Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Kitschy Coo Skater Dress - Mermaid style

So, a couple of weeks ago, Myra mentioned that she wanted a mermaid costume. Since she asks me for a different princess costume on a daily basis, I sort of blew her off (also, I was in the middle of the coat, so I wasn't willing to be derailed). This time, the request stuck, and when she started asking on an hourly basis, we went fabric shopping for mermaid appropriate knits.
We did have a challenging time agreeing on a design. Myra really wanted a tail that was closed at the bottom. She's 4, so the reality of needing to walk just wasn't that important to her. Finally I convinced her (with the help of Google Images) that she really needed to be able to walk, and we agreed on a tail style. I used this tutorial for the fins.
The basic pattern is the sleeveless version of the Kitschy Coo Skater dress. It's such a great basic dress, obviously easily customizable. I think I'm going to use it for some further princess dresses. It's so nice when dress up dresses are comfortable and durable.
The fabrics we used were a hodgepodge of knits from Joann and Hancock. The nude knit on top is Joann's "Jet Set" poly knit. The sequin mesh for the shells and the green sparkle knit for the tail are both from Hancock's costume collection and the fins are poly organza from the BFF collection at Hancock.
To make Myra's "shells", I just cut a strip of the sequin knit and gathered it along the middle. I appliqued it to the bodice at around the bust level. I don't have a great back view, but I did extend the applique around the back, narrowing the band at center back to better approximate a bikini top.
The fins are just rough semicircles of organza (again, I based them on this 'tute.), pleated randomly along the front hemline for some volume. In the tutorial, the edges are finished with Fray Chek, which looks really nice, but Myra was breathing over my shoulder to wear this, so I serged the edges to finish them. Would have been nice if I had green thread, huh?
For the skirt, I used the Skater dress skirt, but slimmed it by taking several small wedges out of the pattern piece. I lengthened it to ankle length at center front and pegged it just slightly to give it more of a tail shape, but not enough to restrict movement.
My little princess is very pleased with her new mermaid costume. I'm happy with how quickly it worked up (about 3 hours, including pattern alterations) and how much she likes it. I think we'll be hanging out "Under the Sea" quite a bit in the near future.

34 comments:

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    1. Thanks! Now maybe she'll get off my back and I can sew for me! ;)

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  2. That is hilarious! I love it, and it looks likes she does too.

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    1. Thanks! It totally makes me laugh, too.

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  3. You rock, that's the greatest pattern remix ever.

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    1. Thanks! And thanks for designing the greatest remix-able pattern ever!!

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  4. Too stinkin' cute! Looks like she loves it too!

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    1. She's been wearing it nonstop since it came off the machine! Win!!

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  5. Great job! What a fun costume! Your daughter looks delighted!

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  6. The cutest mermaid in all the land!

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  7. Ha, so cute! You're only 4 once!

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    1. Right?! When else can you swan around in a sparkly "tail"?

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  8. If she loves it enough, are you done for Halloween in March?
    Great dress up.

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    1. That would be awesome, but she'll probably have shredded it by then. At least a remake would be quick! :)

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  9. Lovely! I too have been harassed for a mermaid costume, but so far have managed to avoid it, I'm too busy sewing for me! But you did such a great job in 3 hours that I may have to do it just to stop the constant asking.

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    1. That was my goal - whine cessation. It worked! She's happy - until the next princess comes along... :)

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  10. Great mermaid dress up! I have my $yo naggijng me for one too - this might inspire me. I am so looking forward to checking out your blog again. I've been blog awol for some time, but hoping to get back into it. I think I'll need a cuppa!

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    1. I was so glad to see you post last week! Sometime we need a break, but I'm thrilled your back!!

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  11. So fun! And I think it's fine that you didn't use green thread for the bottoms of the fins--it helps to highlight them a bit. Your little girl is lucky to have a mama who makes such fun clothing for her.

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    1. Thanks! She likes it, actually, since it's pink. :)

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  12. nice work! i would never have thought to make it from a dress pattern!

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    1. When she asked for a mermaid tail, I wasn't sure what to do! Thank goodness for online tutorials. The dress really worked out.

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  13. Turned out really cute. I'm sure it will get lots of wear.

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  14. adorable! She's clearly chuffed to pieces with it - which is all that counts!

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  15. Such an adorable costume and she looks so happy in it.

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  16. This is the cuties little mermaid that I have ever seen, thanks for the costume.

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  17. You are the best mom! Why we sew - how many little mermaids get their "skin" so stylish? You allow her imagination, an uncommon thing with so many of today's kids! Of course I love what you so for you as well!

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