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Thread: How on earth are y'all making a whole tail out of one sheet of neoprene?!?

  1. #1

    Question How on earth are y'all making a whole tail out of one sheet of neoprene?!?

    I am in the research/design phase of making my own neoprene/painted tail.

    Important info:
    I am 5'8"
    I am using a Mahina (32" wide at widest point)
    waist to floor is 43.5"
    hips 39"
    waist 26"
    waist to end of Mahina 68"
    I am planning to make my fluke slightly oversized (by only a few inches) to allow for velcro closures at the bottom - I want to be able to remove my Mahina and use it separately

    I am planning to get a turquoise/mermaidy green fabric covered neoprene (leaning toward 2mm thick). Obviously it is significantly cheaper (and less wasteful) to order 1 sheet rather than 2, but I cannot for the life of me figure out how some mers are able to cut a whole tail from one sheet. I've tried graphing it out and there's just not enough room for my hips and the Mahina. Is it a combo of my height/the Mahina size? Are most people cutting the tail body and fluke separately and then sewing them together?

    How did you do it? Or did you get 2 sheets? Help!
    *formerly MerAriel*

  2. #2
    I havnt done it, but I would say it probably has a lot to do with how huge the Mahina is. Id say play it safe and get two sheets. You can always make accessories with the rest of the second or add a bunch of extra fins!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Pod of Cali Merman Storm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Simi Valley, CA
    I assume you are talking about Seattle Fabrics 48" x 80" sheets?
    Disclaimer: I have not made a tail form that. But, things to consider:
    You will want to build in some stretch, like 10%. For the fin, that means your really are only using 29" of fabric, + two 1/2" seams: 30 inches. Same at the hips: 19 1/2" each half, reduce to 17 1/2" to get the stretch, add 1" for seams: 18 1/2" inches. Those couple of inches may solve your issue.
    Seattle also sells by the foot. 11 feet of material (they do give you a bit extra) is sufficient given the sizes you list, and a little cheaper than two sheets.
    And yes, cutting the fin and body separately and sewing them together is common. Even FinFun does it if you order a custom size tail.
    Are you a Frozen fan? Frozen fanfiction:

    Let the storm rage on!

  4. #4
    Yes, I’ve mostly been looking mostly at Seattle. I like their turquoise for a base color, even though is a bit cheaper, their greens are farther from what I’m going for and at this point I’d rather spend the extra money on starting closer to my end goal rather than on all the paint it’ll take to get to that color.

    Seattle only has the option of ordering up to 6ft linear on the website? Did they previously allow larger orders? Or maybe I could call in an order for a larger cut?

    I’ve also been snooping around and am now considering making my neoprene skin large enough to accommodate a Mertailor fantasea fin 3 because they’re veerrrrrrryyy pretty. Since I’m starting with a Mahina it wouldn’t be a huge switch in patterning, but would allow for more flexibility in the future.

    My other new dilemma (y’all are starting to get a peek into why the planning phase lasts 3x as long as actually doing a project for me) is can I make the body from one cut of neoprene with a seam down the back only, ideally with the front of the fluke included in that cut, so only the back of the fluke is a separate cut? I sew quite a bit so I know there’s some problems there as far as draping a single piece of fabric to cover what is basically a conical shape, but with a clever pattern and stretch it might work? And then the zipper could be in the back and would allow for less seams in general as well as less visible - I’m ideally going to be using this tail for children’s parties so fewer seams means fewer questions.
    *formerly MerAriel*

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