I spent a good part of last week making a mermaid costume with my eldest who was attending a pirate themed party and required an “off the hook” outfit (yes, I too am resisting the pun to be had here). You may consider my ramblings below as a very abstract pattern for a mermaids tail, I was thinking of making a version of this for a child and if I do so, I will make pattern notes that will be less vague than this article 🙂
We started out with some metallic dance fabric (about 2m), stood her on a chair and wrapped it around her from the hips down.
She wanted the mermaid tail skin tight (“they’ll have to wheelbarrow me about if cant walk Mum”) so we put an 8″ zip in the back so she could at least stand some chance of getting into the thing. We found some pretty upholstery ribbon with beads for £2.99 per metre at Dunelm Mill (there are zero craft shops in this town!) to go around the top edge and under this we stitched two large semi-circlular pieces of chiffon, this particular chiffon is quite stiff and it’s shimmery sea green/gold iridescent colour goes beautifully with the stretchy dance fabric and has ‘fish-like’ qualities (hmmmm… Stay with me!)
Because the tail owner wanted to be sashaying around at a party, I decided against a fin at the very end of the tail (not all that practical even for getting in and out of a wheelbarrow), so I made a slit about shin height and the fin grows from there with the feet hidden behind it, little Geisha steps can be had this way whilst still allowing for a fabulous fit for piccies.
The tail was made from two exact same pieces of the fabric sewn together then stitched over the top in sweeping lines. I then lightly stuffed each section with toy stuffing.
I have yet to see a photo of my daughter wearing the costume but when I do, I will post back here. Hopefully, she won’t be in a wheelbarrow.