Do you love mermaids? Well, I love mermaids. I have dreamt of being a mermaid since I can remember. I mean my favorite Disney princess is Ariel and I have been able to sing her key note song since I could a hold note. So now that I am an adult I decided to make my dream a reality. Here is my step by step method I used to make my mermaid tail.
Step 1: Pick the Fabric
I used a performance fabric from the fabric store. There is something very important to check when buying your fabric though. Make sure you can stretch it FOUR ways and that it won’t pill (run) when you do. There is some performance fabric that really lack performance (pun fully intended). You can choose a pattern, shimmery or even one with mermaid scales. This is the best part really because you get to make your tail special and one of a kind just like you! As for how much, I am 5’4” and needed 2.5 yards. I ended up buying 3 yards to be safe and had enough to make some swimming leggings to wear this winter. So when in doubt buy more 🙂
Step 2: Make the Pattern
This was the hardest part and you will need an extra pair of hands. Get some paper, tape it together and lie down. Have your helper then trace your lower body (keeping your legs as tight together as possible) with the pen right next to you so that you have a silhouette of your body. Have them stop at the ankles since you will be putting the trace out of the mono fin there.
Side note: It is vital to buy a good mono fin. I bought mine at Fin Fun and I love it. It worth the money to buy a sturdy mono fin that is made to be a mermaid. (I am not sponsored by the way. I just love their products.)
Next it is time to trace out the mono fin pattern. Lay the mono fin on some paper and trace it out just like you did for your body. Attach it to where your ankles are. You will have a clearer view in the next step.
Step 3: Cut the Fabric
Fold your fabric together right sides facing each other and pin the pattern on top of it to make it so the fabric won’t move while you cut and your pattern will not move either. Make sure for a child you give a one inch allowance and two inches for an adult.
Once you have cut the fabric you can remove the extra fabric and you will see this. It may not be a perfect two inch allowance but it is pretty close.
Step 4: Pin the Fabric
Now that you have cut the fabric out, but before you remove the pattern, pin the two pieces of fabric together all the way around except for the very bottom. I left it open so I can slide the mono fin in and out that way. This is how Fin Fun does their mermaid tails so if you would prefer to just buy a beautiful mermaid tail CLICK HERE. So this was not my idea but rather the genius of Fin Fun.
Step 5: Sew the Tail
Now sew around the tail giving an half inch seam allowance for kids and one inch allowance for adults. Leave about an inch and half at the top open so you can make the casing for the waist band next.
Side tip: One big thing to know about using a stretchy material, you need to use an all purpose thread and ballpoint needle. When it comes to stitch choice you have two options. You can use the zig zag stitch because it will give some give to the fabric and allow the fabric to stretch slightly as you take it on and off. The other option is the straight stitch. The tip for a straight stitch though is that you have to put some pull on the fabric to stretch it out as it goes through the machine. If you don’t you will break the thread as you use the mermaid tail. I like the straight stitch so I used it, but I did have an issue with the thread missing the bobbin so if yours does no worries. Just go over it again and the seam will be secure.
Step 6: Make the Waist Band
Now you have to make the casing for the waist band. I used one inch no roll elastic. Measure it around yourself where the waist of the tail will be. Make to it so it will be snug but not too tight.
Next fold over the spare fabric from the last step and pin the casing. Sew the casing with which ever technique you choose. Now use a safety pin to act as a needle to pull the elastic through the casing. Sew the elastic end pieces together and then the sides of the casing together.
Side note: I like to round off my elastic ends so it will make threading though the casing easier.
Step 7: Try the Tail out
Turn the tail right side out and admire your handy work. you have just made your first mermaid tail! Congrats! Now try it out. Slip the mono fin in and make sure the tail is the right size. This is not the most flattering picture on the planet but it was the first moment of me being a mermaid.
Step 8: SWIM!!!!!
Now that your tail is complete time to get in the pool! I love how fun it is to live my dream of being a mermaid and I hope you will too. To make sure you are ready to be a mermaid, here is a video from Fin Fun with all the skills you need to make sure you are ready to be a mermaid CLICK HERE. Happy Mermaiding!