Thursday, October 8, 2009

Make It: Sparkly Mermaid Tail Tutorial

My girls both want to be mermaids for Halloween this year, so I went to the costume shop... and the mermaid tails were like, $30 a piece, for little scraps of fabric in the general shape of a tail. Sickening. So what did I do? I high-tailed it out of there (har har) and hit up the nearest fabric store.

"Okay, kids. Pick out two fabrics each," I said once we were in the fancy party dress section of the fabric shop. The glittery sequin fabric instantly caught 4 year old Gracie and 2 year old Annelie's eye. Go figure. Then, they each picked out a glitter-infused organza (for the fins).

Total cost of fabric for TWO mermaid tails? $12. Can't beat that. Want to make mermaid tails of your own? Here's how!

*NOTE: my kids are preschool/toddler age. Gracie, the oldest, is about the size of an average 4 year old. If you have older kids, you may need more fabric!

**Also, Halloween gets a bit cold, so they are both wearing long cotton pants under their tails. Definitely give yourself enough room when you are measuring the fabric, to fit pants under their tails, if you need to!

Materials:
1/2 yard each, of two different fabrics - 1 sequin stretch fabric, 1 organza fabric (with glitter sparkles!)
thread
Straight pins
Fray stopping liquid (I use Fray Check)
Elastic (mine measures 1/4 in. - nice and stretchy!)
Sewing Machine (yes, you will need basic sewing skills)
Optional Bead - for the center of the waist
Scissors

Okay, first things first... This tutorial might look a bit daunting, because I took about a million and ten photos, but really, it is super easy. I tried to be as thorough as I could, so don't be dismayed by the photos! If you are confused at all, please leave questions in the comments section!
Step 1:
Wrap sequined fabric around your kiddo's waist, making sure the tail is as long as you can get it. Cut, so that when you sew, you have a straight tube of fabric. Make sure you give them room to walk!

Step 2:
Make sure you have plenty of room to roll over the waist, to fit in the elastic. This is your last step, so give yourself plenty of room, now! If your tail isn't long enough - reaching her ankles - you can use the extra sequin fabric to lengthen it. My sequin scraps weren't wide enough, so I tapered the bottom of the tail a little (my red tail), and then sewed the strip of sequin fabric to that.

Step 3:
Try it on your kids! If they will be wearing pants under their tails, make sure there is enough room!

Step 4:
Once the tails are on your kiddo, cut the bottom into a V, so that the bottom point of the V is just above the ankles.

Time for the tail fins!

Step 5:
Pin one organza strip to one side of the front, with pleats so that as you sew, you get a lovely ruffle. You will only be pleating the FRONT of the tail, and sewing the back flat - it looks fantastic this way, but if you want to pleat both front and back of the fins, you may need more organza. NOTE: Make sure you leave about 2 inches at the tip... you will be rounding that off with scissors once it is sewn on.

Step 6:
Pin fabric on front side of the V with pleats (sorry you have to pin... I hate pinning... but its worth it in the end, I promise!)

Step 7:
Sew! Don't worry about the back of the tail at this point... just get the front sewn.

Step 8:
Round off the bottom of the V. Don't worry about making this perfect. The fin will be so full and fluffy that imperfections will be hidden.
Step 9:
Use Fray-stopping solution everywhere you cut the organza and let dry completely before moving on.

REPEAT on other side of the front V

Step 10:
Sew the back - just fold the remaining ends of the organza over to the back of the tail, pin in place and sew straight. You should have just enough to give yourself about 2 inches off the end, which you'll round off and Fray-check.

Then, make sure all the organza is cleanly cut, and all ends have been touched with the no-fray solution.

Yay, bottom done! Time for the waist!
Step 11:
Measure elastic and sew in a hoop. Make sure it is nice and tight and won't pull apart!

Step 12:
Stick the tail on your kiddo, and then take the left over organza strip and wrap it around her waist. The organza doesn't stretch, so give yourself a bit of room for stretchiness when you cut.
Then, sew the organza into a tube and fit it over the un-sewn waist of the tail.

Step 13: Put your worker-monkey to work!

Fold over the top of the tail (the sequin fabric and organza together). Slip in the circle of elastic. Have your worker-monkey (er... I mean kid) pull the elastic tight, and pin the folds over, so you can sew the elastic in.

Okay, okay, I know this isn't traditionally the way people put elastic in a skirt. You're thinking, OMG, Marisa what are you doing??... why didn't we just put the elastic in during the first step, using a safety pin, like a normal person, and then sew closed?

But let me tell ya... when I made this skirt, I was designing as I went (aka totally winging it), and I didn't know how much organza I'd have left for this part. Since I KNEW that this step was going to be easier than it looks on paper... er, computer screen... I left it for last. Have no fear, people! Sewing the circle of elastic in this way isn't hard at all.
See? Totally easy. And you are just about finished now.

Step 14:
Pinch the organza around the center on the front and sew. You can add a bead to the center, if you like, to give the tail a bit of pearly bling! Repeat for the back.

And VOILA! You are done. Now just grab your littlest mermaid and try on her tail.

When I see this picture, I can't help thinking, "Her name was Lola, she was a show girl..."

Seriousy, wasn't that easy? And affordable? And ridiculously adorable?

Yes, yes and yes!

Enjoy!

xoxo,

114 comments:

jean said...

Great job Marisa! I think the best part about these are that there's no way they can run away quickly.

The Momma said...

At the Copa... Copa Cabanna!!! Go on, get your Barry Manilow on!

Those are too cute for words!

Natalie said...

Are you kidding me? Those are the cutest things I've ever seen! Sewing makes me a little nauseous, so can you just send me a couple? :)

threemoonbabies said...

So cute! My littlest wanted to be a mermaid...then Max from Where the Wild Things Are...and now an Oompa Loompa. After seeing your tutorial, maybe I can convince her to be a mermaid again! Your girls look adorable!

Sharrie said...

That is a great blog post. What a wonderful costume!

Winklepots said...

Cute and cuter! How fun! And I'm with Natalie, want to just sew up a couple more and send them my way? :o)

New England Quilter said...

You have adorable little mermaids! Thanks for sharing your creativeness!
Amy



http://newenglandquilter.artfire.com

Vintage Inspired Jewelry said...

Absolutely adorable and I'm sure much nicer than store bought. Have a great day..Kati

Janna said...

Love the tails!! What a creative mom you are! You make me wish for a little girl. I'd sew up a mermaid tail tonight for her if I had one. Hmmm. Maybe I can convince my boys to be mermen for Halloween? Nah. They'd never go for it.

Elizabeth @ TexasEbeth said...

How easy and cute! Too bad I have a little boy who wants to be Thomas the Tank Engine. *sigh*

Julie-ann Bowden said...

You are so talented. What lucky girls they are to have a mum like you. They look lovely, you have made them proud and your daughters so cute!

Angie said...

Thank you so much for posting this tutorial! AND for all the photos! My daughter is going to LOVE her very own mermaid tail!!

casserole said...

OMG what cute little mermaids! And such a creative sewing project!!

(I posted a link to it out on Craft Gossip.)

--Anne

mel said...

do you know what i could search for to find the sequin-y fabric? i only have walmart for a craft store :P in my town, so my options are very limited. i am trying to look the fabric up online so i can order it and get it made by halloween, but i can't find it.

ElegantSnobbery said...

Mel - Here is a link to the fabric online:

http://www.tulledirect.com/acatalog/stretch-3mm-dot-bolt-.html

I'm not sure if that site will work for you, but at least you can see the product description and name, so you can find it quickly! Good luck!

ElegantSnobbery said...

Oh yikes... that Tulle Direct site is for wholesale... let me see if I can find something better to order from, but you can at least see what type of fabric it is from that link.

ElegantSnobbery said...

Okay MEL! Found it on Ebay... you might be able to get it in the 1/2 yard:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Sequin-Knit-Disco-Dots-Choice-of-color-dance-prom-BTY_W0QQitemZ270368490125QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUS_Fabric?hash=item3ef337c28d

mel said...

thank you so much for all your help searching for me! i'm letting my almost 4 year old decide which color now--pink or purple. of course. :) i'm still a novice at this sewing thing, so i want to have plenty of time to work on this.

and thanks so much for the tutorial! my daughter has been telling me she wants to be a mermaid for the past several weeks, but i didn't want to do the disney thing. this will be perfect!

ElegantSnobbery said...

Mel, just a tip if you are new(ish) to sewing... that stretchy 3mm dot fabric is a pain to sew. You might want to consider sewing in a cotton lining, which will keep your sewing needle from catching on the fabric, if it is on top while you are sewing.

Sewing the organza to the polyester dot fabric was easy, as long as the organza was on top.

Good luck!

mel said...

you reiterated what my mom (who is an excellent seamstress) told me, so i will be sewing a lining for sure! thanks for the help. love your blog and saved it to my favorites. :)

ElegantSnobbery said...

Mel- Oh good! I'm sure your mom told you, but I'll say it if she didn't... make sure you add a little more fabric to the lining, if you are using a solid cotton, rather than a knit, as the dot sequin fabric is stretchy. You want to make sure your little gal has plenty of room to walk!

Cathy said...

The girls look adorable - can't believe you not only had the energy to make the tails but also to photograph the process and write a tutorial explaining how! Supermum!

Tori said...

LOVE this! Too late for Halloween as I'm in the throes of the first princess costume but I think the dress up box needs one of these! Thanks!

soclady said...

I'm headed out tomorrow to get Ariel material. This is sooo much better than the store bought version. Well, dah. If all patterns were written as well as yours, I would sew more! thanks for sharing.

od Andulky said...

Thanks for sharing!!! My daughter loves them!

SuzyQSparkles said...

It's times like these that I wish we had a daughter!

I just posted links to this on my blog (for all my friends/readers with little girls!)

http://suzyqsparkle.blogspot.com/2009/10/making-mermaid-tail.html

SuzyQSparkles said...

PS: I saw you on Facebook via Rube Jane's Retro Fabric http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/rubyjanefabric?ref=nf

imo said...

This is really fantastic;from a year or more my doughter wants a mermaid costume.I am going to make it finally,thanks soo much.

Anna said...

Lovely costumes. I made a mermaid costume two years ago with similar fabric, but I used a pattern. it was a disaster!
I saw this on One Pretty Thing, and I think I'll be staying! :)

Comtesse said...

I made one, you could see it here :
http://comtessecreations.blogspot.com/2009/11/compte-rebours.html
Thank you so much.
Mine is not so nice because I haven't bought organza.

sire said...

BELLISIMO DISFRAZ DE SIRENA!!!!!!!!!!!!TE FELICITO!!!!!.MUY BUEN GUSTO.ME ENCANTO.

sire said...

me voy a hacer uno!!.genial...

Christina said...

Thanks for the directions! My girls have been wanting a tail for sew long! :) I wish I was a better sewer.

Lina Holmgren said...

Thanks for the excellent description! I got my daughters request just before dinner and by the time she went to bed I only had the organza at the lining left. And I'm NOT used to sewing! I cheated a bit though: I re-used a rib-knitted tshirt for the strechy part and could keep the neck, which meant I didn't have to sew a lining or elastic at all. I just cut if off by the shoulders and sew the sides. The skirt then became a little lower cut in the front, showing the belly-button of my girl, while it went a little higher in the back.

Amy C. said...

THANK YOU for posting this (almost a year ago!)

My daughter not only wants to be a mermaid for Halloween - she wants to be Arial's daughter. Melody. From Little Mermaid II. They don't make costumes for second movie charecters - and she doesn't understand this. So NOW I can MAKE her the dang tail and all will be right in her world!! :)

Thanks, again! WOO HOO GOOGLE SEARCH! ;)

ElegantSnobbery said...

YAY! So glad this tutorial is working out for all of you!! And those of you who are emailing me photos of your creations, THANK YOU!! I love seeing them!!

Shannon Koth said...

Ok so I am on try number 2... (still teaching myself everything about sewing) yea... I should measure twice not cut twice... Anyways... Is there any way you have an up close pictures of the elastic putting in part?

ElegantSnobbery said...

Shannon - Oh noes! Sorry you have to try it twice! Hopefully attempt #2 will work out for you!

As for the elastic, no, I don't have other pictures (sorry, I deleted them after this post).

However, all I did was sew the elastic into a circle, then sew it into the waist (which is already circular, because it was sewn into a tube in the first step).

If that doesn't make sense, please email me at elegantsnobbery@hotmail.com and I can draw a diagram and hopefully make more sense of it for you!

And if you have a way to slip in the elastic that will be easier for you, of course go ahead!

Shannon Koth said...

Well I am trying again after bed time tonight... I am thinking of just doing it the old fashion way and then making the waist a belt style organza tie... Hmmm... so no doubt mine will look different but it will rock either way to my 2 year old. I will def link you to my blog after I post pictures!!!

Shannon Koth said...

Drum roll please... I did it!!! I made it!!! It is great!!! I still need to tie up some lose ends but have a look!

http://jandskoth.blogspot.com/2010/09/my-little-mermaid.html

ElegantSnobbery said...

Shannon - ABSOLUTELY adorable!! Love it in that green color!! I tried to comment on your post, but for some reason it wasn't working, but Woo hooo! So glad you and your daughter love your tail!

Kelli said...

I just wanted to tell you how much I loved your tutorial. I used it to turn my little girl into a mermaid for Halloween. You can see pictures here if you'd like.

http://prettylilposies.blogspot.com/2010/10/itty-bitty-mermaid-kinleys-halloween.html

Thanks so much!

Tiffany said...

Hi Marisa,
I'm making 9 (yes, 9) of these tails for my niece's 4th birthday party in two weeks and I had a question. Her mom hates the sequin stuff because it doesn't come in pale colors and won't match the theme (ugh), but we found a different fabric that also stretches (slightly) that is kind of shimmery and smooth feeling. The problem is that the stretch is only one way and runs the opposite way of what we had cut. Does that make sense? I'm worried that I won't have enough fabric. Is the stretchiness running horizontally that important? Thanks!

Marisa Hopkins said...

Tiffany - the stretchiness is only important if the fabric needs to be stretchy in order for the kids to walk. If you make them loose enough that there is room for comfortable walking, I shouldn't imagine a non-stretchy fabric being a problem for you.

Hopefully that answers your question!! If not, be sure to let me know! And good luck! I'd love to see pictures if you'd like to share!

And everyone else who has made a tail or tails, and has let me know... thank you so much! I love knowing you have happy little mermaids out there, and I love seeing your photos!!

Anonymous said...

I cant wait to try this! My daughter wants to have a mermaid birthday party and this will be perfect for her!

Sara

Joanna said...

I found this tutorial on pinterest a few weeks ago, bought all the materials last weekend and made my daughter's Ariel costume today.
Thank you so much for the awesome pictures/directions. You can chedk it out on my blog at www.poot-n-toots.typepad.com

Thanks!!!!!

Marisa Hopkins said...

LOVE it, Joanna! That jewel and the clam shell top are perfect!!

Monica said...

I just used your tutorial to make one for my three year old and one year old and they couldn't be cuter, thanks for sharing!

teresa said...

Oh my Gee, as my daughter would say. these are cute. I tried it and it turned out great. thanks a bunch...

Tet said...

Here's the one I made for my little girl...I even made one for me :)

https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/309839_254895744556633_100001086280981_720035_2002669961_n.jpg

Marisa Hopkins said...

Yay, I'm so glad you guys are loving this tutorial!

Tet - I love it!! Thanks so much for sharing :)

Bethany said...

Thank you for the great instructions! All three of my girls are mermaids this year for Halloween thanks to you. http://thegoodshiplollipop.blogspot.com/2011/10/happy-halloween.html

Anna Nguyen said...

Thank you for the great tutorial...I was terrified of having to make a tail. And this made it so much easier and fun!

Here is a link to my finished blue mermaid costume that I did for my daughter this year. We used shells collected over the summer to make a mermaid necklace & crown.

http://www.makingalifenotalivingblog.com/2011/11/halloween-tail.html

Lisa K. said...

Thanks so much for the wonderful tutorial. I managed to find fishscale fabric at Jo-ann for 70% off after Halloween! I doubled the tail over and hemmed the waist overlay so I wouldn't have to wait for fray check to dry. Here's a pic of my uncooperative 2yo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/losabia/6454243567/in/photostream

Carrie Hutchings said...

My daughter always wants to dress up like a mermaids and I am in the process of making her one of these adorable tails but I am stuck. I don't understand how to pin and sew the tail part on. Do I pin the organza on the front of the sequin fabric or on the back?

Carrie Hutchings said...

I think I figured it out.

Marisa Hopkins said...

Carrie - Pin it so the rough edge is on the inside. :) Hope it works for you!!

also, I love when you guys leave me links to your photos (and I get such awesome emails with photos, too)! Thanks so much for sharing your tails! :)

Anonymous said...

thanks Marisa for the great inspiration my daughter Anneli (!) who is 3.5 wants to be a mermaid and I was missing the inspiration for the skirt! best from Anneli's mom to Annelie's mom!

Anonymous said...

Hi there, I hope you still read the comments on this post. I am so glad I found it, it's clearly the best tutorial out there. I am not a great seamstress, so just one small question - does it need to be organza for the fins? I am asking because I found some lovely shimmery slightly stretchy fabric, but it's obviously much less fluffy than organza because it's heavier, if you see what I mean. Thanks so much for your help!

Marisa Hopkins said...

Yes, I do check my messages! Thanks for asking.

I think that it won't matter, just expect a different look. Once you get the fabric pinned, before sewing, you'll see what it should look like when it's done. With a heavier, stretchier fabric, you probably won't have the flared fins, but if it's cute, I say go for it!

I'd love to see pictures of how it turns out, when you're done!

Anyone who wants to email me their photos - I LOVE seeing them :)

Kate said...

Thanks so much for your tutorial! My 4yo has been obsessed with mermaids lately, and not being a seamstress, no way was I paying $15+ for JUST a pattern, much less that fabric and supplies!
I used your tutorial as a guideline and went from there. My little girl loves it!
I still have to add a belt to the skirt and will make the top piece into an actual shirt (it's just leftover skirt-tube I cut off when I made the waist band)
Again, thank you! Your help made my little girl very happy!

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=3287676264511&set=a.1145258025394.22882.1045804426&type=3&theater

packmybags said...

Love, love, love, love, love... Thank you for inspiring me to create some fin-tastic party favors for my daughter's upcoming birthday party.

Kimberly Hood said...

Thank you so much for posting this online! I am just finishing up this skirt for my daughter's Mermaid birthday party this weekend! I am not very good at sewing...but it wasn't that hard and turned out amazing! Thank you!!!

Sarah said...

Thanks for a great idea and instructions! I consulted your blog during the construction of 8 mermaid tails as party favors for my daughter's 7th birthday party. All the tails were very much loved and turned out great (especially considering my sewing abilities!). Fun project!!

Maria said...

Thank you, Marisa. Really helpful and soooo cute!! My daughter looks great, and I enjoyed the project.

LovetoTeach said...

Thank you for sharing your clever, easy mermaid tails! I am costuming Disney's Little Mermaid Jr for local theater and this is by far the cutest, simplistic pattern/idea I have seen yet! I will have to share resulting pictures, show is in November.

Marisa Hopkins said...

:) So glad you love this tutorial! And so glad so many people find it just as easy to make as I did!

Thanks so much for sharing your photos and stories with me! :)

Laura Legacki said...

Just found your tutorial... I have some leftover tissue lame, do you think I could substitute that for the organza?
Thanks for the tutorial, my daughter is soooooo excited!

Anonymous said...

Hey I just made this mermaid tail! But I have one question(and I k ow its been a couple years) but I can't seem to get my organization tail big and fluffly. I did the pleates. I did them about 1 inch big and sewed the fabric about 1/2 in from the bottom of the "tail " any advice?
Thanks Becca!

Marisa Hopkins said...

Laura - It will have a different look, probably, but as long as you can sew it to the sequin, I'm sure it will be cute!

Anonymous - Hmmmm... I don't know why they're not working. If you want to send me an email with pictures, maybe I can see what's going on. Or your can pick up some extra organza, if you need it, and pleat the back part of the tail, as well as the front.

C Lasater said...

Thanks for this tutorial!!! It's so funny how you described making it b/c it makes perfect sense to my self-taught-seamstress' brain! I have to google all the technical terms when watching/reading a tutorial!

One question: My daughter (almost 5) decided that we should be the Little Mermaid family for this upcoming halloween. All the men's king triton costumes look stupid! So, I'm going to try this for my husband. :) How much fabric do you think I might need to make his fin (he's 5'9")? I am going to make the baby flounder and me Ursula. :)

Marisa Hopkins said...

Thanks, C :) glad this tutorial works for you!

As for the adult tail... oh gosh, idk how much fabric to use. I usually go to the store and hold the fabric up to the kids and then buy what I need. haha. Not the greatest way... but it works for me. :D

Anonymous said...

Marisa, I'm having a brain lapse or something! When pinning the tail, is it right sides together?
Thanks!!

Susie Chadwick said...

I finished a mermaid tail for my daughter! Thanks for the tutorial. I made some changes, most importantly, I used different fabrics that didn't fray. That made it so much easier.

http://swishina.blogspot.com/2012/09/homemade-mermaid-costume.html

Marisa Hopkins said...

Cute pictures, Susie! Thanks for sharing :) I will definitely check out the no-fray fabrics... and your comment kick-started some ideas for more tails. :D yay!

Anonymous said...

I want to say thank you a million times. My daughters stuck on being a mermaids and I can't find one in her size. I just bought fabric and was gonna wing it but this is exactly what I had in mind and now I have a guide thank you! Mother if a soon to be very happy two year old

Marisa Hopkins said...

Anon - Yay! I hope it works out for you! :)

Jillian @ Hi! It's Jilly said...

I know this is a super old post (I'm not a spammer, I promise!), but this is just what I was looking for!! My daughter wants to be Ariel this year. I'm featuring your tutorial on my blog tomorrow, if that's ok. Thank you so much!!

Jillian
Hi! It's Jilly

Marisa Hopkins said...

Jilly - thank you!! And I still read all my comments, even on old posts! :D

bea n. said...

This is such nice little mermaid costumes for girls! I totally love it. Lovely of you to share this one.

Erin said...

Thank you so much for this awesome tutorial!! My daughter is 2 and she has been screaming and squealing mermaid every time she sees me working on it. I do have a question. Has anyone else had an issue with this fabric messing with their sewing machine? I'm not sure if it is because of the fabric or just a coincidence. My needles keep gunking up and then the fabric bunches around them and breaks. I have only been able to sew the tube. I can't get to the waistband or sewing on the organza because I'm having to clean off the needle. My automatic needle threader is also getting stuck now. I'm afraid I'm going to have to take me machine to get serviced. Thanks in advance if anyone has any idea why this is happening. : )

Marisa Hopkins said...

Erin - so sorry your machine is getting messed up!! That hasn't happened to me, but maybe someone else will chime in with some help.

I did see this tip on using tissue paper to help with the slippery fabrics, and wanted to link the blog post I found it on:

http://www.made-by-rae.com/2010/07/made-for-me-red-stripey-knit-shirt/

I've never tried it, but it might help!

Melissa Caldwell said...

Thank you for these intructions. I just looked online to buy a mermaid costume and couldn't find one that I liked and I didn't want to pay 30 bucks for one. Your idea looks doable and so cute. Thanks!

Julie the dreamer said...

Thank you thank you! I just paid $16 for a pattern and your design is so much better. Your directions and photos are great. My girls happen to be the same size as yours too:)

psichick said...

Thank you so much for this tutorial! I just finished my daughters costume using your tutorial.
I love how it's super clear, lots of pictures and I found it very easy to understand.
You can see my blog post about it here
http://www.thec-spot.com/
You are so creative thank you :)

Rie Bonanno Photography said...

Thanks for posting this tutorial. I just finished my daughter's mermaid costume. Your directions were super easy to follow! Thanks for posting. Happy Halloween!!

Linda Clement said...

I am having a hard time with bottom of the tail how much material do you need ..thank you

Linda Clement said...

i bought net material to add for the tail..how much of it do i use ..thank u

Marisa Hopkins said...

Linda - I bought a 1/2 yard of the the material for the tail fin when I made this for my kids as preschooler/toddlers.

The picture I have between Step 4 and Step 5 show how to cut the tail fabric if you have the fabric store cut you a 1/2 yard piece.

Idk what the exact dimensions for that would be but it might be on Google.

Hope this answers your questions!

Natasha said...

Marisa, amei seu tutorial, acabei fazendo uma saia parecida http://coisinhasnat.blogspot.com.br/2013/02/fantasia-sereia.html

bjs Natasha

Natasha said...

Marisa

amei seu tutorial olha a saia que fiz http://coisinhasnat.blogspot.com.br/2013/02/fantasia-sereia.html

Anonymous said...

fantastic - just bought the fabric, on holiday next weekend but if my little one keeps her promises to sleep properly on holiday then by the following weekend she will be a little mermaid!

Peter said...

These sparkly mermaid costumes are too cute! Thanks so much for breaking it out, step-by-step.

I thought I'd mention that there is a Creative Costume Contest over at http://www.halloweenhero.com/costume-contest-2013.html and the Grand Prize is $250. Just thought you and your readers may be interested in entering.

Keep the great tutorials coming!

Best,
Peter

Anonymous said...

Wow. your directions saved my life! I doubled up on the organza for a really full tail and what a hit! I cannot get the costume off of my little mermaid. Thanks so much for your creativity.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for your easy tutorial! I made my twin girls each one. The only real difference was that the fabric they chose was not stretchy, so I had to leave a back slit in the skirts so they can walk. :)

Lily Ruth's Mama said...

My daughter is so very excited about having a mermaid tail that looks like this!!! In my head, I was busily over-designing a cutaway-wrap-skirt-ruffled-side-tie... ugh. Instead, I will deconstruct a purple stretchy skirt that I bought THIRTEEN years ago and add some of the gorgeous plum organza that has been hiding in my fabric box. THANK YOUUUUUU!
p.s. The "JUST PULL IT!" picture keeps making me snort. I may be in love with you.

Anonymous said...

I am sad to say that I don't own a sewing machine. I have yards of fabric ready to be used for daughter's mermaid tail. Is this possible to hand stitch or too tedious to sew by hand?? My daughter has her heart set on being a mermaid for Halloween tomorrow!

Marisa Hopkins said...

Anonymous - I think it might be too tedious to hand stitch (but I'm also a bit too lazy for that) HOWEVER I bet you could hot glue it!

Last year, I was pressed for time, so I hot glued our Halloween costumes - quick and easy :) Good luck!



Marisa Hopkins said...

I want to give a huge THANK YOU! to those of you who have not only made this tail, and let me know you liked it, but also to those of you who have emailed me photos - My girls and I LOVE seeing your little mermaids!

Anonymous said...

Hi Marisa, YES ... I totally thought about the idea of using a hot glue gun rather than hand stitching ... But wondered if I would be able to do the "pleats" for the ruffled look with the hot glue gun ... ??? I am getting ready to start cutting my fabric now ... Oh boy!!! Here I go ... Wish me luck! :)

Marisa Hopkins said...

RE: glue gun pleats

Sure, I think the glued pleats should work! At least they look fabulous in my head as I imagine them, haha.

I would probably pin it all together, just like if you were sewing, with the whole thing turned inside out and the pleats pinned to the tail fabric - then glue, keeping your lines as straight as possible. When you turn it the right way, all the glue should be hidden on the inside.

Good luck!

Raina Amey said...

thank you for this! so easy and just what I was looking for. ours came out so cute ;)

Talia Means said...

Thanks for the great tutorial! I'm a novice on the sewing machine, and these instructions totally helped me make a cute Little Mermaid tail for my 2-year-old's Halloween costume!

Adrianne B said...

Thanks so much for this tutorial! I used it to make my daughter's mermaid costume this year. We spent about $15 on the fabric and had enough left over to decorate her Halloween candy basket as well. It was my first time machine sewing an actual garment and I am so pleased that it turned out so well! You can see it here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=655298664493803&set=a.640842045939465.1073741840.276461779044162&type=1&theater

Thanks again! - Adrianne

Marisa Hopkins said...

Adrianne - GORGEOUS!!! I want that tail for myself!!!

hope she wins!! :)

Marisa Hopkins said...

I'm so glad, years after posting this tutorial, I'm still getting awesome emails with photos of little ladies in rad tails - so fun to see!

Thanks!!

Anonymous said...

Marisa, you are a legend! My almost 6 yr old has been begging for a mermaid tail for her party and this pattern is every bit as gorgeous, affordable and easy as you say.

Melissa said...

thank you so much! i couldn't justify spending $40 on a mermaid costume and my home made one turned out beautifully thanks to this blog!!
thanks again ;)

Melissa said...

thank you so much! i couldn't justify spending $40 on a mermaid costume and my home made one turned out beautifully thanks to this blog!!
thanks again ;)

katysewell12 said...

My daughters are obsessed with mermaids and my one daughter is convinced that she is one! I think for the summer months, it would be a lot of fun to make them mermaid tails to wear around the yard and house. I bet it will be a hit with them! http://www.finfunmermaid.com/shop-mermaid-tails/adult-and-kids-mermaid-tails.html

Jenn said...

Hi Marisa! Question for you--I am trying to make this costume and am a new sewer :) My organza is 1/2 yard wide but 30 inches long. In order to make the fin gathered in the front and sewn straight in the back in one continuous piece, I need to use the full 30 inches it seems? But when I cut the organza like you showed on your diagram 1 long piece for the waist and two shorter pieces for the tails--I have one continuous piece for the tail and the other side is 2 equal pieces. Is this how you did this? I am SURE this is a very novice question--haha...Thanks!!

Linda said...

The captions on the "tired arms" photo are spot on. I'm going to try this for my daughter's pool party.

Karen said...

I just had a request from my cousin to make her granddaughter a mermaid costume for her 1st birthday party. This is exactly what I had in my head to make for her! Thanks so much for the post and your detailed instructions. Wish me luck!

ramsaygrace said...

So happy to have stumbled across your mermaid costume this morning, as I have a 6 year old that insists she will be a Mermaid for Halloween. We've looked everywhere and the ones I find are expensive and flimsy looking. I'm not a sewer, but I think I can follow your instructions. You were very clear with your examples and I'm so thankful! SO glad you shared this! Also, I'm definitely singing about Lola now, lol

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