Lycra mermaid skirt

This is a pattern for a basic mermaid skirt made from 4-way lycra. Suitable for belly dance, latin, ballroom dancing, or anyone in need of a mermaid skirt. This pattern requires basic skills in pattern drafting: if you can draw a straight line and draw a circle, you can draft this pattern. For assembly, you must be able to stitch a straight stitch and a zig-zag stitch on a sewing machine.


The amount of fabric depends on your size and the width of the fabric. Be generous when buying fabric: throwing away scraps is easy, finding an extra  10 cm/4” when you are out of fabric is often impossible!

Fabric width 60” Size S/M/L app. 2,5 m/2,7 yards
Fabric width 60” Size XL/XXL app. 3 m/3,3 yards
Fabric width 40” Size S/M/L app. 3 m/ 3,3 yards
Fabric width 40” Size XL/XXL App. 3,5 m/3,9 yards

4-way lycra stretches both in the length and the width of the fabric: please test this carefully before choosing your fabric!




Sewing machine

Special stretch fabric needle for your machine

2,5 cm/1” wide elastic for the waistband


mermaidskirtlycra pattern03A = upper hip divided by 2

B= total length of skirt, measured from waist to floor

C= length of tight part of the skirt, measured from waist to just above the knee

The bottom of the skirt is twice as wide as measurement A.

D= the distance between the knee and the floor.

mermaidskirtlycra pattern01

Draw the pattern for the front using a ruler. For the gusset, draw a quarter circle with D as the radius (who knew that geometry came in handy, eh?)


Put the pattern pieces on the fabric: the center line is the grain of the fabric. See the picture below for the lay-out of pattern pieces on the fabric. Put the pattern on the fabric and cut WITHOUT SEAM ALLOWANCE. Cut the split in the front according to preference.



Use a 1”/2,5 cm seam allowance while sewing to make the skirt form fitting. Always use the correct needle for knitted, elastic fabric and a stitch suitable for stretch fabric. For example, I use a straight stitch on side seams and a wide zig zag for the waistband.


  1. Sew the gusset into the back of the skirt and close the back seam
  2. Stitch the sides of the skirt together
  3. Put skirt on inside out. If you want to tighten the hip hugging part of the skirt, widen the seam allowance.
  4. Waistband: while wearing the skirt inside out, fold over fabric to the desired height. Stitch a 2,5 cm/1” tunnel for elastic.
  5. Hemming: fold hem inward 0,5 cm/ 1/5” and stitch


Example of the finished skirt in pink lycra, pictured from the front with added decoration.




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