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Unread 03-26-2008, 04:03 PM   #1
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Fishtail skirt pattern...?

I've been searching the internet for a tutorial or pattern to help me with a fishtail skirt (or mermaid skirt). Click this http://www.katesclothing.co.uk/v/vsp.../KE0001-2T.jpg for reference.

I do NOT want to pay for a pattern. Last time I tried making something (it was a cloak if you're curious), I found a "how-to" file online and it was great.

Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!
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Unread 03-26-2008, 07:56 PM   #2
Crimson Firefly
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With a skirt like that you mostly need to a) use stretch fabric and b) put the stretch horizontally so that you can still move your knees once you're in it.

The skirt I have like that is made out of seven pieces of fabric (central panel at the front and centre seam at the back where the zipper is) and has a strip of fabric at the back with a clasp to tighten the fabric around the knees even further. Does that help at all?
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Unread 03-26-2008, 08:35 PM   #3
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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).
Catherine L. Jones
Owner and Head Seamstress of
God Save the Queen Fashions, LLC


Last edited by godsavethequeen : 03-26-2008 at 08:38 PM.
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Unread 03-27-2008, 01:30 AM   #4
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Instead of using stretch fabric, you cut it on the bias (diagonally across the grain) to give it the stretch. In the photo, you can see how the vertical stripes go diagonally when cut on the bias and assembled.

Good luck on finding a free pattern. :3
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Unread 03-27-2008, 11:39 AM   #5
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here is a pattern...
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