Monday, November 2, 2009

The Mermaid Costume

This was a fun one to make. My daughter wanted to be a mermaid for Halloween, and thankfully, being only 4 years old she didn't have a huge opinion on how it needed to look. I hate the standard 2-piece Disney mermaid fare...and the idea of a 4 year old wearing a seashell bikini just seems tacky to me. So I knew I wanted something that covered, and secondly I wanted her to be able to walk around easily. I decided early on to make a simple pillowcase style top, and then have the dress come to a point where I would put the fins coming down to the ground. I had to play around with it a little to get the fins to look like fins. In the end I got close...I think it could potentially use some more tweaking, but I actually liked the simple home-made quality of it. Plus I love the Amy Butler green polka dot fabric, I'm making my way through the last yard or so I have since it's been discontinued. I didn't want to buy more fabric, since I have plenty. So I opted for some subtle flannels I had lying about. I didn't have enough of any one color to make the front and the back the I call it "reversible." If she wants to be blue, she can...if she feels like being green, just flip it around!
The pillowcase top is pretty basic, once it was made I tried it on her and eyeballed where I wanted the point to be...then I cut it. From there I measured the sides of dress to the point to figure out the dimensions of the fins, and measured how long the fins needed to be so that they weren't dragging on the floor. (In reality I laid it out on the floor on top of a roll of paper and traced what I wanted the fin to look like)
The other thing I wanted to make sure of was that the fin retained a fin-like shape. In order to do this I put a piece of fleece in between the layers of cotton. This way once the fins were sewn the fleece would pop out and keep the shape, this seemed to work well. Plus the detailing on the fin really popped because of the added dimension from the fleece.
I did have to go back and tack the front and back fins together a little bit, without it the dress opened up too much and didn't look like fins anymore.

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