Fishtails

Using my new block I decided to draft a pencil skirt which I will probably make up in a soft, drapey, wool tweed.  A pencil skirt is very easy once you have a block.  It is just a case of using the top couple of inches of the block to make a waist band and narrowing the bottom of the skirt.

In order to make the skirt a little more interesting at the back I decided to add a fishtail to the vent.  I quite like interesting features on the back of my clothes, most garments look quite boring from the back. Having said that I don’t want a completely mad fishtail, just a little subtle one that makes the skirt a bit different.

Alice, my pattern cutting teacher, had made a similar skirt and helped me draft up a pattern for the fishtail. The pattern is made up of a number of consecutively large triangles which fold back on themselves with a raw outer edge.

It is difficult to tell how this is going to work out from the toile, calico is such a stiff fabric it really doesn’t give much of an idea of how a drapey detail is going to work at all.  When I first looked at it I thought it stuck out too much so I ran a quick line of stitches down the seam of one side to make the triangles all sit neatly together.  I’m not sure that this is the look I want though; I’m after something that drapes and adds a little volume.  Sewing down the triangles makes it look too stiff and flat.   This is the result the fishtail on the left of the picture has not been sewn down the side and it just hanging naturally, where as the fishtail on the right has been sewn down.  From the side it looks like this:

Fishtail sewn down

Fishtail sewn down

Fishtail ironed in place

Fishtail ironed in place

I also wonder if I got the shape of the back of the skirt quite right as the two fishtails sit one on top of each other when I place the skirt flat.  I would have thought that having the long edges of each running up into the seam line, so they sit side by side would be better (although this might make it a bit windy at the back!)As the fishtail is just in the vent I think I can probably make up the skirt in the tweed and see how the garment looks before I make a final decision.

Do you have any thoughts on this, have you ever made up a skirt with a fishtail?

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5 thoughts on “Fishtails

  1. I’ve never made a fishtail skirt so I’m afraid I have no helpful advice. I like the triangles though. Could you toile just the fishtail piece in a more drapey fabric to get a better idea of how it might hang?

  2. oh, you used calico for a toile instead of muslin? all the muslins (the fabric) i have seen in the uk are very loosely woven and hard to sew with (you lose all the notches from the sides in the fraying!). would you recommend using calico instead? the US bloggers i have seen making things from musling definitely seem to be using something different from the stuff i have found in the UK.

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