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How to Make a Sparkly Mermaid Top for Kids


Easily make a fun and sparkly (and comfortable!) top, perfect for a mermaid costume or dress-up.

Last week, I posted the glitzy mermaid costume skirt tutorial, and here is the instructions for making the top. Its easy! You really could just use a cute swimsuit and put the skirt on the bottom.

I went for a more “modest mermaid.” We’ll just say our mermaid is 3/4 fish and 1/4 human, instead of half and half. 😉

But first, I know you are dying of curiosity to see my craft room.  If you’ve seen my Pinterest boards, you’ve seen how much I love a nice craft room. Bright, organized, clean and inspiring.  A closet full of fabric, organized by color. Mason jars stuffed with ribbons and buttons (also sorted by color). A high table for cutting fabric, and a separate desk for the sewing machines. Ooo, and a cute desk with my laptop (all cords miraculously hidden). And some bright funky artwork on the walls, with plenty of great light.

Sounds great right??? Want to see my craft room?

Yep. I know. Try to contain your jealousy.

Me and the spiders get to craft to our hearts content down here in our unfinished basement. And we’re renting and the landlord has zero desire to finish the basement.  Boo.  But I am grateful that I have big space to use, and that I don’t have to keep it clean (since nobody sees it). Happy to have a nice big table for my sewing machine and my (borrowed) serger. Not so happy about the spiders.

Someday we’ll all have our dream craft rooms, right?!? And beautiful laundry rooms.  Ahhhh….

Ok, on to the costume!

How to make a sparkly mermaid shirt

You’ll need a yard or so of this glitzy purple fabric from JoAnn. I think it’s called “confetti dot”.

 1. Cut 2 rectangles. Use your child’s bust/waist measurements, plus 4 inches (for comfort and seams), divided by 2 (so you have a front and a back). And then use the neckline-to-waist measurement, plus 6 inches to get the length. 

2. Cut two strips for the straps, mine are 5 inches by 12 inches.

3. Right sides together, sew the long sides of the rectangles together.

4. Fold the strap strips in half long-wise and sew (right sides together), then turn right side out.

5. Hem the top and bottom of the shirt, by folding over twice, pinning and sewing.

6. Pin the straps to the top. Mine are about 4 inches apart. You might want to measure how long to make them, mine are about 8 inches long.

7. Sew the straps on securely, and trim the excess.

8. For the ruching in the front (to give it a bit of a seashell effect), cut a piece of skinny elastic about 3 inches long, and place it right under the hem in the front. Make sure its centered.

9. To make the ruched effect, sew a stitch or two and backstitch to anchor the elastic. Then pull the elastic tight, and sew carefully along the center of the elastic. You’ll need to pull the fabric from the back as well, to help your machine get enough traction to go forward. The tighter you pull the elastic, the more gathered it will be.

10. Backstitch to anchor the end.

11. To make the ruching on the sides, cut longer strips of skinny elastic (about 6-8 inches, depending on how long your top is). Place the elastic on the side seam, at the bottom hem. Ruche the sides like you did in step 9.

12. Done!

You can accessorize with a lei, some shell bracelets and necklaces, and a tropical flower in her hair. Last year, I bought a few starfish from Hobby Lobby and glitzed them up a bit with glitter glue. Then I attached one to the front, and put another one on a clip. This was last year’s version (I made the skirt a bit differently).

I might be biased, but isn’t she the cutest little mermaid?!?

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Lisa {grey luster girl}

Saturday 21st of December 2013

Very cute fit!

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Sunday 22nd of December 2013

Thanks, Lisa!

Summer Rumsey

Thursday 10th of October 2013

This is so cute - my daughter would love something like this!


Wednesday 9th of October 2013

So cute!

Kaysi @ Keeping it Simple

Wednesday 9th of October 2013

That is a adorable! I love that fabric and she is so cute!

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