How Much Fabric Do I Need For a Skirt? (Circle, Maxi, Tree)

What kind of skirt do you want to make? That is a tough question as there are skirts for parties, cheerleading, casual wear, and so on. The key to getting the right amount of fabric is for you to decide what kind of skirt you want to make and then decide who it is going to wear it.

How much fabric do I need for a skirt? It doesn’t matter if the fabric is woven or a knit style, you will need about 2 yards for a straight skirt, 2 1/4 for an A line, and 2 1/4 yards for a softly gathered skirt. The amount of fabric you will need will depend on your skirt project.

To learn how much fabric you need for different skirt projects, just continue to read our article. It goes through a variety of skirt designs to give you an idea of how much fabric is actually needed.

How Much Fabric For a Circle Skirt


The equation to figure out how much fabric you need for this style of the skirt goes like this-- the waist round divided by 3.14 + the height of the skirt + 2 inches for seam allowance.

With numbers it may look like this: 30 divided by 3.14 = 9.5, round up to 10, + 2 =44 x 2 = 88 inches. Translated into yards you are looking at needing approx. 2 1/3 yards of material to complete the dress. The equation looks complicated but you should be able to get the exact amount when you plug in your specific numbers.

How Many Yards To Make a Gathered Skirt

The amount of fabric you will need will depend on how much fullness you want to have in the skirt. If you use a 60-inch width fabric, you can get away with using a single piece if your waist is 30 inches. All you need to do is double your waist round to get that fullness.

For most gathered skirts you are looking at needing roughly 3 yards of material or a little bit more. Again, make any adjustments for the differences in the size you or the wearer may have but you will be close to that mark.

How Much Fabric For a Maxi Skirt

When you go to calculating the fabric amount keep in mind your height. Those women around 5’ 4” tall will need about 1 1/2 yards of material and possibly up to 2 yards, depending on your girth.

For taller women, you will have to add in some more but you can start at 2 yards and go from there. Do your measurements honestly, that way you will have a skirt that not only fits but will drape nicely and be comfortable at the same time.

There is no sense in trying to make the skirt smaller even if you are on a diet.

Fabric Needed For Lehenga Skirt


The amount of fabric you will need for this sewing project will depend mostly on the style of the skirt you want to wear. Yes, your size will play a role as well, that is a given, but the lehenga skirt comes in a variety of styles and each one takes a different amount of fabric.

For a full circle lehenga, you will need between 5 and 6 yards of material. For the gored style you will need a little less, between 3 to 5 yards of fabric. Finally, for A-line lehenga, you are looking at using only 2 1/2 yards of material.

For Pencil Skirt

This skirt style does not take up a lot of fabric. Its small and slender shape cuts make sure of that. Whether you use a woven or a knit fabric the total amount of yardage you will need is about 1 yard.

If you are a taller woman, then add in your extra height accordingly so that your pencil skirt flatters your body and has the heads turning in your direction. Before you cut the fabric, measure twice so you do not make a mistake and lose too much material.

For a Pleated Skirt

In this project, your fabric amount will depend on how big you want your pleats and how many you want on the skirt. Then do not forget to include the seam allowance. This adds to your total.

For simple pleated skirts with few pleats, you are looking at needing about 3 yards of fabric. Don’t forget you will always need to round up in your measurements to get an accurate accounting of the total yards and to make sure you do not run afoul of any buying minimums fabric stores may have.

For Wrap Skirt


If you want a full flare design to your skirt and you are using 42-inch width fabric, you will need between 4 1/2 to 5 yards of material. If you want a simple wrap dress with less flare you can get away with using about 3 1/2 to 4 yards of fabric.

Then if you just want a wrap dress and no flare, the minimum amount you will need will be between 2 1/2 to 3 yards of material. Again, make the adjustments you need to have the skirt fit your body style. (find a rip skirt pattern)

How Much Fabric To Make a Mini Skirt

In the 1960s when the mini skirt first came fashionable, some women felt that a wide belt was enough fabric for their mini skirt. However, that may not be modest enough for some women of today.

It is safe to say that most, if not all, fabric stores have a minimum purchase and you won’t be able to get less than a yard of material anyways. So start with that figure and make adjustments.

The amount of fabric will depend on if you are making the d=skirt for a young girl, an older child, or an adult. A yard would be the bare minimum you will need.

For a Flared Skirt

Your design will dictate how much fabric you will need. If you want a full flare then go with the same amount of yardage we mentioned earlier- 4 1/2 to 5 yards. The same goes for a skirt with less flair. There you should need only 3 1/2 to 4 yards of material.

That is if you are buying 42-inch wide fabric. Adjust the yardage higher if you are buying 36-inch wide material and lower if you are using 60-inch wide fabric. Also, take into account the wearer’s height and width to get an accurate total.

Floor-Length Skirt


For this style of skirt, the amount of fabric you will need will depend a lot on the width of the material you are working with. If you are using a 44 inches width and making the skirt for a child you will end up needing just over 2 yards of material. That is if you do not add any flare to the skirt.

A 60-inch wide fabric may cut that total down to about 2 yards and then if you add more flare, you are going back up over the 2-yard mark. For adults, you may need to double or triple that yardage depending on the height of the wearer.

How Much Fabric For a Tree Skirt

This will depend on the height of the tree you are placing the skirt under. If your tree is 6 feet tall you will need about 44 inches in diameter to cover the floor. Then you will need 2 circles of fabric at that size.

In total, for that size of a tree, you are looking at needing roughly 2 1/2 yards of material. The key to making a tree skirt is to have it just large enough to reach the outside of the longest branches.

How Much Fabric do I Need For a Skirt in Meters?


For a basic circle skirt, you are looking at needing about 2.25 meters. Then for a full flared skirt, you can count on buying roughly 4.5 meters and less of a flare you will need 3.5 meters of fabric to complete that project.

Also, you will need about 3 meters for along pleated skirt for an adult and just over 2 meters for a medium length pleated skirt. Finally, a gathered skirt will need about 3 to 3.25 meters.

Most of those totals are using 45-inch wide fabric so make adjustments as needed when using different fabric widths. If you add a lining, use the same numbers for that part of the skirt.

Some Final Words

Having the right amount of fabric on hand makes your sewing project flow smoothly. You do not need to stop and run out to buy more fabric because you were short. It might be a smart idea to add n 10% for just in case situations. That way you are covered.

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