A Mermaid Dress

After reading Peter Pan at bedtime one night, my daughter asked if she could be a mermaid.
That might be nice for Hallowe’en, I said (thinking that I had better start now if I was going to sew it).
You can buy me a costume, Mom.
I don’t think so, if you want to be a mermaid, I’ll make you a dress.

Mermaid dress

Mermaid dress

Just the next day, she was being very whiny, so my husband suggested I should go out. Maybe you should go to the fabric store, he said. Well, he didn’t have to say that twice, I grabbed my purse and the keys and headed to Fabricland.

Once there, I looked at the pattern books but the only mermaid costume had a bodice with…assets. Well, I like little girls to look like little girls, so I figured if I was going to change the bodice, I might as well draft the whole dress.

I’m sorry I didn’t take a lot of pictures, I really got in the zone with this dress and figured it out as I went. I picked up 1.5 m of sequined knit fabric, 0.5 m of bamberg lining, and 0.5 m crinkle taffeta (terrible stuff to sew with), thread and an invisible zipper, for just under $40. (I have a ton of the sequins left, but the other two were just enough.

My cutting table, bodice in progress

My cutting table, bodice in progress

Here’s a tip for putting in an invisible zipper without an invisible zipper foot. Zigzag the zipper tape to the seam allowance, this keeps it in place while you sew close to the coil with a regular zipper foot, using your fingers to open it up.

zig zag to the seam allowance

zig zag to the seam allowance

Once home, I traced a bodice from a simple sleeveless dress (size 6, a little big right now), and squared off the neckline. The rest of the dress I made up on the fly. I tried on each section as I went to check for length (which is why I added the waistband out of the taffeta, the bodice seemed really short). I added a pleat in the back on each side of the waist so that she could bend over.

This is how mermaids dance

This is how mermaids dance

(I can’t believe I made this dress in only a week. I hope she doesn’t wear it out before Hallowe’en.)

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4 comments

  1. Cute. My girls are keen on mermaids and shiny dresses as well 😉

    1. She’s happy but I have purple sparkly threads all over the house☺ On Aug 5, 2014 3:23 PM, “Lisa in Port Hope” wrote:

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  2. So cute! Love it. You are way ahead of me.. Great job!

    1. Thank you Sherri! I know it’s not too practical for door-to-door…but I figure a long sleeve shirt and pants underneath will probably keep her warm enough.

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