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!
Special stretch fabric needle for your machine
2,5 cm/1” wide elastic for the waistband
A = 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.
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.
- Sew the gusset into the back of the skirt and close the back seam
- Stitch the sides of the skirt together
- Put skirt on inside out. If you want to tighten the hip hugging part of the skirt, widen the seam allowance.
- Waistband: while wearing the skirt inside out, fold over fabric to the desired height. Stitch a 2,5 cm/1” tunnel for elastic.
- 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.