How to Make a Mermaid Outfit
I was given a few boxes of fabric recently, and as soon as I saw the blue I knew it was destined for mermaidendom. The kindergarten my daughter attends has a couple of well-worn mermaid skirts and much-too-large-for-the-children bikini tops that are regularly played with. I decided it was time they had more practical outfits for the children that could be worn over their clothing during cooler weather. This is what I came up with, and to say it has been a hit with the girls is an understatement.
How to make a mermaid costume
What you need:
Flesh coloured spandex fabric for the bodice
Colourful stretch fabric for the skirt
Contrasting fabric for the tail – non stretch
Please note that I’m the kind of person who sews on the go (makes up as I go along), and as such I suck at making patterns. I’m assuming that you have a basic understanding of how to sew clothing, and if that’s the case you should find this costume pretty easy to make. Please add whatever seam allowance you like to work with.
If any parts of the process are unclear please leave a message at the end of this post and I’ll do my best to clarify it.
First, measure from the top of the hip bone to the ankle. This will be the length of the skirt. Then either measure waist, or wrap fabric around waist/legs to work out the width you require. Once you have cut the fabric, cut the bottom into a v-shape and sew the side seams.
Now to make the tail-fin. Measure from the tip of the V to the edge, then double that amount to work out the length of the straight edges on the tail-fins. Curve the bottom edge when cutting. Cut out two fins.
Sew a hem on the curved section of the fin.
With right sides together, pin the tail to the skirt, pleating as you go. (Start at the tip of the V on the skirt at the front and pin the first straight edge, then continue with the 2nd straight edge down to the tip of the V on the back).
Sew together. Repeat for the other fin.
I used one of my daughter’s t-shirts as a template for the top. Make sure you make it long enough (plus seam allowance) to reach the top of the hips. Cut out and sew seams on the flesh-coloured fabric. Cut out a shorter bodice in the same fabric as the skirt, and sew the seams. I then sewed it in place over the flesh-coloured bodice.
Turn skirt inside out, and place the bodice upside-down inside the skirt, with right side of the top and skirt fabrics facing together. Pin bodice and skirt together. If the bodice and the skirt aren’t the same circumference, don’t worry. Just match up the side seams, then find the centre of bodice and skirt and pin there, then find the centre between pins and pin again etc. When sewing you can stretch the smaller circumference fabric as you sew so the two pieces match up nicely.
Once you have sewn the middle pull the bodice through and it will look like this.
Tidy up all your seams, snip all the loose threads, check for any pins, turn it the right way and then you’re good to go. Woohoo!
Here’s an alternative version for the bodice for older mermaids. For this version use a rectangle of fabric, gather in the centre and sew in place, then sew onto the bodice.
This blog was written by Sue Rafferty who blogs at Wub Boo Mummy
Sue is a working from home mum of two amazing, but somewhat strange creatures who provide the inspiration for her writing.
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