Mermaid Skirt Tutorial

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A tutorial on how-to sew a mermaid skirt.

Text of Mermaid Skirt Tutorial

Mermaid Skirt TutorialFrom Beth van Duzer

MATERIALS NEEDED: About yard of each fabric Solid fabric for mermaid skirt depending on size of your mermaid (could be cotton or a nice shiny fabric, Ive used both whatever you have in your stash will work) Sparkly fabric or netting also for mermaid skirt (can use a netting or a translucent material with sparkles on it again if you happen to have some lying around your sewing room use what you have) Fabric for mermaid tail (best if it is shiny or sparkly or both should not be translucent since you will be stuffing it) Poly-fil Elastic Freezer Paper The Usual Supplies: o sewing machine o correct sewing needle for machine o thread o chopstick o ruler o scissors and / or rotary cutter 2008 Beth van Duzer

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DIRECTIONS: CREATE YOUR OWN SKIRT PATTERN: Measure your mermaid-to-be. You will need the following measurements: waist, hips, from waist to below knee and from waist to ankle. My mermaid measured as follows: (A) Waist: 21.25 (B) Hips: 23.5 (C) Waist to Below Knee: 15 (D) Waist to Ankle: 25.0 You will need to know how wide you want the waist. Take the hip figure (B) and divide in half. (B) / 2 = 11.75 My mermaid was 11.75 so I rounded up to 12 and added two inches for ease and one inch for seam allowance. 12 + 2 +1 = 15 My waist for the pattern is 15 inches across. This will be measurement (E). Add 0.5 inches to measurement (C ) and (D) for seam allowance. (C ) + 0.5 = 15.5 (F) (D) + 0.5 = 25.5 (G) Finally, take your waist measurement (A) and subtract one inch. This will give you (H), the length of elastic you will need for the waist. (A) 1.0 = 20.25 (H) 2008 Beth van Duzer

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Figures Needed (E) 15 (F) 15.5 (G) 25.5 (H) 20.25 Now, take your freezer paper. Roll out at least one inch more than (G). Rip it off the roll. Place on a large table, countertop, or hard floor. Choose one side of the freezer paper to be the long side of skirt (G). Using a ruler draw a line across the top for your waist measurement (E). Draw a line down from the other end of the waist measurement to (F). Then join the back and front lines with a curved line that you draw freehand to look like the below picture. Cut out your pattern. On the longer side write the word FOLD (I didnt but should have). This is the side that should be placed on the fold.



F 2008 Beth van Duzer


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CREATE YOUR OWN TAIL PATTERN: I traced a mermaid dolls tail onto freezer paper and added an extra square onto the end for sewing it onto the skirt. Feel free to be as elaborate as you want. Here is my pattern. (If I can figure out what my children did with my tail pattern piece I will scan it in and have a pdf of it available for printing otherwise feel free to print the below and make it as large or as small as you need.)


Extra here 2008 Beth van Duzer

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(1) Cut two mermaid tails on the fold. You should not use a translucent fabric since you will be stuffing the tail.


(2) Pin the two pieces right sides together and sew leaving the rectangle portion unsewn.

(3) Clean-up clip corners & strings then turn right side out. Use a chopstick to poke corners out.

(4) Stuff the mermaid tail with stuffing.

(5) Sew it shut across the rectangle opening where the dotted lines are in the picture. All stuffing will be inside the tail and the extra here rectangle portion will be unstuffed. Put it aside. 2008 Beth van Duzer Page 5



(1) Fold your skirt material in half, right sides together. Cut one mermaid skirt with the long side of the pattern on the fold of your skirt material.

(2) Fold your sparkle material in half, right sides together. Cut one mermaid skirt with the long side of the pattern on the fold of your skirt material.

Leave This Side Open

(3) Pin the two fabrics right sides together along the sides and bottom. Leave the entire waist section unpinned / unsewn. Pin the stuffed mermaid tail inside the skirt. You may want to baste the stuffed tail in place. It is kind of cumbersome to maneuver it through the machine. Sew with a half inch seam allowance.

(4) Turn skirt so the right sides are now showing. Fold down inch on the waist area and sew across.* Fold down again to form the casing for your elastic. Make sure the your elastic will fit through the casing (if using a inch elastic you will need to make your casing a tad larger than inch). Fold down to allow your elastic to fit through, pin the fold in place and sew across. Thread elastic through your casing and secure on each end by sewing. 2008 Beth van Duzer


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(5) Fold your skirt in half so the sparkle material is on the inside. Pin your fabric together and sew it (I sew from the waist down and then flip over and sew from the opening up to the waist just to give myself a little extra assurance that my children wont rip it as easily).

(6) Turn your skirt right side out and put it on your mermaid!

*The original pattern had the netting or sparkle fabric on the outside of the skirt. I have also made the skirt with a fabric that was only printed on one side and white on the other (mermaid skirt on the far right). In this case the sparkle fabric became the inside of the skirt and the patterned side became the outside. 2008 Beth van Duzer

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