After last year's unicorn costume, I decided that this year I'd be a mermaid. And not just a mermaid, but a Victorian mermaid!
It all started with the underskirt. I used this free trained skirt pattern
as my basis, with some help from Yesterday's Thimble
, Historical Sewing
, and various diagrams
and extant garments. It's made from a cotton bedsheet and a voile curtain and cinches closed with a snoopy ribbon. The now-filthy train is detachable.
The skirt itself is almost exactly the skirt with train balayeuse, but the back panel is divided into top and bottom. If I did it again, I'd make the train in two halves because it doesn't drape quite right. It's made from a really nice cotton sateen bedsheet overlaid with real fishing net down the back and interlined with poly-cotton broadcloth. The front is trimmed with a deep ruffle of fishing net covered in dollar store gems. In the second photo, all the trim is on, including custom dyed eyelet lace, metallic braid, metallic ribbon, and metallic net down the sides. You can just see the metallic "grass" around the train that's pretending to be seaweed. It cinches closed with tasseled gold drapery cord.
The overskirt is just a rectangle pleated on the sides with another rectangle gathered in the back. The outer fabric is this amazing drapery fabric lined with a green poly-cotton bedsheet. I added a green organza ruffle around the waistband and the fins are more organza set into polyester satin cones. The tail and fins are secured to the skirt with elastic loops on faux pearl buttons, and there's a lobster suncatcher hitching a ride. You also get a better view of the seaweed around the train. It cinches closed with a green scarf or sash I found at a second hand shop.
My crown was modeled on headdresses worn in central Asia, but I totally get why people said it has a geisha vibe. I started with a round dollar store place mat sewn to a headband and embellished it with shells, gems, pearls, fishing net, fake plant matter of various kinds, metallic grass, pearl trim and five tiny seahorse buttons. The back has clusters of green net sprouting more grass.
Unfortunately, I don't have any good shots of my shawl (Esjan
by Stephen West), felted starfish purse (modeled on this one
), or bra (inspired by maaany different rave bras on Etsy
). I started spinning the yarn for the shawl last winter, felted the starfish purse a month early, and was still gluing things to my boobs while my fiance packed the car for our trip! Aw well, here's some full length shots, which include my crap-ton of necklaces and bracelets. I also dyed my hair pink, wore huge pink feather lashes, and glued teal feather lashes to my eyebrows and ears.
There's more progress pictures on my photobucket
and a whole pinboard
of inspiring mermaid stuff.