Make the PatternThe skirt pattern is made from paper and tested on the doll before the fabric is cut. To make the pattern, measure with a ruler out from the doll's waist to determine how large a skirt you want. For the 3 inch hippo shown here, the skirt is 3/4 of an inch long. As the hippo has a waist about 1/2 inch thick, the circle for the skirt pattern needed to be 3/4 inch plus 3/4 inch (both sides of the skirt) plus 1/2 inch for the hippo's waist. Add another 1/4 inch in for seam allowances if you sew the skirt. Sewing isn't necessary if you use non ravelling fabric like polar fleece or felt. The size of circle I needed for the hippo was 2 1/4 inches in diameter.
Find the right size circle in your household or kitchen supplies and trace it onto a piece of paper to make a pattern.I used a wineglass base.
Cut out your paper circle and fold it in half, then in half again. Use scissors to cut a small interior circle across the center folds, roughly half the thickness of your doll's waist. Open up your circular pattern and cut into the center along one of the straight fold lines. Test your pattern around the waist of your doll. If it doesn't fit, or it makes too small or too large a skirt, adjust your pattern. Remember the back opening edges of the skirt should overlap by 1/4 to 1/2 inch where you cut your pattern piece into the center. If the circle is too small to overlap, try a larger center, and perhaps a larger pattern.
Cut the Skirt Pieces When you have a pattern that fits your doll correctly, cut two circles from your fabric (one if you use non ravelling fabric). Cut out the center of your circle following the pattern, cutting in through the outer circle on the same straight line you cut in your pattern. If you want to make a crinoline, cut at least five circles from fine net or tulle as well. Test a skirt piece on your doll for fit.