Mermaid Costume

I made my daughter’s Halloween costume this year.

She is going as a mermaid.

Or she might be Bette Midler.

You be the judge.


The resemblance is striking I know.

Caroline loves mermaids so this was a natural choice this year for her costume.

Beware of this tutorial – there are many photos and only rudimentary sewing instructions.

I first started with a long sleeve shirt which was given to us as a hand-me down.

I ultimately decided I would make her costume into a dress since it would be easiest for her. Plus, bikini tops on little girls creep me out.

I cut the sleeve off of the shirt and cut the collar to make it a little wider.

Next, I took purple cotton fabric and cut out two semicircles of material to try and make some cap sleeves.  I then sewed some purple flower trim onto the long edge. The trim was quite delicate so I had to sew it with a needle and thread.

I then gathered the top portions and held it with pins so I could use my machine to sew.

This gave the sleeves a curved shape.

When my six year old saw these he said, “Oh, are those for Caroline’s chest?”

The sleeves also received another line of trim on the gathered side. Once the sleeves were finished I hand sewed them onto the shirt.

Feeling that one more layer of flowers was needed I hand sewed the third line of flowers. I was very worried at this point. I was worried I had the “more is better” syndrome and would ruin the costume.

A little sequin sparkle in the center of the top and that section of the costume was complete.

Here are the materials I decided on for the tail. I know, low key. Nothing flashy here.

I folded the sequin material in half so that once I cut around my template (not the actual template in the photo, can’t figure out where it went) I would have two full tails.

I sewed the tail together, turned it inside out, and stuffed it.

It is about this time where I realized I was making a slightly deformed mermaid. The size of the tail should probably belong to a mermaid which is 7 feet tail. But I was this far into it and not about to turn back.

I left an opening on the side so I could sew in some elastic for her to wear around her wrist in case she wanted to hold the tail up. I should have sewed it in when I initially sewed the tail.

This actual bottom portion of the costume I pondered for days. I looked at mermaid costumes online and watched the Little Mermaid intently (not!), I finally decided on a side tail for her. I thought it would be fun for her to have something to drag but I also needed her to be able to walk. Here’s what I did.

I gathered the material (have no idea how much) and made it come to a rough point at the bottom. I sewed the edges down and sewed across the whole bottom.

My next challenge was to figure out how to get the bottom section attached to the shirt.

I finally settled on cutting the side of the shirt about 8 inches and then pinning the shirt and green material together.

This is the costume after sewing the two major pieces partially together. I left one side of the costume open in order to add the middle trim.

My idea was to sew the purple sequin trim by hand.

I tried and failed. It was cumbersome and the thread kept getting caught on individual sequins.

Instead, I brought out the trusty glue gun. Normal sewers are gasping at the thought.

Glued the tail trim on as well.

Finally sewed up the side of the costume

You can see the arm elastic on the tail here.

The final result:

My Little Mermaid!

Showing off her mermaid swimming skills

One costume down, four to go.

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This entry was posted in caroline, clothes, dress up, dresses, holiday, sewing. Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to Mermaid Costume

  1. Vapid Vixen says:

    That is beyond cute and that smile makes it clear she loves it!

  2. Melissa Harris says:

    This is awesome and hey the shirt looks way better than it did before 😉 Love the poses that Caroline did. She is such a ham!!!

  3. Kelly says:

    Love it!! She looks so cute and excited about being a mermaid.

  4. ah…so cute!!! she looks so happy in it too!

    wm

  5. This turned out so good! Lot’s of details and I bet a lot of work! Awesome job. Your little gal looks so happy too 🙂 Linking up before you on whatever goes wednesday.

  6. Stephanie says:

    So cute! I love the tail! You did a wonderful job!

  7. Dr Sonia S V says:

    This is fantastic. I am sure your little one loved it- one can make out from the thrill on her face!

  8. Tina says:

    Wow what a fab outfit my little girl would love that. thanks for sharing the instructions. I found you on the someday craft link party tina x x http://www.scratchycatcrafter.blogspot.com

  9. Stephanie says:

    The costume is really cute, you did a great job on it.

  10. Rhonda Hunter says:

    Way too cute!!! You are a better woman than I am!

  11. Tara says:

    Very cute, but she needs Bette’s headress:)

  12. Pat Becker says:

    I am so proud of you for making your daughter smile this much and for taking the time to sew her costume!

  13. Amanda says:

    I love it! Caroline looks so cute! And I agree – she needs a headress like Bette 🙂 Ha.

  14. Yadira says:

    This is lovely and the pictures do a great job at explaining things. She must be super happy with her new costume; I know I would be.

    I found this post through Whatever Goes Wednesday at Someday Crafts.

  15. This is great! I can tell she is so excited to be a mermaid and obtw I think bikini tops are creepy on little girls too!

  16. Rachel says:

    Hands down, you deserve Mother of the Year Award!! Awesome job!

  17. MJ says:

    I love it 🙂 Very well done and indeed very Bette Midler 😉 It is so obvious she loves her costume!

  18. Suzanne says:

    This is a great tut! Thanks for sharing. This is getting pinned to my sewing board (pinterest) Now to see if the kids can decide what to be so I have enough time to make all the costumes. (Sounds like we are making the same amount of costumes this year)

  19. Ces says:

    very adorable!

    Thanks for sharing this great craft idea. I’m visiting from Inspiration Friday. I hope you take a visit at my blog if you have time.

    http://momdaughterstyle.blogspot.com/

  20. Melanie says:

    Great job!! Thanks for linking up to Things I’ve Done Thursday!

    Melanie
    bearrabbitbear.blogspot.com

  21. Oh my gosh, that is adorable! I like how you added the elastic so she can hold the tail up when she walks. I don’t know if you’d thought about this, but if you have a wagon it would be cute to decorate that to look like a rock so she could be like Ariela the little mermaid on the rock.

    We have decorated our wagon the last few years because my boys are little and get tired easy walking between houses.

  22. This is adorable! Bette was looking pretty good too, but your little one would steal the show for sure 🙂

  23. Athena says:

    This is one of the coolest costumes I have seen yet. What a great job and your daughter looks thrilled. Thanks for linking to Success U @ TheStuffOfSuccess.com

  24. Brittany says:

    This is adorable! And brilliant! A few years ago my daughter wanted to be a mermaid but I had to tell her no bc it’s simply too cold here to go trick or treating in most mermaid costumes. Your costume would probably work in the cold though. I just found you through Embellishing Life. Thanks for sharing!

  25. Jessica says:

    WOW! Super cute and great job! If you get a chance, I’d love to have you link up. (http://scrapbookingez.blogspot.com/2011/09/one-stop-thursday-party.html) Thanks for sharing!

  26. angie says:

    super cute love it come see what I shared at http://shopannies.blogspot.com

  27. Kirsten says:

    She is so stinkin’ CUTE! And the costume is adorable! I would love for you to link this up in my first ever linky party beginning this Tuesday at 12:01AM – it’s for all things Halloween!

    {Not So} Tough Tuesdays on http://www.onetoughmom.blogspot.com

  28. Audra says:

    Super cute and she looks like she’s having a great time!! Thanks for linking up at Tuesday Tutorials!

    Audra
    thekurtzcorner.com

  29. I have picked this out as one of my favorite posts on my blog link up. Thank you so much for taking part. Hope to see you again soon!

  30. amy says:

    Just adorable! I don’t know which is cuter, the costume or the little model. 🙂 Would you consider linking it here?

    http://oneartmama.blogspot.com/2011/10/fall-craft-challenge-5-kids-craft-or.html

  31. Chris says:

    Hi Jen, what a clever mummy you are. I’m sure your little one is thrilled to bits with your talents and such a lot of detail and hard work. Great job. I found and am following you through Bloggeritaville and will have to visit often. Please pop on over to my blog also and perhaps you could follow me. I would love that. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

  32. So cute! Bette Midler’s got nothing on her!