Under the Sea

Friday, November 13, 2009

A little late for Halloween How-To, but if you're looking for ideas for next year, how about this little mermaid?

She's really cold in this picture, we were about to go inside, so this is my squatty mermaid. Nice shoes. All the mermaids are wearing them these days.

If you can sew a straight line, you can make this costume. My dress-making skills were not called into play on this one, it was down and dirty Halloween sewing, so it only took about an hour to create most of the costume.

I started with a trip to the fabric store and bought a half yard of the metallic blue dot fabric (because it was the most expensive), a yard of the green satin and shimmery blue netting, and two yards of the bright blue tulle netting. Less than $10 for everything.

The top was a recycled one from a princess Jasmine costume, here's how make one in a jiffy. Start with a flesh colored top (or sew one like I did). Use wonder-under and some sparkly fabric scraps to iron on some shell shapes onto the front, for a little-mermaid style bra. You'll notice the blue turtleneck peeking out at the top of this shirt. I make my costumes extra big so kids can wear their costumes OVER their coats. Try putting a snow suit under a skin-colored shirt, it's hilarious and slightly shocking to see a lumpy bare-tummied kid going house to house when it's 40 degrees outside.

To make the skirt, measure your kiddo from waist to ankle. Then ask them to take a big step and measure the circumference around both their knees. This will allow them to walk in the skirt and not have to waddle. If you have an older child or you're making this for an adult, go ahead and make it very tight around the knees. This will make it even more mermaid-y, but it does make it tough to run from house to house trick-or-treating, so little ones need the extra room at the knees.

Using the length and width measurements you took, cut out a big square/rectangle from your satin. This will be your skirt. Sew this into a big tube with a gathering stitch. Pull the gathing stitch until the skirt is knee high at the front (see the pictures). The back will drape down longer. Add an elastic waist at the top of the skirt.

For the tail, fold the netting long-wise so that it's about 4 layers thick. Gather all 2 yards. This takes some time squishing it all together, but it's worth it. Attach it to the bottom of the skirt. Again, squish it in there, ugly sewing is allowed on Halloween costumes. You can always cover any huge flubs with sequin trim and a hot glue gun.

Use the sparkly blue fabric (which is awesome because it doesn't ravel so no hemming needed), to make a sea-weed belt to wrap around the waist. Use your leftovers to make fingerless gloves and hot glue the same fabric over a plastic princess crown. The sheer blue net fabric is pinned to the gloves and the back neck of the shirt, for a cape-effect, no need to cut the fabric unless it's too long.

The beads and blue hair band are from the dollar store, and face-painting courtesy of Mommy. If you're not a face-painter, just lots of blue eyeshadow and blue lips made with lip gloss and powdery blue eyeshadow.


Karen said...

Too darn cute for words.

Sheila Bennett said...

What an ADORABLE mermaid outfit!! You are the BOMB! :)

Sarah said...

She looks amazing!!!! The outfit is awesome BUT her face is what steals the show.

Stampin n da Hood said...

man...I wanna be you when I grow up.
the costume is over the top, but the face painting...wowzah!

Doreen said...

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! You have SAVED the day... and my status as "My Mommy Who Rocks"! My 5 yo has been BEGGIN' me to make her a mermaid costume... and your directions are so perfect! Nevermind that my daughter already has TWO real Disney Ariel costumes in her closet - she wants MOMMY to MAKE HER ONE. Now, in addition to "kissing away boo boo's" and all the other stuff we Mommies do, now I can add "sew a costume on demand" to my list of "WOW" factors for my daughter! LOL THANKS!!!!!

Cathy Gill said...

I truly hope you submitted photos of this awesome costume and makeup for publication somewhere!!

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