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Thread: I need some feedback on my mermaid tail tutorial!

  1. #1

    I need some feedback on my mermaid tail tutorial!

    Please read the whole thing before using this tutorial to prevent any missteps! If your willing to follow the tutorial or read it, please let me know where it seems confusing or unclear.


    Today I'm here with my first tutorial, a Mermaid Tail! This is for swimming in the pool, the lake, the ocean, or wherever you fancy. It is made with swimsuit fabric and a monofin, I'll explain what that is down below. It can be made in whatever colors you like, painted, with extra fins, or just made simply. I will make later blog posts about paint and adding fins that will come in the following week.


    So, let's start. What is a monofin? A monofin is a type of swim fin that looks like two fins fused together with foot pockets. It is used in the sports of free diving and swimming and of course mermaiding! They come in different shapes and sizes and is made by several companies, one of the best known being Finis. I am using a Finis Wave in this tutorial, but you can use whichever monofin you prefer, the tutorial works for all.


    The Finis Mermaid Fin, fits girls 1-7, but they have several mermaid shape fins now. It was my first monofin and is great for beginners.
    The Finis Wave is larger, I have a photo below and fits girls size 2-8
    The Finis Rapid fits girls size 9-13


    Finis has a wide variety of monofins so make sure you read up on what type would be the best for you. You can also make custom monofins, but that is a post for another day.


    Now that we've had some explanations let's get into it!


    Supplies needed


    - A large roll of paper (I got mine at the dollar store), or wrapping paper, or pieces of paper taped together. This will be used to make our pattern so it has to be large enough that you could lay from your waist down to your ankles on the paper.
    - Paper Scissors
    - Fabric Scissors
    - Pins
    -Pen/marker/marking pencil/chalk
    -Monofin of choice
    - Lycra Spandex or Poly Spandex, also known as swim fabric or performance knit fabrics. It should have four way stretch. (I talk about how much you need below)
    - Sewing Machine (nothing fancy required, you only need a zig zag stitch.)



    This is my Finis Wave monofin and under that my fabric of choice, this beautiful white poly blend spandex with a slight dragon scale print.



    It was actually a Yaya Han cosplay fabric, it came in several other colors and was available at Joann Fabrics for $24.99 a yard, but I got it on sale for $18 a yard.


    Now we're going to get into the tutorial.


    Take your paper and lay it out on the floor, laying your body on it so the narrowest part of your waist is on the edge. Put your knees and ankles together and trace around yourself adding an extra inch as you go, having a friend to do this is very helpful. Here's what my pattern looked like.



    Then I laid my monofin at the end of the pattern, matching the edges of the foot pockets up with the line where my heels were. I then traced around my monofin and cut the whole thing out, then laid it on my fabric.


    How much fabric you need depends on your height. I got away with one yard, folding it on its length so the full sixty inches of the fabric was laid out. Doing this prevented me from having extra fabric to add flow at the end of my fluke. I should have gotten two yards. Make your pattern first with the monofin and add any additional shape you want at the end before buying your fabric to prevent you from running into my same problem.


    Take your pattern and lay it out on your fabric.



    Trace your pattern onto your fabric with your marking pen, it's better if it's water soluble. Cut out with a half inch seam allowance.





    Sew all the way around the tail, right sides together, using a zigzag stitch close to the edge, or if you have a serger or overlocker, serge the edges, leaving the waist open.


    Turn your tail right side out and congratulations, you have made a mermaid tail! I got my monofin into my tail by rolling the tail down as far as it would go, folding my monofin in half and sliding it into the pocket for the monofin. If you have thin ankles, this will not work. Leave instead a gap when you sew around the end of the fluke to insert your monofin and hand stitch closed afterwards. Once your monofin is in and the tail is fully sewn, your tail is done and ready to swim in!



  2. #2
    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod
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    Quote Originally Posted by MermaidIndie View Post
    They come in different shapes and sizes and is made by several companies, one of the best known being Finis.
    You may want to take out the "best known" part. Maybe something like "my favorite is..." to avoid the argument others may provide about which is best.

    Quote Originally Posted by MermaidIndie View Post
    - Lycra Spandex or Poly Spandex, also known as swim fabric or performance knit fabrics. It should have four way stretch. (I talk about how much you need below)
    Maybe give a link or two for reference and stress the fact that some fabrics don't hold well in chlorine or salt water.

  3. #3
    Good ideas for sure! Thanks!


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    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod
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    One more thing. Try creating instructions in the format found on Instructables. Example:

    https://www.instructables.com/id/Silicone-Mermaid-Tail/

    That one is not my article, but I've written a few on that site that have not gotten many views. I try to stick to that format though...Step 1, Step 2, etc.

  5. #5
    You could cut the monofin to a more fish like shape. There are tutorials how to do that here on MN to hat shape: ({

    I would mention that the monofin needs to be robust and not too hard. Remember that it should look like it is moving fluently and there are materials which may cause harm (i. e. acryl glass). I would say it should be at least be capable to be used for basic freediving.

  6. #6
    Member jaybay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K Swim View Post
    You may want to take out the "best known" part. Maybe something like "my favorite is..." to avoid the argument others may provide about which is best.


    Maybe give a link or two for reference and stress the fact that some fabrics don't hold well in chlorine or salt water.
    I donít think they need to take out the well know part. Itís fine the way it is


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  7. #7
    Member jaybay's Avatar
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    I really like your how-to! Really informative and helpful


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  8. #8
    @jaybay Iím glad to hear it! Thanks for the feedback


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