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Thread: Making My First [Fabric] Tail

  1. #1

    Making My First [Fabric] Tail

    Hey Y'all! I'm brand new to all of this, but exciting to learn some things. I have a good knowledge base in construction, I've been sewing since I was 12 and have a degree in costume design. How hard could making a swimmable tail be? I'm sure the answer is plenty difficult, just like with everything else. However I'm excited to take on the challenge!

    I got my first monofin [going to the pool later this week to give it as test drive] It's the Mermaid Linden Monofin. However I can't ignore it came in my favorite colors Purple/Light Blue! Must be fate.

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    On the way [Should be here by the end of the week!] The is the swimsuit fabric that'll be the base of my tail. I'm in love with the pattern!! I also did a crude color scheme test before I ordered the paint. The actual pattern will be smaller, but I was stuck by the photo on the website on not being able to size it correctly. Oh well. It at least gave me an idea.

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    Last but not least I got my airbrush textile paint in the mail today! As shown above I'm going with Aqua and Purple as my overlay colors. I know the test is more light blue, but when I saw the aqua on their website I fell in love. I played around with my airbrush to see the colors laid down on some scrap swimsuit base I had in my fabric stash. I love the results, but don't think I'll be airbrushing the actual scales. It just isn't the look I'm going for and think I might do the fishnet hack or just paint them by hand with a stencil. I'll cross that bridge when I get there and see what option looks better with the actual fabric I'm going to get.

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    So anyway that's the progress so far! Once I get my base I'll be doing a tape mold of my legs so I can accurately do the patterning and painting. I also have a couple fun things planned for the top if I can get it to work the way I want. I'll be posting updates as I go along. Also if anyone has wisdom to pass along I am all ears!
    Last edited by MissDeBear; 07-21-2020 at 12:07 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod
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    That should be kinda cool when you get done. Post some updated pics when you do.

    Sent from my SM-N950U using MerNetwork mobile app

  3. #3
    Senior Member Pod of Oceania Mermaid Jaffa's Avatar
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    Oohhh! Cracked Ice! Aye! The shiny, glittery spandexes, they fade after one swim.

    In chlorine, salt water, bromide, etc pools, the foil just doesn't stay.
    Formerly known as ireneho

  4. #4
    OOOOOOOOOOOO! I love that fabric! And the tail colours will match your hair <3
    The Magical Mystical MerFanc
    A Welsh Lake Monster with control of weather, water and water creatures.
    Resident sea monster, best friend of sharks and ducks, lover of the Deep Ocean.
    Known on all other social media as theAfanc

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Mermaid Jaffa View Post
    Oohhh! Cracked Ice! Aye! The shiny, glittery spandexes, they fade after one swim.

    In chlorine, salt water, bromide, etc pools, the foil just doesn't stay.
    Oh that's really good info to know because I was considering one of those at first. The cracked ice isn't a metallic though, it's just a print. The way it's done doesn't look like I'll have much difficulty with fading for a while, it's a really good quality.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Pod of Oceania Mermaid Jaffa's Avatar
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    Yes yes. Printed is way better than foil in so many ways. I still have my homemade tail from 3 yrs ago, it still looks good! Just make sure you wash in fresh water with wetsuit wash. Or if you don't have wetsuit wash, rinse many times until the smell is gone. Then drip dry in shade.
    Formerly known as ireneho

  7. #7

    Update!

    Alright so everything got in and I finally had time to get some work done on my tail. First I made a tape cast of of where I wanted the tail to sit so that I could use it to make my pattern, and I'll also use it for painting so that it'll keep the shape I want.

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    Next I did a basting stitch along the lines I made for the tail so that everything would stay together while I sewed it. I ended up doing a straight stitch with a zig-zag over it for support because I knew this was going to be tight on my body. Besides if it isn't tight there is no way I'll be able to swim in it, I know it's gonna stretch in the water. The basic form took shape and I really like how everything came out! Next step is to cut out the fluke, sew in some velcro at the bottom so everything stays together, and then onto the paint work. I also have more than enough of the fabric to make a matching top once I settle on a design. I'm having a lot of fun with this project!

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  8. #8
    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod
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    That's really nice!

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by K Swim View Post
    That's really nice!
    Thank you so much! I'll have another update soon, I put the base layer of paint on it. Need to figure out how exactly I'm doing the scales now

  10. #10
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    If that was me making it....and if I had any skill at sewing (which I do not), then I would just fit the fluke end to the shape of the monofin inside of it and call it complete. Your picture looks like it's near perfection as is.

  11. #11

    Paint!

    So I added the base of paint and it turned out so good! Super happy with the bright color combo along with the design on the fabric I picked out. I think I've decided against extra scales due to the pattern on the fabric, it's pretty scale-esque as it is and I think the more traditional scale pattern will clash with it. Need to add the snaps to the bottom and we're in business!!

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    Last edited by MissDeBear; 08-04-2020 at 01:12 AM.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by K Swim View Post
    If that was me making it....and if I had any skill at sewing (which I do not), then I would just fit the fluke end to the shape of the monofin inside of it and call it complete. Your picture looks like it's near perfection as is.
    I appreciate that, but I'm rather fond the colors I chose! I'm really excited to try it on once the paint drys

  13. #13
    Wow that painting looks gorgeous! I love the colours <3 <3
    The Magical Mystical MerFanc
    A Welsh Lake Monster with control of weather, water and water creatures.
    Resident sea monster, best friend of sharks and ducks, lover of the Deep Ocean.
    Known on all other social media as theAfanc

  14. #14
    that looks good on you. pretty!!!!

  15. #15
    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod
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    Ok, you proved me wrong. Updated pic...definitely better looking.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by theMerFanc View Post
    Wow that painting looks gorgeous! I love the colours <3 <3
    Thank you so much! I'm super happy with how good everything looks together
    Quote Originally Posted by scilover View Post
    that looks good on you. pretty!!!!
    Thank you!
    Quote Originally Posted by K Swim View Post
    Ok, you proved me wrong. Updated pic...definitely better looking.
    Thanks! Painting took a decent amount of time, but I'm super happy with the end result. Now I just need to make the top and get some pictures of everything together!!

  17. #17

    Final Product!

    Hey everyone! I did a photoshoot with other merfolk and my amazing friend Chantell who is a photographer. She got a couple really great shots that show off this tail! Also now that I've officially swam in it, I never want to swim without a tail again. It absolutely the best. Hope everyone has a great day <3

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  18. #18
    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod
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    That came out really well. Good job

  19. #19
    That looks great, Nice job on the painting. Also I love your hair, very mermaidy

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