Thursday, December 20, 2007

how to make the mermaid tail....

This tail fits my two and a half year old.

I used:~

.5 metre rhumba mesh

.5 metre dancetime satin (you could substitute this and just use the one fabric, such as that sequiny stuff)

A small amount of padding, I used quilt wadding but you could anything similar, even a couple of layers of polar fleece.

First I created my pattern pieces, the skirt is basically a tube shape with an leongated curve.

I measured Lily's hips then add some for ease of movement, halved it to get the skirt width. The other measurements needed were to just above knee plus one inch, and the required length plus an inch. I chose about ankle length so that if Lily hasn't got the tail hooked up, it won't drag on the ground too much.

The measurements I used where 13 inches across, 11 inches and 20 inches down. Draw a line curving the 11 inch side down to the 20 inch one.

Cut two of this pattern piece from the satin and the mesh.

With right sides facing sew along the bottom curv. Trim seam and secure it with a zigzag stitch and turn right way up. At this stage as the mesh is so slippery on the satin I found it useful to stitch it into place over the top of the satin. Sew the shorter length side seams together. Overlock seam.

Your second pattern piece should look like half a mermaid's tail, something like this one below. Use your imagination and go wild with a shape!!

The only thing I forgot to add on my pattern piece here was a two inch high and a couple wide rectangle where the tail joins into the skirt.

Additionally cut a length of the satin two inches wide and about 10 long. Fold in half and stitch. Turn right side out.

Place on fold and cut two of the dancetime satin and one from your padding.

Stitch hand tail to the right side of one of tail piece with the two ends place to the edge of the tail.

With right sides of the satin facing and the padding on the bottom layer stitch about .5cm around the outside of the tail leaving the tag unstitched.
Turn right side out and topstitch around the edge of the tail. Stitch a few wavy lines down through the tail like I've drawn on the pattern piece.

Place the tage from the tail against the bottom edge of one of the long seams with the rest of the tail laying on the right side of the skirt. Stitch in place, then place the other seam over the top and stitch and overlock the top seam. Turn right side out and top stitch a line along where the tail joins the skirt to secure it further and hide the over locked seam a little.

Overlock or zigzag around the waist, turn over one inch stitch down leaving room to thread elastic. Measure your child's waist. Subtract 5 cm from the measurement and cut a length of 12mm non roll elastic. Thread through elastic casing, secure and finally stitch down casing opening.

Hope the instructions make sense!! I didn't think to take photos of the process.

Voila it's done!!!!!

Try on your little one!!


  1. Thanks so much for this tutorial Tikki. I have added it to my to-do list.

  2. This is exactly the kind of mermaid tail I was looking for to make my niece for her birthday! Thanks for sharing!


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