This is a mermaid costume I made for Halloween this year. At first, my daughter wanted to be The Little Mermaid. Then, she saw this rose fabric I still had and wanted to be a blue mermaid with red hair (so she was still a little like Ariel). As a six-year-old we all know they aren't well-endowed, so I decided to make her "shells" three dimensional by stuffing them.
I had to put straps to help hold it up and also put snaps that attached to the leotard and the inside of the shells. I used a pink leotard for ease and to have something flesh colored while still covering her enough to stay warm- as well as hold up the shells. The fabric is tulle, a stretch knit (the rose patterned stuff) and a thick swimsuit material. I loved the metallic sheen of it for a scale-like look and I think the tulle was good for the tail and back fin.
As for some details, I still have blue coral beads in my bead collection, as well as abalone disks in about three colors. I used a pink one in her costume. I had no pattern for this at all, it was all done on the fly.
Everyone loved this! There were several trick-or-treaters taking pictures of her and she was videotaped by a few. Every Halloween where I made her costume has been a success!
Wow, how labor intensive were these Mermaids Costumes? At least 100 man hours, but it was sure worth. We (Leigh Anne and Dawn) try to make our own costumes every year. It wasn't easy to walk/shuffle in the costume, but they were sure a blast to wear.
Once we settled on mermaids, we started with a trip to Mary Jo's Fabrics in Gastonia, NC. The store is great and has EVERYTHING we need to create our costumes every year. Once we got the fabric, we needed to make it look scaley and mermaid tight. To achieve this we used elastic rows 1" apart: Each skirt required over 100 rows of elastic to be sewn front and back.
Fortunately for me, I'm shorter than Leigh Anne so I didn't have as much sewing. We used a bridal pattern to make the bustier tops. The shell appliqués on the tops were made from scratch and also took a long time to make. We had to scratch a few fins before deciding on the final design. Sheesh, I probably still have the discarded fins laying around in a fabric bin.
For us, it's about fun and paying attention to small details - thus the fish nets with starfish, seaweed, and shells. Heck, we were still gluing on tiara sequins until about 9pm the night of the party.
Hope you enjoy and if you choose to make a mermaid costume, I guarantee you'll make a big splash at the party!
It was a lot of work but it was totally worth it. I had wanted to be a mermaid before but never found a mermaid Halloween costume that was what I had in mind, so with the little money that I had and a lot of trial and error I completed my perfect mermaid look!
I already owned the starfish, jewelry, and make-up which was just eye shadows in layers. The skirt was the hard part, I actually hand sowed it onto myself and then machine sowed it after! I can't wait for next year to come up with something else! Happy costume making.
The top includes shells made from an iridescent quilted fabric attached to a metallic jersey. The tail is made from a wide variety of fabrics including shantung silk, taffeta, and sequins on jersey. Two slits between the front and back portion of the tail allow for maximum mobility.
The best part of this mermaid costume is that she can run in it!