Sunday, June 13, 2010

Child's Mermaid Costume

A couple of months ago my daughter was invited to a "Mermaid" birthday party in which they were to dress as a mermaid or in beach gear. Well I thought it shouldn't be too hard to come up with a proper mermaid outfit. I looked online for pattern ideas but found mostly costumes for adults. What I actually ended up doing was borrowing the mermaid tail from my daughter's toddler's playgroup to make my own pattern.

I made the tail skirt and then a little star bikini top. The whole outfit is meant to be worn over a shirt and coordinating leggings. Here is the front.

Here is the back with the little tail. You can also see that I made a coordinating headband from the same sequin straps from the bikini top.

How I Made It:

A pattern was created by tracing around the outline of an existing costume I saw at my daughter's play group. I shortened the length to suit her height. There were three pieces: the skirt, tail and bikini top stars.

Pieces of coordinating were cut out from pattern. I used a poly cotton for the skirt and then a shimmery material with some left over poly satin material for the tail and bikini top.

The Tail Skirt

This skirt is to be worn over leggings or tights as it is open in the front with the tail in the back. The skirt is contoured at the back for the child's bum and open in front so they can walk.

Right sides together, stitch 3/8" down front pieced and press seam open.

Along top fold down 1/4" and press then fold down 1/2" to make channel for elastic.

Stitch close to the edge to create a channel for the elastic.

Using 19" of 3/8" elastic thread through channel.

Tack each end in place.

Zigzag stitch around entire perimeter of rough edges.

On bottom and front edge press over 1/4" and then stitch in place close to edge to finish the edges.

Make fin by putting right sides of the shimmery material together and then solid piece at the bottom. Stitch around fin with a 3/8" leaving at least a 2" opening near the top.

Turn the fin right side out so that the two shimmery pieces are now facing out.

Press. (You will notice that their is a good top side and then an underside.)

Pin together back side of skirt and then pin fin in place on bottom flare out of skirt about 4 1/2 inches from the bottom so that one side of fin is on the left side and the other half is connected to the right. Make sure that the best side of the fin is pinned in towards the right side of the skirt.

Make a 3/8" stitch down the back and to attach both sides of the fin on the skirt.

(Here is what it looks like on the child.)

For a finishing touch: Turn the skirt rightside out. Then using something flat and rigid straighten out the waist and using puffy fabric paint, draw scales on the skirt. Let dry as directed on paint. Flip over and do other side.

Bikini Top

This bikini top is meant to be worn over a shirt. The shapes could also be any other sea-themed shape but I liked stars.

Cut out 4 shimmery stars and 2 solid colors.
Pin together 2 shimmer right sides together and then the solid on the bottom. Stitch around stars 1/4" leaving at least a 1" opening to turn them right side out.

Turn them out and then press (left). Make a stitch very close to the edge of the star all the way around to outline the star (right).

Cut stretchy sequin ribbon to size of child's chest (21") and stitch together. The measure the length needed for up around the neck by placing the chest piece on and then draping the neck piece to meet the chest piece.

Attach the straps to the shimmery stars with hot glue.

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