Friday, November 30, 2012

The Mermaid Tail : Where to start...


I will admit this one took a lot of mulling over.  Partly because pulling things apart is not what I do, but mostly because it was so beautiful and if I mucked it up I'd be left with nothing...

First stop was good old Spotlight to find some fabric that matched the fabric the skirt was made from, so I could lengthen it some other fabric for the tail piece, some ribbon for ties at the back, and wadding to give it shape (more on that later).

Sometimes Spotlight just comes through with the goods
At 30% off too!!!

Then I took a few days to formulate my plan, which ended up more straight forward than I thought (I have a tendency to over-think things).  Just turn the skirt into a rectangle!  So I started by opening up the back seam.  This was made harder than it sounds by all the sequins, so the first thing I really did was remove a couple of rows of sequins from either side of the back seam, then I cut it.

Part way there!  My next issue was the hem.  To give the skirt the fishtail look there were 6 inserted godets (triangular pieces) sewn in.  So I cut these out and hand stitched the sides back together.

Here is one of the godets

And here is where it used to be.  
I hand stitched the sides of the triangle back together

Then I had a hem that looked like this:

What a mess!

So next job was to even that up before adding the new piece to make the skirt longer.  From there I tapered the sides in so that it narrowed at the bottom like a mermaid tail should.

Stella likes to help!
Actually, she was still a bit groggy from her operation the day before so spent a lot of time lying about on things I was doing...

So you will see that the skirt, with its newly added piece and tapered sides, is lying on some wadding.  I'm going to be sewing another piece of satin to the skirt so the stitching etc is all covered and its comfortable to wear.  I'm then going to put a layer of wadding in between these layers - kind of like putting a pillow in a pillowcase...  What I want to achieve is giving the tail a bit of self support - the last thing you want is a mermaid with visible knees!  I'm hoping this will do the job.

Lastly (well for the minute anyway!), I removed all the sequins from the godet pieces, and put them together with the other sequins that I had removed or had fallen off:

So many sequins!!!

Right - the hard bit is done!  Now I know I'm heading in the right direction and I won't be throwing the thing in the garbage and calling Miss Sasha to tell her I've failed.  I'm feeling so positive about this project!



  1. The mermaid skirt is wonderful!! Beautiful work!

    The Fictionista

    1. Thanks Sean - wait until you see the next bit! It totally blew me away!!!