Mermaid tails are a big thing at the moment, you could have a knitted one, a sewn one, a crochet one, or a lycra one to swim in! And while young girls and adults alike are loving the trend, we thought we would give you a free pattern so your little one can have a mermaid tail for their dolls.
- Two fat quarters of Tilda fabric
- One fat quarter of lining fabric
- One fat quarter of wadding
- 10in of 12mm elastic
- Sewing thread
1. Using the templates cut two ‘body of tail’ pieces from one Tilda fabric and two ‘tail’ pieces from the other Tilda fabric.
2. Join one body piece to a tail piece and press seam open. Repeat with the two remaining pieces.
3. Lay the Tilda fabric onto the wadding with the right side of the fabric facing up and cut the wadding approximately 1in larger all the way around. Repeat for the other tail section. Baste the fabric to the wadding using your preference of safety pins, a basting spray or a very long running stitch.
4. Quilt the fabric to the wadding as desired, leaving the top 1in of the tail un-quilted for the elastic channel later. Remove basting stitches/safety pins if necessary.
5. Once quilted trim all of the excess wadding away. Use the quilted piece as a template to cut two pieces of lining.
6. Place the lining right sides facing together with the quilted piece and join along the top edge only. On one piece leave a 1in gap in the middle of the seam for inserting.
7. Press the seam allowance towards the lining then place the two halves right sides facing together, with the two lining pieces facing together and the two quilted pieces together. Sew all around the outside edge leaving a 3–4in turning gap, make sure to backstitch at the start at end to secure your stitches.
8. Turn the right way out, pushing out all the corners and curves then press the seams well. Tuck in the raw edges of the turning gap and press, then stitched closed either by machine or by hand.
9. Tuck the lining down inside the tail and ensure that the top seam is sitting right on the edge and that the raw edges of the gap left for inserting the elastic are tucked inside and are in line with the rest of the seam. Press.
10. Topstitch all the way around the top of the tail 5∕8in from the edge.
11. Cut a piece of elastic 10in long and with a safety pin attached to the end, feed it around the channel just made. Pull the two ends of the elastic clear of the opening, overlap the ends by 1in and zigzag stitch together to secure. Let the elastic pop back into the channel and close the opening in the top seam by hand to finish.
Tip If the elastic has stretched a light steam with an iron will help it shrink back into shape.
Using the offcuts from the Tilda fabric, some scraps of felt and ribbon cut:
- Two small shell shapes (approx 1.in square) from fabric
- Two 2in squares from felt in a coordinating colour
- One 1.in piece of narrow ribbon for centre of bikini
- Four 7in pieces of narrow ribbon for sides and top ties of bikini
Sew the fabric shells to the felt, securing the ribbon in the appropriate place in between the fabric and the felt. Stitch lines to show the decorative fan details of the shell. Once stitched in place, trim away the excess felt, taking care to hold the ribbons out of the way so as not to cut through them.
Get the PDF copy of the pattern and the templates here.
We would love to see your mermaid tails. So please send us pictures by commenting below or tagging us on social media using #SewandSo