Over and over this summer I’ve had little girl’s mermaid tails on my mind. I’ve seen some at the pool, I’ve seen some towels, I’ve seen them on the internet, so when two little girls in my life were wanting one, I decided to give it a go and make some tails! And now that I know how, I can teach you! They are really easy to make. The first one took a little work to figure out how I wanted to do it, but by the second, it took about 20 minutes! Pretty easy project and something the little girls will love! Here’s how to make a mermaid tail:
I should mention a couple of things.
First-one of these little girls actually wanted a dolphin tail, so the silver one is a dolphin tail. :) So these could be mermaid tail patterns or dolphin tails.
Second-I am fully aware that these are not necessarily considered safe in the pool. I made these ones intending for them to be used at home. (You can do with yours what you want.) So don’t go crazy in the comments telling me I am evil for making these. NOT that I’ve ever had crazy commenters… ;)
I seriously kind of love how these came out! I mean, hot pink and sparkly? How can you go wrong?
Are you ready to try making one?
Mermaid Tail Pattern & Tutorial:
Please read about measuring and figuring out your sizing BEFORE shopping for fabric because how much you buy will vary by your sizing for this.
- 1 1/2 or 2 yards of stretchy, shiny fabric (This will vary based on size. I was making tails that were about 32 inches long. If you are making it longer, get more fabric.)
- 1/2 yard of stiff interfacing (the stiffest you can find)
- 1 yard of elastic
- Mermaid Tail Pattern Piece
Before you begin, and really even before you shop for fabric, you will want to measure your little girl if possible. Here is what to measure:
- Knees (with them together)
- Ankles (with them together)
- Waist to floor
You’ll use these measurements for your guide while sewing.
Now, print your pattern piece and cut it out.
Fold your interfacing in half and place the pattern piece on the fold and cut out one piece from your interfacing to make the tail.
Now fold your fabric in half and cut 2 of the tails from your fabric using your interfacing as your pattern. BUT, make sure to cut it about an inch bigger all the way around to allow for seam allowances once you sew:
Now put your two tail pieces right sides together and sew around the sides, leaving the flat top part open.
Then turn it right side out and slide your interfacing down in.
Set this aside.
Now, here’s where you will need your measurements.
Fold your fabric in half lengthwise, being careful of how you use your fabric and remembering that you still have to cut two of these full body pieces.
Measure your fabric from the top using your waist to floor measurement. Add about 4 inches to this to allow for hemming. Cut the fabric here.
Using your waist measurement, (let’s assume it’s 30 inches), add 2-3 inches to that measurement to allow for your elastic casing. So now let’s assume we are at 32 inches. Divide that number in half, because your fabric is folded, and we’ve got 16. I will then mark my fabric at the top at 16 inches for the top width.
Do the same with your knee and ankle measurements and mark those with a pin as well. This should give you a nice tapered (imaginary) cutting line if you go from waist to ankles. Mark the ankles at the bottom of your fabric.
Now, cut the line from the waist to the ankles.
Do this twice-so that you have a front piece and a back piece.
Place right sides together on your front and back pieces and sew them together down both sides.
Keeping it inside out, now hem the bottom (1 inch hem).
Still with it inside out, at the top you’ll create a casing for elastic by folding it under 1 inch and then folding it under again 1 inch.
Sew around this but leave one spot open-about 1-2 inches.
Cut your elastic the actual measurement of the waist minus about 1 inch or so.
Using a large safety pin, thread the elastic through the casing you made.
Bring it all the way around and sew the elastic together to form a loop. Then sew your opening closed.
Now all you need to do is sew your tail to the body. To do this, slide the tail into the front bottom part of the tail and sew it in place just to the FRONT part of your body. I did this in two places, about an inch apart, to make it secure. Now the little feet with be able to come out the back with the little flipper in front.
And that’s it! Happy mermaiding!
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