I could not find a tutorial for a mermaid costume in my time of need, so I had to come up with something on my own. It was a last minute kind of deal, but it turned out great.
I started by cutting out a skirt shape that flared out slightly at the hips and tapered in at the ankle. I used a pair of pants as a guide, adding about 1.5″ to the top for a waist band and bringing the bottom down to the ankle.
Then I layered the fabric and cut out a fin.
The fin is essentially an upside down mustache shape. I made the top part several inches wider than the leg opening so that I could gather it to add ruffling.
I sewed the sides of the skirt first and then the sides of the fin clear down to halfway across the bottom so that there would be an opening for the feet. Then I gathered the top of the fin and attached it to the skirt.
I used a stretchy green sequined fabric so I didn’t need to hem the raw opening. (This was for my daughter who is a size 4-5T and I used about 1 yard of fabric with a little left over.)
Looking back, I think it would have been easier to attach the fin to the bottom of the skirt and sew up the sides all at once. It worked fine though.
For the top, I made a simple tube of flesh colored material using a t-shirt as a pattern. Before sewing up the sides, I made a quick bikini/shell type top and stitched it to the front panel. Then I attached two flesh colored elastic strips to the top.
I am so pleased with how it turned out. The skirt is long enough to hide her feet, but doesn’t prohibit walking. The tops helps her to feel like a mermaid without sacrificing every shred of her modesty.
I love it.