Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: Long time swimmer, first time mermaid

  1. #1

    Talking Long time swimmer, first time mermaid

    Hey there! My name is Abby and in the summer I live in the Richmond, VA area and I live in the Savannah, GA area for the rest of the year. I've been a competitive swimmer for 13 years and have been competing at the national level for the last 6 years. So far I've won 9 national championships! My best events are mid distance and distance freestyle but my underwater kick outs are what make my races so good. I've always wanted to get into mermaiding, so after a couple years of thinking it over and trying on monofins at the pool, I finally decided I wanted to drop a ton of money and get into it.


    I'm an artist with a major in animation and a minor in costuming. For years, my sister (who's a fashion major) and I have created elaborate costumes over the summer. Last summer I made a mermaid costume I loosely based off the costume designs of Erika Turunen for The Finnish National Ballet's performance of The Little Mermaid.

    Name:  20151017-0827-1000x667.jpg
Views: 65
Size:  144.0 KB
    Costumes by Erika Turunen for The Finnish National Ballet's performance of The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Anderson

    I had a hard time finding the materials for this costume and an even harder time sewing it! I tracked down a company that sold pre-sequined oval shaped fabric and ordered a yard of it so the scales would come down to my calves. I had to hand sew the pants because, at the time, I didn't own a sewing machine. I don't think a sewing machine would've been very effective anyway. The sequins were always getting in the way of my needle even though I was hand sewing it. I can't imagine how annoying it would've been with a machine!

    Once I finally got the main part of the pants sewn, I added a waistband and said goodbye to the annoying sequins! It was time for me to move on to the fluke of the pants. I didn't want the fluke to be as long and drag on the ground too much because I was planning on wearing the costume to a Halloween party that's famous for being crowded. The last thing I wanted was for someone to tear up all my hard work. So I made the fluke shorter than Erika's to save myself from future heart break. Together, there are seven layers of fabric in the fluke. Four layers of fluff, and three layers of large to small scale shaped fabric. Once I finished the fluke I added some larger blue sequins in between the pants and the fluke to help the transition blend a little better.

    Name:  Mermaid Costume Close Up 750.png
Views: 63
Size:  731.3 KB
    Costume by me for Halloween 2016

    This summer I decided to step my costuming up a notch and actually make a swimmable mermaid tail! I ordered my first monofin and I'm in love! It didn't take me very long to get used to swimming in it. The only real problem I came across was I needed to exaggerate my movement a little more when I needed to turn or change directions. I ordered a Mahina Merfin and I can honestly say I love it. The only thing I wish I could change about it is maybe making it a little stronger. (That thing will flop around like a wet noodle if I decide I really want to kick fast.)

    I promised myself that I never work with sequins again after last summer's mermaid pants but then I found some sequins that I'm absolutely in love with so I guess I'll suffer again for one more summer. This summer I'm making a sequin tail with a silicone fluke (go big or go home am i right?). I'm going to be using two different sequins for the body. There will be a non-metallic zipper in the back and a non-elastic tying waist band hidden inside. For the fluke, I'll be making a silicone mold and laying a sheet of netting into the mold while it's still curing. Once it finishes curing, I hand sew the silicone onto the rubber mono fin with the netting to support the silicone and prevent it from ripping easier. Once it's attached to my monofin, I'll paint it with some Silc Pig and hopefully, my tail will be done after that.

    Here's the proportionate design I came up with:

    Name:  Mermaid_Tail_Design_1000.jpg
Views: 61
Size:  297.8 KB
    Mermaid tail drawing and design by me

    And here's all the notes and details I wrote over top of it all:

    Name:  Proportionate_Mermaid_Tail_Design_1000.jpg
Views: 59
Size:  403.1 KB
    Mermaid tail drawing and design by me

    If there's any tail maker out there that sees a flaw in my plan, please let me know but I think I've got all my problems pretty much covered. (The venting will empty out at the end of the body of the tail. Since I have it buttoned down, there are gaps for the water to escape in between!)

    Mermaid Abby
    Savannah, GA | Richmond, VA
    Art Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/abigail_richey/
    Mermaid Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tybee_mermaid/

  2. #2
    Greetings, Abby!

    First of all, put me down as, um, IMPRESSED. That's certainly the most thorough Intro post I've ever seen. Can't wait to see the tail when it's complete!

    Congratulations on the swimming championships!!!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Pod of The South Slim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Lakeland, FL
    Posts
    791
    Add Slim on Facebook
    Though you been here longer than me, this is proof why it's good to have you part of the community. One of the best...intro...ever
    When you make the impossible become possible, that when the magic happens!
    ~Slim the Florida Merman~
    https://www.instagram.com/critte2004

  4. #4
    Thanks! I always thought intros should talk about who you are and what you've done. Swimming and art have been my whole life so I get a pretty excited when I get to talk about them.
    Mermaid Abby
    Savannah, GA | Richmond, VA
    Art Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/abigail_richey/
    Mermaid Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tybee_mermaid/

  5. #5
    Senior Member Pod of The South Mermaid_Izzy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    My lovely home in the mountains...
    Posts
    305

    Visit Mermaid_Izzy's Youtube Channel
    I have to agree with Slim, your introduction is very well done. Can't wait to see your tail finished and in action.


    Sent from my ShellPhone using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by TybeeMermaid View Post
    Swimming and art have been my whole life so I get a pretty excited when I get to talk about them.
    Which is why you're here. And why we're so glad you are.

  7. #7
    Administrator Pod of Cali malinghi's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    1,709
    Welcome!

    I agree that mahina monofins are great. Although it sounds like you might enjoy a stiffer monofin, like one made of fiberglass. Those are great if you're making powerful kicks.

    Sent from my Moto G (4) using MerNetwork mobile app

  8. #8
    Senior Member Pod of The South Keiris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Naples, FL
    Posts
    1,284
    Add Keiris on Facebook
    Sounds like you are well on your way to a beautiful tail! I don't envy you hand sewing all those paillettes but I know some very patient mermaids like Hannah and others do it on neoprene all the time and the finished products are gorgeous!
    Great job on your shell top too! It looks very elaborate. WELCOME to the Waters, BTW!

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by MerGreg View Post
    Which is why you're here. And why we're so glad you are.
    Thanks! You have no idea how uncommon it is to be an artist-athlete! This is the perfect combination of my two favorite things!
    Mermaid Abby
    Savannah, GA | Richmond, VA
    Art Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/abigail_richey/
    Mermaid Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tybee_mermaid/

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by malinghi View Post
    Welcome!

    I agree that mahina monofins are great. Although it sounds like you might enjoy a stiffer monofin, like one made of fiberglass. Those are great if you're making powerful kicks.

    Sent from my Moto G (4) using MerNetwork mobile app
    Yup, I really like kicking fast so I'll probably invest in a fiber glass monofin later on down the road.
    Mermaid Abby
    Savannah, GA | Richmond, VA
    Art Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/abigail_richey/
    Mermaid Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tybee_mermaid/

  11. #11
    Administrator Pod of Cali malinghi's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    1,709
    Just a heads up, it's hard to go fast in a tail. Tails are awesome but they have more drag than normal swimwear. Typically tails work better at slower speeds.

    Sent from my Moto G (4) using MerNetwork mobile app

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •