Tuesday, September 24, 2013

How to make a mermaid tail

The things we do for kids, hey? 

A few months ago Miss Piggy asked me if I would make a mermaid tail. I, of course, was very non-committal, suitably vague and said something along the lines of, "Well, maybe in the holidays.." I hoped she would forget about it. She didn't. 

On the weekend I took a trip to Spotlight to buy some new blinds and Miss Piggy innocently volunteered to come with me.

When she mentioned a tour around the fabric section I began to smell a rat, but it wasn't until she produced a $20 note and said, "Daddy said I could buy the fabric for my mermaid tail," I realised I'd been conned. 

So we wandered through the dance fabrics and swim fabrics perusing all sorts of shiny, scary, sequinned type material until we found one that was just right. Green and shiny like Arials. Luckily it was on sale. 

On the way to the counter I reminded her mummy is a beginner with sewing, that mummy would try her best but couldn't make any promises - this mission was bound to end in disaster. At the counter Miss Piggy cheerfully announced to anyone who was listening, "My mum is making me a mermaid tail!".  All the ladies around the counter looked at me with pity and smiles. It seemed like an impossible errand. 

But today was a designated crafty day for Miss Piggy and ... guess what? By some miracle, we managed to make a mermaid tail!!! The stitching may not be grand - and it may have lost some of it shine on its first trip out - but we achieved our goal, nonetheless. 

Step 1: trace around the legs of the prospective mermaid, leaving a seam allowance. Trace onto folded fabric (right sides together). Make sure the stretch goes ACROSS the body. I traced all the way up to her arm pits - just in case!

Step 2: draw in the flume

Step 3: pin, cut and sew around the outside of your pattern, leaving the top and bottoms open
Step 4: turn right side out, mark and pin flume.Sew along the marked line.  I marked the shape of the tail in yellow texta, it rubbed right off the shiny fabric when I was done.

Step 5: cut strips along the bottom of the flume, being careful not to cut your stitching. 

Step 6: cut the strips into waves for that 'floaty' effect in the water

Step 7: try on! Enjoy! 

I scrunched and folded the top to form a waistband at the appropriate height, this allowed for some slippage in the water without the tail falling off. You could add elastic for the same effect. 

Here are some action shots:
We had to race straight over to Nana's pool to try it out!

Actually, this project was simpler than I thought. The only real issues I had was having the wrong needle for sewing Lycra. Luckily, after a quick 'emergency' phone call, 'Daddy' visited the fabric shop and brought home the correct needle during his lunch break - Miss Piggy can be quite persuasive, especially when it comes to her daddy!!!  

I wonder if today is a day she'll think back on when she is older? I hope so, it was a good one :) I'm happy I made her smile :)


  1. I love this!! You did so well, and your daughter looks like she's having a ball. Hopefully she'll look back on this one day when she is making a mermaid tail for her own daughter. :-)

    1. Yes, she is loving it! Two swims in and holding up well. That's a lovely thought, that one day it may be a fond memory she tries to recreate for her own daughter :)

  2. Super cute!!!! I have been having a similar conversation with 4 year old. She keeps trying to make her own, I really should just do it!!

    1. Just do it :) It really wasn't as hard as I thought - honest! I think plain jersey would be easiest to sew though. Good luck!!!

  3. Oh wow! What a great tail! I'm thinking I need to invest in a sewing machine after seeing posts like this ;)

  4. It looks s good! I have no idea how to sew so I pray that my daughter won't ask me for the same one day when she gets bigger!

    #teamIBOT was here!

  5. Oh that's very cool!
    I won't be showing it to my kids anytime soon though. ;)


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