Monday, July 18, 2011

Making Mermaid Skirts on the Cheap

Mermaid skirts are so beautiful. I love how they show off a dancer's body yet they show movement by the v-shaped fabric at the bottom.

This article will tell you how you can go from a used slinky evening gown to a mermaid skirt:

As you can imagine from the image, when the dancer twirls, the red triangular sections billow out, yet the top part of the skirt, stays glued to the dancers curves.

Rather than breaking the bank, consider this option for making mermaid skirts:

  1. Go to your local thrift store and check out the evening gown selection. Look for a clingy stretchy dress with an interesting fabric. There are
    lots on the racks and many of them are especially glittery.

    Don't always go by size because I've found size small evening gowns
    that fit a size 16 lady perfectly. So hold them up to your hips and stretch it to see if it's right for you. Remember mermaid skirts are worn tight.

  2. After you've picked out your dress, go to your local fabric store and pick out an appropriate material for the V's.

    Don't think that you have to select the same color or even kind of fabric for the V-shaped areas. Get creative. The more the contrast, the more interesting the design.

  3. Don't leave the store before picking out some very thin trim for your skirt. Pick something that will sparkle and catch the eye. You'll need enough for all your V's and the entire bottom of the skirt.

  4. Most likely your skirt will already have at least one slit. Some already have two slits for you. I simply use the slits that are there and I cut out two more. If you have a seam,use a seam ripper.

    Make sure the two new slits you make are the same length as the two that are already there. Although, if you want to get creative, you can make two of the slits one length and the other two another length.

    The skirt in the image above, has eight slits in total, but the ones I've made have four. This is up to you. The more slits the more it billows when you turn.

  5. You're now ready to sew the fabric you purchased into the slits. My suggestion is that when you cut the fabric, you make each length of the triangles the same length. The triangles may seem two wide to you, but a dancer wants lots of room and the more fabric you use on those triangles, the more flounce it will have when she's dancing.

  6. After the triangles are sewn into place, put your trim on each V and around the bottom of the skirt. You shouldn't have to hem anything because the trim will do that for you.

  7. All you have to do now is to cut off the top of the dress and put in an elastic waistband where appropriate.
Enjoy your new mermaid skirt! Here's one I'm just finishing up:

Hint: If you're creative, you can do something with the top of the dress also. Consider making some gauntlets or even cover a bra with the fabric.

If you make a mermaid skirt and want to sell it, put it on Here are the instructions.

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