The Difference Between A Full Circle And Guaged Skirts

Introducing my regular series of wedding technical where I share my insider knowledge on my collection and today I'm talking skirts. 

My collection uses both full circle and guaged skirt types, although there are things to consider when designing and choosing fabrics for each style.


Guaged skirts have a big advantage as any pattern will fall neatly into place once the skirt is made; boarder patterns and designs naturally fall along the hem line of the skirt.  Another advantage to this method is that very little fabric is wasted, which is important when you consider the costs of exquisite laces and silks.

The grain line always runs vertically on the skirts front, back and sides.  This keeps the skirt balanced and the hemline straight.

It is advisable to use fabrics that are light weight as the gathered waist line adds bulk to the waist seam. 

Guaged skirts do not have the same movement as circle skirts, but still have their own beauty.

Circle skirts are wonderfully 1950s and drape beautifully.  They are smooth at the waist seam as there is no gathering, waist seams are not bulky like gauged skirts.  Circle skirts move beautifully when worn and are wonderful to dance in. Strictly Come Dancing use circle skirts whenever they want full flowing movement in their dresses.

One disadvantage to circle skirts is the amount of wasted fabric the is when cutting out the skirt.  Another problem is that patterns on the fabric will be vertical at the centre front and back, but runs horizontally at the side seams.  This is a big problem and makes many patterns unusable. 

Once the skirt is made, the centre front and back have the grain line running vertically whilst the sides run horizontally, this can cause the skirt hem line to drape unevenly.  It is necessary to let the finished skirt drape for a day or two to allow the fabric to settle before checking and trimming the hemline so that it falls evenly. Borders and patterns on the hem will need to be added separately once the skirt is made, this adds to the amount of work required to make the finished style.


Stuart Moore