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Thread: Making a fabric tail!

  1. #1

    Making a fabric tail!

    Hai! So, I'm going to be making a spandex tail! This is technically going to be the second tail I made, but the first was more of a practice tail before I tried to do it with the expensive fabric. I'm going to be using two fabrics (one for the tail body and one for the fluke and additional fins), they're both from spandex world and I'll attach a picture below. I'm making this tail to fit my Mahina and I'm (eventually) going to add a dorsal fin and some assortment of side fins, though I haven't quite decided what that assortment will be. I'm gonna start sewing Sunday, so in the meantime, thanks for reading this! :bubble heart:

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  2. #2
    Hoping I'm attaching these right...

    Tail Body Fabric:
    Name:  Pink Fabric.jpg
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Size:  11.6 KB

    Fluke and Additional Fins Fabric :
    Name:  Purple Fabric.jpg
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Size:  10.2 KB

    Both Fabrics :
    Name:  Both Fabrics.jpg
Views: 110
Size:  10.5 KB

  3. #3
    Hai! So a lot happened. We cut out the fabric and my mom sewed it! She also added velcro dots to the bottom of the fluke so it won't come open while swimming. Now all that's left is elastic in the waistband, attaching the fluke and tail body, making any size adjustments, and adding additional fins. As for that, it will be a few days before we can fix any size issues since I want to try it in the water first, and the side fins will be a bit as well as the tail can function without them and I need to do a bit more research about them. In the meantime, I'll post the pictures from today later when I get on my computer. Thanks for reading! :Bubble kiss:

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  4. #4
    I'd love to see pictures, Pinkness!
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  5. #5
    Okay, so sorry for not posting! I kept getting distracted and forgetting to do this, but anyway, I'm back. So currently the tail is completely sewn, the velcro is attached to the bottom of the fluke, but I really need to sew it or use a stronger glue, as right now it's just being held down by the adhesive that comes on the back of it in the first place, and one has already broken. I'll take a picture when I get home and add it. Anyway, there is also elastic in the waistband, but part of the flap holding it in came up, so I'll have to re-sew it :/. In other news, I've made a stencil for the first side fin, I still have to make one for the ankle fins and dorsal, but at least the general design concept and top side fins (I forget the proper name) are done! I decided to use shelf liner for them, and I have it, so now it's just a matter of sitting down and making them! I've gone on two swims with the tail so far, and both have gone wonderfully! It looks really good, and the fabric complements the monofin really well! The fabric on the fluke is SUPER sparkly and slightly holographic, which makes it beautiful in the sun! My camera doesn't really do it justice in this picture, but oh well. So onto the pictures!


    Name:  Tail outline.png
Views: 73
Size:  68.7 KB
    So to get the outline for the body of the tail, my friend and I laid out two pieces of poster board, taped them together, and then laid down and traced each other, leaving room for the width (or height? I'm bad at math) of our bodies and seam allowance. Then (Almost two weeks later when the fabric got here) My mom and I folded the fabric over so the scaled side was facing out on the front and back. Now, cautionary tail, learn from my mistakes; When folding the fabric, make sure that the scales face the right way on the front and the back, otherwise one side will be going the wrong way. This happened to me and now the scales go up instead of down on the back. It's not super noticeable, but it is something to watch out for. Now, moving on, trace the pattern you made out of poster board with washable chalk, or something else that you can wash/swim out later that's light colored. On the 'test tails' my friend and I used a brown permanent marker and you can sea it on the outside :/. Anyhow, once the pattern was traced we cut it out and began sewing. We just used a standard, normal, single stitch cause were not sewing experts.

    Name:  Fluke outline.png
Views: 73
Size:  35.7 KB
    As for the fluke, I just traced my Mahina monofin, leaving space at the bottom for the velcro, but in the end, we sewed the bottom a bit smaller than I've seen recommended in other threads to keep the pretty wave shape at the bottom. Again, we traced with chalk and cut it out, then sewed it, leaving the top and open and the bottom open after the first dip. Then we attached five pieces of velcro, two on either side and one in the middle. After that, my mom sewed the two pieces together, then sewed a pouch at the top slightly larger than the elastic. We used a safety pin to pull the velcro through then hand sewed it together at the end. It all fits perfectly and it looks beautiful!

    Here's the full tail :
    Name:  Full Tail.jpg
Views: 73
Size:  6.9 KB

    And here's a close up of the fluke, but it's much sparklier in real life :
    Name:  Fluke.png
Views: 73
Size:  75.9 KB

    Thanks for reading! :Bubble Kiss:

  6. #6
    how much fabric did you use? *pondering the dimensions i would need to buy to make a tail.*

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Astridia View Post
    how much fabric did you use? *pondering the dimensions i would need to buy to make a tail.*
    We bought 3 yards of the tail body fabric and 1 yard of the fluke fabric but, in hinesight, it would have been better to get 1 1/2 yards of each, as we have way to much of the main fabric and not enough of the fluke fabric.

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  8. #8
    Okay, I have the shelf liner cut, now I just need to do the fabric covering and attach them. Now I have a few questions for you lovely folks. First, I'm going to a spring soon with my mom and friend to go mermaiding. The problem is, I have no means of transport once I have my tail on - I don't have anyone who can carry me, I don't have a cart, and I don't want to risk my tail getting cut on a rock or something while scooting or rolling on the ground, so I'll have to put it on next to the water, so my question is - do you have any advice to put on a tail without any kids noticing? I was thinking about just covering it in towels, but I would love to hear any advice you have! Now, my second question is, I want to hand sew the fabric on the side fins so they keep their shape better, so if you have any advice to hand sew a stronger stitch, let me know!

    Thanks! :bubble kiss:

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  9. #9
    Put it on when you're already in the water. Maybe some will notice, maybe not. But most are forgiving of the transition anyway. Kids are very imaginative and play this way all the time. As far as the hand sewing goes, just use very strong button thread or fishing line and good needles with large eyes. When I hand sew, I usually start with a short 2mm backward stitch, then go forward about 4mm. Then just keep repeating that. It overlaps and makes a strong seam. This won't work if you are trying to keep the seams stretchy lengthwise. Hope this helps.
    You may not like my truth, but I am always real.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by lotusauriel View Post
    Put it on when you're already in the water. Maybe some will notice, maybe not. But most are forgiving of the transition anyway. Kids are very imaginative and play this way all the time. As far as the hand sewing goes, just use very strong button thread or fishing line and good needles with large eyes. When I hand sew, I usually start with a short 2mm backward stitch, then go forward about 4mm. Then just keep repeating that. It overlaps and makes a strong seam. This won't work if you are trying to keep the seams stretchy lengthwise. Hope this helps.
    Thank you! That helps tons! I'll be sure to try that!

    Sent from my LG-K550 using MerNetwork mobile app

  11. #11
    You're very welcome!
    You may not like my truth, but I am always real.

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