Stretch fabric is certainly an option, but it is by no means your only one. As long as you begin the flare slightly above the knee, you shouldn't have trouble walking.
As for a pattern, I'd highly recommend looking for a Hancock or Jo-Ann Fabrics. There are many times when they have special sales and patterns are only a few dollars (sometimes even $0.99).
However, if you don't have access to those types of stores making a fishtail skirt pattern isn't too tough.
* Start with a regular skirt or dress pattern (princess seamed as the Crimson Firefly described or just a two piece darted skirt will work).
* Cut off the pattern just above the knee.
* Measure (on yourself) from the top of your knee down to the floor (make sure to account for extra height if you're wearing heels).
* If you're using a two piece pattern (simple front and back), just cut a truncated triangle - the top width = same width as the bottom of your front pattern piece, the height = length from top of the knee to the floor, bottom width = however wide you want the fishtail to be).
* For the back, you'll want to do the same process, however, I would recommend making the height of the flare you add to the back piece longer than the height you used for the front flare piece. Also, don't cut the bottom of the back flare completely straight. Make it convex curve.
* Also, for the transition between the bottom of the original skirt pattern and the flare you add, make sure it just two straight lines meeting at a point. Really, this applies to all the transitions between seams. Curve the transitions a bit. You don't want harsh angles.
If you've got a princess seam pattern (front, side front x 2, side back x 2, back x 2) this process works for that as well, but there are just more pattern pieces to add flares to. You'll also need to pay attention to matching the lengths on all the flares. It is much easier to match two additional flares than seven.
Good luck! Seriously though, just cough up a few bucks and get yourself a pattern =) It'll save you a bunch of time (and a potential headache).
Last edited by godsavethequeen : 03-26-2008 at 09:38 PM.