I thought that I would bring my “fishtail skirt tutorial” over to here from my livejournal, so here you go :)


I thought that I would share this little tutorial on how to make a nice fishtail skirt, it is really not that hard as it can look and you will end up with a smashing skirt that makes you look flash were ever you go. You can make this skirt at any length, from the knee and down. I put a triangular panel of ruffles in between the two back panels but this tutorial does not include that and this skirt can be both lined and not lined but I will not give any explanation how to line the skirt.


The things you will need for this project is:
Fabric, depending on your measurements (I used 6 meters (about 6 yards) of fabric, but I’m not really that petite)
Zipper, I use a hidden zipper since they look so good (well they are invisible ;))
A button



To start up you need to take these measurements:

Waist to hips:
Waist to butt:
Waist to knee:
Waist to floor (or as long as you want the skirt):

This skirt is a skirt in panels, so first of all, you need to decide how many pannels you want, in this tutorial we will make a nine panel skirt, that will give us a skirt with no seam in the front, but a seam in the back to put the zipper in.

Now on to making a pattern.
As this is a nine panel skirt, the measurements for the waist, hip and butt will be divided with nine, we are also adding two cm to the original measurement, this is so that you can actually move in the skirt, please do not remove these two cm just to make the skirt slimmer, since then you will not get into the skirt. The skirt I made fit like a glove and I have those two cm in my skirt. I will use my measurements in this tutorial, now lets go on to the mathematics for the pattern.

Waist: 83cm + 2cm / 9 = 9,4cm Waist: 32,7 inches + 0,8 inch / 9 = 3,7 inches
Hips: 94cm + 2cm / 9 = 10,6cm Hips: 37 inches + 0,8 inch / 9 = 4,2 inches
Butt: 107cm + 2cm / 9 = 12,1 cm Butt: 42,1 inches + 0,8 inch / 9 = 4,7 inches


Se start with a straight line, the we put in the measurements for 1/9 of the waist.
Mark out waist to hips, waist to butt, waist to knee and waist to floor (or skirt length) with straight lines.
Now put put the measurements for 1/9 of the hip and 1/9 of the butt at their places. Do also put the 1/9 of the butt measurement on the line for waist to knee.
Now decide on how wide you want the skirt to be, my skirt is 60 cm (23,6 inches) on every panel, that gives me a skirt that is 540 cm (212,6 inches) wide.
Make sure that the line from knee to floor is just the same on all three places, then form the lover line in a smooth curve.
The last step is to form the transition of the flare of the skirt and the skirt into a smooth line, and the take the skirt in some at each side ad the picture shows, do not take to much as it will make it hard to walk and sit in the skirt.
Now your pattern is done.

Here is a pretty version of a small scale pattern I made using this technique

Cutting fabric

It is now time to cut your fabric, use what sewing allowance you want, I prefer to use 1,5 cm (0,6 inch)
You will need:
9 skirt pieces
One waistband that is your waist + 2cm + 4 cm (waist + 0,8 inches + 1,6 inches )
6 ruffle pieces, I always utilize the width of my fabric when I make these kind of ruffles, hight is what you prefer, my pieces is 18 cm (7,1 inches) high



Start of with serging all the edges, or use a zigzag.

Then install the zipper

Now sew all the panels together and then iron the seam allowance apart.

Then put the waistband onto the skirt like this, right sides together, on one edge by the zipper, let the waistband stick out 1 cm (0,4 inch), then pin the waistband to the skirt, do NOT cut of the excessive fabric when you come to the end (something like 5 cm (2 inches) or so), we want to use this in the next step. If you are lining the skirt, this is a good place to attach the lining to the skirt. Simply pin it to the inside of the skirt, right side out.
Then sew the waistband to the skirt.

Now fold up your sewing allowance, iron and fold your waistband like this, this is a bit tricky to show on pictures, but the black is the skirt, and the white is the waistband.

How you should fold

the fold held together

Then sew the left side of the waistband, 1 cm (0,4 inch) in. and then measure 4 cm (1,6 inches) from the zipper and out on the other side, and sew that edge to. Trim the sewing allowance a bit.

Turn the waistband and hand sew it in on the inside of the skirt.

Sew a buttonhole in the overlapping flap of fabric and attach you button on the other side.

Now put on the skirt, inside out and get a friend to help you and make the skirt fit perfectly, I fixed the fit on these places. Then sew new seams.

Hem your skirt.

Now we are making the ruffle. Sew all your six ruffle pieces together, iron the seams apart.

Hem the bottom and top of the ruffle.

Sew gathering stitches all round the ruffle.

Gather and pin the ruffle to the skirt at desired height, make sure that your ruffles are even all round. Sew the ruffle to the skirt.

Now you are done! Go and rock that skirt! But try to avoid riding bikes in it, it is REALLY hard I tried and failed miserably ;)