Mermaid Costume

Posted on 29 April 2009

I have been trying without much success to find a picture of my mermaid costume that I made and wore to a nautical  themed party in 2000.  Out of frustration I dug it out and bravely tried it on – I have had two children since then, and gained a few kilos before that after all – and was pleasantly surprised to find that it actually still fits ok. Well, just.

Anyway, here is the result of our photoshoot.

Mermaid costume, front

Back, take 2

The design was inspired by Ariel, from one of my favorite Disney movies, The Little Mermaid.

I used a flesh toned body suit as the base, with sequined knit fabric for the tail. I put a split in the back so I could move (very important at a party) and made a “fin” frill for the bottom to hide my feet.

The shells were a little more challenging. I drew a rough pattern of a clam shell, but with the finger bits spread out so they could be shaped.  I cut out four shells in a white sparkly/pearly Lycra fabric (scrap from another project) and two from thin purple card to go in between  for body and to give a slightly purple tinge. Obviously I wasn’t thinking about cleaning it at the time!

The pieces then got zigzagged together around the edges and  shaped and stitched onto me.

This was the really tricky part. I had the body suit on, standing in front of the mirror and tried to pin the shells on but this proved to be far too dangerous, so instead I got some thread and a needle and hand basted each of the clam fingers to the suit, all nicely overlapped and in the correct position. Then it was just a matter of stitching it all around.

Shell detail

For those who are wondering, yes it was a great party!


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