Friday, June 15, 2012

Simple Wrap-Around Mermaid Tail

Well, in about two months my sweet little Charlotte will be turning 4!  and for her birthday this year she has requested a mermaid party. So in preparation I decided to make her this skirt - so I could perfect the pattern and make some more for her party friends.  and let me tell you - it has been a hit so far (despite the fact that I keep dressing her up in it and making her pose so that I can get just the right picture - confessions of a blogging mom :)  I wanted the skirt to be simple, but actually look like a mermaid tail, and I think I achieved those goals.  If you can cut two rectangles, draw a squiggly line, and sew a straight line you can make this! 

It took me about 2 hours to make this skirt, but that was with taking pictures and chasing two kids.  I'm pretty sure if you had an hour to yourself you could get it done.  Here's what you need to turn your little gal into the prettiest mermaid on the block... (in the reef? in the ocean? whatever - she'll look adorable)!

1/2 yard of glitzy glam fabric
1/2 yard stiff tulle
1/2 yard of fancy lace/tulle
1 1/2 yards of ribbon
elastic thread
basic sewing tools
(these instructions are for a size 4t - you may need to adjust for other sizes)

Step 1: 
Lay out the fabrics - laying the lace on top of the tulle, making it 3 layers.

Step 2:  
Cut the pink* fabric so that it is 15 1/2" x 31"(or 1 1/2 times the size of your child's waist).
(*obviously you do not have to use pink fabric)
Cut the tulle/lace to 15"x31".  
Now you should have two rectangles.

Step 3:
If you'd like, you can do this step with a piece of lining, making a pattern, then use that to cut out your tulle/lace.
Fold the lace/tulle in half.  At the top left(where the fold is) measure 3" from the top and place a pin, then measure 2" from the fold and place a pin.  Find the center of the fabric and place a pin at the bottom center.  At the other edge, also measure 3" from the top and 2" from the side.  (the colors of my pins correspond to the colors of those words).
Now draw a squiggly line from the 2" pin on the left down to the pin in the center bottom.  Just try to mimic what I did there.  
Cut along your line.
Now fold the fabric in half again, from left to right.  
Use the cut you already made as a pattern for the other side.

When you open it up, it should look like this:

Step 4:
Pin the tulle/lace to the *pink fabric, with the *pink fabric on top of the tulle/lace.
Use lots pins - this stuff tends to scoot all around.

Put the elastic thread onto your bobbin.  Be SURE to back stitch a little when you start and finish otherwise your elastic thread will pull right out.  Stitch the *pink to the tulle/lace.  Then, set your iron on the steam setting - hold the iron over the elastic thread (don't touch the fabric it will burn!) - steam the thread to make it gather.

Step 5:
Pin the ribbon along the top of the *pink fabric.

Put regular thread onto your bobbin, then sew the ribbon in place.

Step 6:
Lastly, try the skirt on your little mermaid and snip a hole in one side so you can feed the ribbon through in order to wrap it around.
That's it!!
Happy sewing!


  1. Adorable Mermaid Tail. I love the simplicity. Thanks for the tutorial.

  2. This is adorable, and just the kind of thing my own 4 year old would love! Now I just have to see if I can figure out elastic thread... thanks so much for the tutorial!

  3. This is a really great project! I hope you will come link it up at my Pinworthy Projects Party!

  4. This is adorable! I have a spoiled rotten grand daughter who "needs" this!
    Thanks you for sharing!

  5. This is amazing! I know a few little girls around here who would love this! Love this post, please link it up with me on Wow Us Wednesday at Family Home and Life. Liked you on Facebook :)

  6. This is SO adorable! Now if only I had a sweet little girl to dress up in it :) Very creative idea.

  7. So sweet. Love how happy your little poppet looks with it in that last photo.

  8. I made a few of your mermaid skirts for my daughter's "mermaid tea party" birthday party. Thank you so much for the awesome idea. I tried to paste a picture in here, but I can't figure out how to do it. I will email you a picture. So, so cute. :)

  9. that is so easy, even me a non-sewing person can do that. Thanks for the really clear instructions. Love how you colour code your instructions to your pins. Thanks


Thanks so much for commenting! If you have a question, make sure your email is in your profile or leave it in a comment so I can answer you. Otherwise email me at jessica(at)sewhomegrown(dot)com - Have a lovely day!

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