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Thread: Fabric Tail Alteration help?

  1. #1

    Fabric Tail Alteration help?

    Hello fellow merfolk! So my parents surprised me with a my first tail for Christmas, a Finfolk fabric tail (the Dark Iris), and when I went for a swim in it, I noticed that it kept slipping down. I measured as a medium, but we didn't realize that sizing down would give for a more appropriate fit (meaning that the next time I want to buy one, I should shoot for a small). Does anyone have any tips when it comes to altering Finfolk fabric tails? My ankles and calves fit perfectly in the water, but from my knees up it slips down and I have to keep pulling it back up. I'd hate to try and do it, only to end up ruining such a gorgeous piece, especially because it is quite an expensive gift, misprint or otherwise.

    I would be grateful for any advice anyone has to offer!

  2. #2
    I altered my neverland tail because it was too big. I measured myself and drew out where I wanted to cut with tailors chalk. To make the other side symmetrical I just folded the tail in half and the chalk transferred. I sewed it just outside the lines (because if it is too small it's more work trying to unpick it) and tried it on (if it is too big you can sew further in) I still need to overlock the sides. I haven't swum in it yet so I have no idea if it will hold.
    I didn't modify the waistband though so I would have no clue on how to do that.

  3. #3
    I have to do the same thing. I had to get two sizes too big because of the length!

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  4. #4
    Senior Member Pod of Oceania Mermaid Jaffa's Avatar
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    Use zigzag stitch for all sewing.
    Using a seam ripper, unpick the waistband.
    Turn tail inside out.
    Lie on the floor.
    Put on the tail.
    Place a hand on each side seam and pinch the fabric.
    Keep pinching until the tail skin is tightened to your liking.
    Mark with washable marker.
    Remove tail.
    Pin and sew in the new seams.
    Without stretching, measure waistband elastic around the waist of the tail.
    Cut elastic when one end meets the elastic but not overlapping it.
    Turn tail right side out, so that the scales are on the outside.
    Fold over the fabric at the waist to create a channel, a little bit wider than the elastic.
    Starting at a side seam, sew the waist all the way around, leave a small area unstitched at your starting point, just big enough to put in the elastic.
    Safety pin one end of the elastic and stuff it into the waistband until it meets the other end.
    Remove safety pin.
    Overlap the two ends then sew together for a perfect fit!
    Last edited by Mermaid Jaffa; 02-06-2019 at 10:15 PM.

  5. #5
    Junior Member Pod of The South Nixie Noele's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mermaid Jaffa View Post
    Using a seam ripper, unpick the waistband.
    Turn tail inside out.
    Lie on the floor.
    Put on the tail.
    Place a hand on each side seam and pinch the fabric.
    Keep pinching until the tail skin is tightened to your liking.
    Mark with washable marker.
    Remove tail.
    Pin and sew in the new seams.
    Measure waistband elastic around the waist of the tail.
    Turn tail right side out, so that the scales are on the outside.
    Fold over the fabric at the waist to create a channel, a little bit wider than the elastic. Sew the waist.
    Safety pin one end of the elastic and stuff it into the waistband until it meets the other end.
    Remove safety pin.
    Sew the two ends together for a perfect fit!
    Probably best to use a zigzag stitch or an overlock stitch to make sure that the fabric can stretch w/o blowing out the stitches.

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  6. #6
    Senior Member Pod of Oceania Mermaid Jaffa's Avatar
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    Yep! Forgot to mention the zigzag stitch!

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Nixie Noele View Post
    Probably best to use a zigzag stitch or an overlock stitch to make sure that the fabric can stretch w/o blowing out the stitches.

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    You both are the BEST!!! Thank you!

  8. #8
    Junior Member Pod of The South Nixie Noele's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ara Mermaid View Post
    You both are the BEST!!! Thank you!
    I'm planning on altering my Aqua Fairy tail in the next few months. I measured for a medium, but its baggy at the knees.
    Post pics when you're done! =)



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  9. #9
    I'm an Aqua Fairy girl too! I LOOOOOOVE it so much!

  10. #10
    Junior Member Pod of the Midwest Runa's Avatar
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    Piggybacking on the already aptly named thread

    I have a similar and funnily opposite problem, my tail is a finfolk fabric tail in size medium as well, it fits snugly and is comfortable around my legs but faaaaar too long because I'm very short This makes a conspicouous scrunch around my ankles where my feet go into the monofin. I'm anxious about making it shorter because of the ankle zipper, sublimated scale pattern, and already comfortable fit around my hips. Any advice to make the alteration easier/look best it can? I'm honestly considering going to a professional tailor if I can, although I know it'd be an odd request to field.

  11. #11
    So My tail is a medium, however, I did have mine altered to fit a small because it kept sliding down. I would recommend maybe having the waistline taken down and in. Like, put yourself into your tail to where your feet and everything fit comfortably, pull the tail up as far as the fabric goes, and have the tailor or alteration-person pin it to that size.

    Before I even took my tail in, I called to see if they worked with neoprene/scuba-diving material, so that way it won't sound crazy and off putting. I came in and I saw the cringe on the poor woman's face when I unfolded the fluke, but I told her 'I just need the waist taken in!' and I could visibly see her sigh in relief XD.

    I too, am a bit of a shorter mermaid at my 5'3 height, so I definitely relate to the problem with the fabric bunching at the ankles, but when I had the alteration-lady take the waist line down and in, it fixed that problem for the most part.

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  13. #13
    Junior Member Pod of The South Nixie Noele's Avatar
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    Hello everyone!

    I'm thinking of putting a zipper on my Finfolk Fabric Tail, has anyone ventured into that territory of alterations yet? I've seen a few draw-strings...but meh. I had to order a medium due to hip vs waist ratio, but it's also a bit long on me. So I figured if I have to pull the waistband, why not make it easier to get on while I'm at it!
    I'm really debating between a side-zip or one down the back.
    Thoughts?

    Cheers!




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  14. #14
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    These are all really helpful, please keep the advice coming . I'm about to buy a Finfolk fabric, and will have to take it in. I'm a good sewer & mum has done a fair bit in the past including dressmaker training, but we're still very nervous altering something that is so expensive. And a type of material we've never dealt with before.
    Most of my measurements are right on the Medium, but my calves are half way between L & XL measurements, so I was planning on getting the XL and taking it in (even if I got the L, I'd still be up for taking in the wast/hips & have the risk of the calves maybe being too tight depending on how accurate the measurements vs sewing is). And I'm a shorty so any size tail will come up to the bottom of my ribs!

  15. #15
    Be careful when ordering! I measured perfectly for the medium, but when I got in the water, it slipped down my waist. I'd get one size smaller than you think you are if you want that perfect fit. But if you don't want to risk it, then get the size you match at . It's easier to make fabric smaller than it is to make bigger. If you don't want to alter it yourself, you can always take it to an alteration place (But call ahead to make sure they work with neoprene).

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morgana1999 View Post
    Be careful when ordering! I measured perfectly for the medium, but when I got in the water, it slipped down my waist. I'd get one size smaller than you think you are if you want that perfect fit. But if you don't want to risk it, then get the size you match at . It's easier to make fabric smaller than it is to make bigger. If you don't want to alter it yourself, you can always take it to an alteration place (But call ahead to make sure they work with neoprene).
    I'm going with the "I can always make it smaller, but I can't make it any bigger". If I got a M my calves def wouldn't fit (10cm off), an L they would maybe fit & I'd be taking in the waist/hips, with the XL I'm still taking in waist/hips but know my calves will def fit. I've also read a lot about the measurements not always being absolutely precise to the charts or not stretching enough etc, and its along way (& lots of $$$) to send it back if it's not right.

  17. #17
    I sewed my finfolk smaller and then gained weight! now I have to take out the stitching but be warned it leaves some decent-sized holes if you ever have to let it out again.

    My personal take: keep it too big, but use a drawstring waist so it won't slip!

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    Thanks. I generally never change weight/size, however the medications that affect that I’m about to wean off.
    -Are the holes visible from the outside or just the inside?
    -I was thinking about either a drawstring waist or making a proper casing for the elastic so I can loosen/tighten the elastic after a few test swims with only a few stitches to unpick.

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