add a seam allowance once you have created the template.