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Daily Archives: June 24th, 2011

Have you ever found yourself in a position where you needed a really large circle (or several really large circles) of cloth and yet the pattern you had just been using to make these circles inexplicably disappears?  No?  Well, I have.  And should you ever find yourself in a situation requiring a large cloth circle and you have nary a pattern around with which to make it, you can be thankful that you’ve read this tutorial on how to cut a very large circle out of cloth without a preset pattern.


  • enough cloth for your really large circle
  • tape measure
  • scissors
  • straight pins
  • iron/ironing board


  1. Determine how large you need your circle to be.  I needed a circle that was 20″ in diameter.  That means the circle has a radius of 10″.  (You know, d=2r.)
  2. Fold your cloth into quarters, making sure that each side is at least the length of the radius of your circle.  This way you only need to draw out a nice arc that is a quarter of the circle, instead of drawing four nice, perfectly matched arcs to make a circle.
  3. Iron down the creases.  You’ll want nice, sharp creases to get a cleaner, circle-ier circle.
  4. With the beginning of your tape measure firmly fixed on the corner of the single fold, mark out the radius along the cloth.  The more marks you make, the more accurate your circle will be.  Also, be sure that the beginning of your tape measure is in the correct corner!  You want all the loose edges away from the beginning of the tape measure.
  5. Connect all your marks in an arc.  Or don’t if you think you can eyeball it.
  6. Pin all layers of the cloth together near the edge, making sure that everything is smooth and even, and cut along your mark.  If you don’t pin, you may get a very strange looking circle indeed.
  7. Unfold your freshly crafted circle and iron out the creases, if so desired.

I had actually doubled up the cloth and made two 20″ diameter circles at the same time.  This is really thin cotton though.  I wouldn’t recommend doing that if you’re working with heftier cloth.  Your circles will come out slightly oblong and be different sizes.

Incidentally, right after I took all the pictures for the tutorial, I found the pattern I made for 20″ circles.  It was sitting smugly on my bookshelf the entire time.  So annoying.  Also, you could do this with basically anything out of which you need to make a large circle.  You might want to leave the ironing steps out for things like paper and stuff, though.

Why do I need such large cloth circles, you ask?  It’s a secret.  But my secretive projects are nearly finished.  So…soon…soon shall be the reveal…