Beginner's Guide to Dressmaking Fishtail Skirt PDF Pattern


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This is a DOWNLOADABLE PDF PATTERN that you print out and stick together yourself at home. You will be sent an automatic email after ordering with a link to download your pattern. 

This is the Fishtail Skirt pattern from my 1st book "Beginner's Guide to Dressmaking". 

From the front this looks like an ordinary A-line skirt, but then you turn around and there is this fabulous bustle-style draped back! It is deceptively easy to make and only has a few pattern pieces.

In lightweight denim it makes a gorgeous casual little number to wear with boots or trainers. In crisp black linen you will have all your work colleagues asking you where you bought such an unusual skirt.

This project is a good one to start with sewing woven fabrics and to have your first attempt at a zip and a waist facing.

I think it would look even more striking with different fabrics on the front and the back.

Find more inspiration on this Pinterest board.

This skirt looks its best in medium weight woven fabrics (think no thinner than a tea towel), such as lightweight denim, linen, cotton/linen blends, corduroy, cotton chintz, cotton poplin, lightweight wools, stretch woven fabrics which have some elastane. It will work well in plain colours or prints.

A crisp fabric such as denim or linen really shows off the draped structure at the back of this skirt. It would work in a more drapey fabric such as a woven viscose, but it would have a very different look.

The multi-size pattern covers 5 sizes which cover the following body measurements:

WAIST 68-85cm (26 3/4" - 33 1/2") / HIPS 92-109cm (36 1/4" - 43")

There are 4 PDF files to download:

1 - a thorough illustrated instruction booklet which covers: 
* fabric requirements
* cutting layouts
* an explanation of fabric layouts and cutting
* detailed step-by-step instructions & diagrams for how to make the skirt. 

2 - your multi-size pattern, tiled to fit A4 and US letter size sheets of paper ready to be printed and stuck together

3 - a full-size untiled version of the pattern sized to fit on paper which is at least A0 size in width (84.1cm / 33ins) that can be printed at professional copy shops

4 - step-by-step instructions for how to print and put together the tiled version of your pattern.

There is some extra help about downloading PDF patterns here. Access to your pattern will expire 2 weeks after placing your order and you will have 2 attempts to download the pattern. Patterns should be downloaded onto a computer, not your phone or tablet.

All MIY Collection patterns are designed and written by Wendy Ward, an experienced designer and qualified teacher and they have been thoroughly road-tested by her eager sewing students. Rest assured you will find MIY Collection patterns well explained in down-to-earth and accessible language with clear, detailed diagrams. Wendy has been writing instructions for people just like you since 2007.

Find sewing tips and more on Wendy's blog at

In the EU? You need to order from the MIY Collection Etsy Shop.

Thanks and happy sewing!

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