Updated on by Sarina
Mermaid skirt or the fishtail skirt as it is sometimes called is a very flattering silhouette, for most figures. Figure hugging and then flaring near the knees to the bottom edge beautifully – who doesnot want to be a mermaid
The flair in this skirt is acheived with godets sewn into the bottom part of the skirt.
Step 1. Make patterns and cut skirt pieces
Mermaid skirt sewing pattern
Cut out the skirt pieces – back and front – according to the pattern
Take the following body measurements
- Waist round
- hip round
- knee round
- the height of the skirt . Add 1 or 1.5 inches to this – this is the total length you need for this skirt for one piece (This is for a rolled hem; if you want regular hem add 1/2 inch more for turning)
- Waist to knee length.
For the back Mermaid skirt piece
A-B = 1/4 of hip round + 1/2 “
C-D = 1/4 of hip round + 1.5″
F-E = 1/4 of Knee round + 1.5″ where E is marked at waist to knee measure
J-H = 8″
H-I = 2″
For the front Mermaid skirt pattern
A-C = 1/4 of waist round + 1 1/4″
A-B = 1″ This is for a slight dip in the front waist
D-E = 1/4 of hip round + 1 1/4″
F-G = 1/4 of knee round + 1.5″
J-K = 8″
K-I = 2″
Step 2. Mark the slit for godets
One both the front and back pattern mark a line from the center fold such that A-B is 1/8 of hip round. Mark the length of the line 18.5 inch from the bottom edge . Cut through the line
Step 3 Make the godet pieces.
You need 4 of these godets to stitch on to the 4 slits you have – 2 for front and 2 for back . Mark the godets on folded fabric like below and cut it out. You will have 4 triangular shaped godets
Step 4. Sew the godets to the skirt
Now you have to sew these pieces to the cut/slit you have made. Align the godet pieces on the cut space and see if it fits. For me I had to trim a little from the bottom
Keep it on the edge right sides together and stitch the pieces to the slit
On the back of the piece trim seam allowance and clip the seam allowances.
Step 5 Facing for the front skirt top edge
Cut a piece of fabric matching the top edge of the front bodice with height of at least 5 inches. This is for the facing of the top edge of the front skirt piece. It is a good idea to interface this piece. I found this out late because the facing looks wrinkled inside the skirt. If the interfacing was there it could have given more structure to the waist edge of the skirt. A sew in interfacing would do or a self interfacing at least.
Finish the bottom edge of this piece. Then Keep it on top of the front skirt rightsides together and stitch the top edges together
Turn the facing to the other side. Understitch the seam allowance and the facing together so that the facing will roll easily to the back.
Step 5 . Elastic band for the back skirt.
Cut out a piece of fabric 2.5 inches wide and 1 inch more than the length of the top edge of the back skirt piece.
Keep this piece on top of the back piece right sides together ( On the left side the piece should over extend a little ) . Stitch the top edge together. Turn to the other side
Stitch the waistband casing.See the over extended piece . Trim this to 1/2 inch
Step 6. Elastic tabs
You have to make tabs for the elastic now. Stitch two pieces of fabric into two tubes . The pieces should be 1″ in length and 2 1/4 inches wide.
Turn the tubes inside out to this
Cut elastic piece of width 3/4 inch and length 1/2 of your waist minus 2 inch . Keep this on either side of the elastic piece you have cut out, insert the elastic inside and stitch in place
Inser this tabbed elastic through the waistband with a pin. Stitch the sides securing the elastic on the waistband You can stitch through the elastic as well for double security. Now you have an elastic waistband without the bunching up on the side seams because of the tab you have made.
Step 7 Hook tab
Make another tab for sewing the hooks. Fold a piece of fabric ( interface for added strength) 2.5 inch wide and 1 inch long. Sew the side and one top edge as in the picture below
Turn to the other side and you will get a tab as follows
Keep this tab on the extension you have on the back skirt one side. Use two or three stitching lines to secure this
Yes, the tab is ready.
Step 9 . Sew side seam of one side
Now sew one of the side seams of the back and front skirts together ( the side seam without the hook tab ofourse) The facing should be ideally kept up when sewing this side seam
Now bring the facing down and Now stitch the facing as well. Looks neater this way
Step 10 Sew the other side and attach zipper
Now you have to sew the other side seam. Mark some 7 inch from the top edge on the side seam. Join the side seam leaving this 7 inch distance unstitched. Here you have to attach the zipper
To attach the zipper. You can sew ordinary zipper to the seam as well. But I have chosen to attach the invisible zipper here.
Keep the invisible zipper on one edge. You can attach the invisible zipper with an invisible zipper foot faster. The grooves will allow the zipper coils to pass through easily when you sew close to the zipper teeth. Stitch the zipper to both side edges.
When you have done this, turn the to edge to the back of the skirt and hand stitch or machine stitch in place.
Top stitch the zipper coil in place. Use the ordinary zipper foot for this, so that you can stitch closely to the zipper teeth.
Step 11 Hand stitch hook and eye
Attach hook to the tab you have made and sew hooks on the skirt waistband
Step 12 Hem the bottom edge of the skirt.
I use the hemmer foot to do a rolled edge finish.