My little princess decided this year she wanted to be her favorite princess, Ariel the Little Mermaid. We looked at all the costumes ready made, nothing really looked like a true mermaid. Being the somewhat crafty Mommy, I decided to make my own Homemade Ariel the Little Mermaid Costume from the image I had in my mind.
I started off making a sketch of front and back. My daughter and I shopped for the perfect materials from the fabric store and I began her costume. I hand sewed everything. The idea for the costume: My daughter being the actual mermaid sitting on a rock in the ocean.
Separate components to be made: Ocean blue skirt (this could also be bought ready made), crepe type material for ocean surf/waves, green shimmer/sequined tail, green tail fins/waist fins, purple seashell bra/top, brown or gray material rock.
Ready made items used: Peach colored bodysuit, jeweled button as bellybutton and accessories: seahorse, starfish, wig, crown, light up shoes, plush flounder and mermaid singing necklace.
I used no ready made patterns. I started off using 1 yard of satin feel material to make a drawstring skirt (one could also be purchased.) Under the skirt I pinched sections and sewed the small pinched section to make a diamond design.
Next I free cut the shape of a tail from the sequin green material and sewed it inside out, leaving the waist part open. I stuffed it with a light polyester stuffing.
After a few sketches and thoughts I figured out which tail fin design would work best and drew it onto a piece of very light cardboard (a cereal box would work best). Next I cut out pieces of the light green fin material and sewed it onto the pieces of cardboard for firmness. I sewed all the way around each fin.
For the waist fin I measured for around the waist and hemmed and rolled it around the waist. I pinned the rolled fin to the bodysuit, and sewed it alternately around the waist so that there would be enough room for it to still stretch while worn.
The brown rock material I placed around the top of the skirt and cut as needed to look like a small rock on top. I then hemmed it on the edges. Also I took a brown marker and permanent black marker and made lines on the material to make it look more like a rock and distressed. I then sewed it onto the skirt around the waist as well as the bottom of the rock.
I placed the main part of the tail on the skirt and bent it as I would assume the natural tail of a mermaid to lay when sitting on a rock, pinned it. Next I added the tail fins and pinned them as well. I went through and sewed all the way around the tail and attached the middle parts of the tail fins to the skirt. I wanted the tail fins to stick out and look natural.
Then I took the open waist of the mermaid tail rolled and tucked it under the waist fin and sewed together. The seashell bra I made by using double layer purple material with a shimmer top layer. I cut out two large ovals and made them look like seashells by pleating them, pinning and sewing by hand. I attached them to the bodysuit by sewing and made a matching rolled back strap. I also added a jewel button as the bellybutton.
For the surf/waves, I pleated and folded the surf crepe material and alternately sewed every 5-7 inches and poofed out the material in between.
For the back of the costume, I cut out another piece of green sequined material in the shape of a sitting bottom and sides. I put padding in between the material and the skirt to make it look like the mermaid is sitting on the rock from the back. I sewed the bottom and sides to the skirt so it truly looks like the mermaid is just sitting on the rock from the back of the dress.
Lastly I added very lightweight plastic accessories of a sea horse and starfish by hot gluing them to the back of the skirt as actual sea life.
It took me about 40 hours total creating, making mistakes and redoing and sewing by hand.
My Lil Princess just loves her costume and so do I. I hope she’s “caught” your fancy too.