Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 29

Thread: Tips on Measuring for a Tail

  1. #1

    Post Tips on Measuring for a Tail

    Tips on Measuring for a Tail

    Measuring for a tail can be a nerve-wrecking process for anyone. This is especially true when ordering a tail in the mid-high price range. Recently I ordered a tail from Merbella Studios, and I found myself in the same situation many have been in- unsure of how to measure to get the most accurate measurements with thousands of dollars on the line. I had several different people measure me, and I kept coming out with different numbers. Then I figured out a few great tips for more accurate measurements. I'll share these with you, and I hope that others will share theirs as well! Hopefully we can make measurements less of a worry for everyone.

    More exact measurements are more important with certian types of tails than others. You may not chose to use all of these tips if you're measuring for a fabric or neoprene tail, but I would recommend all of them if you are ordering a silicone tail.




    •If you're making your own tail, use a good measuring chart from a commercial tailmaker, or use the method discussed in Sasha's How to Make a Mermaid Tail. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtwnOQg_KH8)

    •Ask the tailmaker for details.

    Each tail maker should provide you with either a list of measurements, or a measuring chart illustrating which measurements they need. However, if there are any questions about how to measure correctly that is not answered by the chart, ASK. It is better to ask and have to wait for an answer than to measure incorrectly.

    How snug should the measurements be taken? Some say loose (as garments would be measured) others say snug, others say very tight. Be sure to check.

    How would they would have you take the vertical measurements?
    There is an image below for clarification. Say you were measuring from your knees to your ankles. Do you go right down the center from one point of measurement to the other (red line), or do you measure down fitting the tape to the side, to account for length of all curves (blue line)? With Merbella Studios they specified for me to take it right down the center. The difference between these two are very large, so be sure to have the tailmaker specify if it not specified in the instructions or in the measuring chart.

    Name:  measuringchart_zpse6b64c8c.jpg
Views: 3177
Size:  115.4 KB

    Be sure to clarify where measurements should be taken if that is not already done. Some tail makers use an illustration for measuring charts that are less proportionately accurate, and so it can be confusing. The ankles can be a questionable area- do you measure at the ankle bones (where you can not keep the tape level) or do you measure just above them? Keep in mind, usually "hips" means the widest part of the butt. But sometimes it asks for hips and butt separately.

    The Mertailor has made a very good measuring chart to use as a reference!

    Name:  76781_564387716912148_762461527_n.png
Views: 2403
Size:  298.1 KB
    (source: http://www.facebook.com/mertailor)

    •Never measure yourself.
    You can not hope to get accurate measurements by measuring yourself. Always get someone else to do this for you.

    •Use the right measuring tape.
    Never use stiff tool measuring tapes. Either borrow or buy a flexible measuring tape made for taking sizing measurements- these can be found at sewing stores and even Target and Walmart.

    •Measure at the right time.
    Don't measure right after a big meal, if you know you're unusually bloated, things like that.

    •Strip down.
    If you are going for the most exact measurements you can get, you need to measure on your skin with no clothing to add to the thickness of your legs. Measuring in underwear or a bathing suit is the best way to do it. If you are very shy, wear thin tights.

    •Stand on a chair, step stool, or other elevated platform.
    Vertical measurements can be easily fudged by the fact that if you are standing on the ground, the person measuring you must get down on the ground and sometimes crane their neck to read the tape. I found that by standing on an elevated platform it made it a LOT easier for the person taking the measurements, and that the measurements were more accurate.

    •Don't bend.
    When the measurements are being taken don't crane your neck to look down or bend. Sand straight, and look ahead.

    •Don't round numbers.
    Don't round up or down when taking down the measurements. Writing down 3/4 or even 5/8 inches is better than rounding up or down to the nearest inch or even half inch. Take the time to figure out what to write down.

    •Keep the measuring tape horizontally level when taking horizontal measurements.
    You need to keep the tape level to the floor all the way around the body. This can be tricky, especially in certian places. Most likely the person measuring will need to put the tape around the place they are measuring, then adjust the tape here and there to make it level.

    •Mark horizontal measurement lines.
    For a tail you take horizontal measurements (waist, hips, calves, ect) then vertical measurements (waist to hips, waist to knees, ect). The best way to get the most accurate vertical measurements is to mark where exactly you took the horizontal measurements instead of just guestimating. When the person measuring takes a horizontal measurement, before they remove the tape take a sharpie and draw a line at the top of the tape. (I recommend a sharpie becuase you don't have to press hard into the skin to make a very defined mark. Sharpie is taken off of the skin with ease with rubbing alcohol. Or will wash off in a few days.) If you are wearing tights, you can use tailor's chalkBe sure to make the marks on the same side every time (pick a leg). Then you can measure from mark to mark to get more exact measurements.

    •Use a straight line.
    If you have been instructed to measure directly down the center for vertical measurements this is can be helpful. Chances are you did not mark your horizontal measurements in the center, and if you did it would not be the most accurate becuase of the curves of the legs going inward in the center. So when the horizontal measurements are taken, use a straight edge (piece of paper, ruler, book, ect) and line it up with the horizontal mark to the center. It will make it easier and more accurate than just eyeing it from the mark on your leg.

    •Look from the side.
    When horizontal measurements are taken, you want to be sure to measure the thickest part of the butt, calves, ect. Stand back and look at the person being measured from the side, and measure where their butt or calves is the thickest. This is very important for a correct fit.

    •Help out the person measuring.
    Help them out if you can. One good thing to do is to hold the measuring tape at your waist or bellybutton while they take waist-to-____ measurements (wasit-to-floor, waist-to-knees, ect). Look down to make sure you're holding it in the right place initially, but don't forget to look straight ahead when they are taking the measurements!

    •Get two people to help measure.
    One person is good, two are much better! The other person can double check to make sure that person is measuring at the thickest part, help adjust or check the tape to make sure it's level, lend a hand in marking the horizontal measuring marks, writing down the measurements, holding the tape, ect. I found that having two people helped in the accuracy and their confidence in the whole process.

    •Be cautious.
    Be careful not to lock your knees for long periods of time. This is a good way to make yourself dizzy, or even pass out! There are certian measurements you may feel better straightening them for more accurate measurements (waist to floor, thighs to calves, things like that). But be sure to unlock them after those are done. If you feel dizzy or unwell, take a break!

    •Check the numbers.
    Take a look at the numbers, make sure they look right. Calves are bigger than the knees, hips are bigger than the waist, things like that are usually standard. If something looks off, double check it. You can also add and subtract the vertical measurements to make sure they add up. For example adding the waist-to-knees and knees-to-floor to make sure it comes out the same as wasit-to-floor in total.

    •Measure twice, send once.
    The whole measuring process can be a long one, but it's best to do it all twice if possible to double check your numbers. Since it can be taxing on the person being measured and the people measuring, you may want to do it a few hours apart, or if possible, on a different day.
    Last edited by Winged Mermaid; 01-19-2013 at 09:28 PM. Reason: fixed images

    Wingéd Mermaid Iona

    FacebookYouTubeEtsy InstagramdeviantARTGoogle+TwitterTumblr


  2. #2
    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    14,550
    perfect <3

  3. #3
    This is just what I need right now. One of my biggest fears about in the future buying a much more expensive silicone tail (not worried about fabric) is the measurements.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Pod of The South Blondie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Jax, Florida
    Posts
    1,236
    I'll admit, I rounded my number a half inch. It's not a very good idea. My tail is much tighter that way, and it takes a lot more effort to get on.

  5. #5
    THANK YOU! I've been doing it myself for my tail and coming up with crazy numbers.

    User formerly known as "Elaina-Wednesday".

  6. #6
    LOL i let the hubby do it cause i got a big butt, I only make my waist area a half in smaller than the original size to make sure i get that tight fit at the waist. And i always leave a half in to an inch on the ankle area for alittle stretch space should i need to grab straps.


    Lanai, The New York's OFFICIAL Professional Mermaid since 2012
    NewYorkMermaid.com Facebook Youtube Tumblr

  7. #7
    Oooh! Wish I had this in December. Great tutorial!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Pod of Cali spottedcatfish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    La Mesa, CA
    Posts
    917
    Follow spottedcatfish On Twitter Add spottedcatfish on Facebook Add spottedcatfish on Google+
    Follow spottedcatfish on Tumblr Visit spottedcatfish's Youtube Channel
    I'm wondering if any of the tail makers would accept a pattern from cardboard or a mockup muslin tail pattern, along with those measurements? Just to make sure you get the right measurements and shape for your tail.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by spottedcatfish View Post
    I'm wondering if any of the tail makers would accept a pattern from cardboard or a mockup muslin tail pattern, along with those measurements? Just to make sure you get the right measurements and shape for your tail.
    You would have to ask the tailmaker! Each of them has their own way of doing things. Can't hurt to ask though!


    Quote Originally Posted by Mermaid Lexia View Post
    On a different note- Iona, do you mind if I use some (or a lot) of the last part for recommendations about measuring?
    I'm glad you feel they're good enough tips to recommend! If you could just link them here I would prefer that. I hope you understand me wanting that, I put a lot of time and effort into these kinds of posts not only to help people on here, but to get more traffic and more great mers involved in the community

    Wingéd Mermaid Iona

    FacebookYouTubeEtsy InstagramdeviantARTGoogle+TwitterTumblr


  10. #10
    Senior Member Pod of Cali Vela's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    California
    Posts
    238
    Thank goodness i found this before starting my first tail

  11. #11
    Junior Member Chesapeake Pod Nomie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Thorndale, Pennsylvania, United States
    Posts
    14
    Add Nomie on Facebook
    Sorry about this, I probably sound stupid but I still don't get the measuring part. I watched the video and I don't really understand what she is doing with the tape for she only explains it slightly. I am trying to make my first tail out of fabric and cant figure out the measurement part.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Pod of Oceania Mermaid Jaffa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Dundas Valley, NSW Australia
    Posts
    4,536
    Add Mermaid Jaffa on Facebook
    Visit Mermaid Jaffa's Youtube Channel
    Quote Originally Posted by Nomie View Post
    Sorry about this, I probably sound stupid but I still don't get the measuring part. I watched the video and I don't really understand what she is doing with the tape for she only explains it slightly. I am trying to make my first tail out of fabric and cant figure out the measurement part.
    Me too when I first watched that video! What I did was lie on the fabric when its inside out, and drew an outline of myself from waist to ankles, then the monofin and designed a fluke style from there.

    Also, I've been wondering if our pro tail makers can make a tail with a paper outline of one's self? Like if one sent it to them via snail mail.

  13. #13
    Mernation have you make a duct tape dummy of yourself and take some measurements too. This process is so funny but gives them a great idea of your shape!!!

  14. #14
    Where is a good place to purchase swim spandex material? I have a resale permit so if it needs to be purchased direct I can do that too. I need enough for an adult tail, a large child tail, and twin toddler tails so buying in bulk might actually help lol

  15. #15
    Check spandexworld.com


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


    ~Mermaid Celeste: The Orlando Mermaid~
    Booking Website/Model Mayhem
    Facebook Fan Page /Pinterest/Twitter/YouTube/Instagram

  16. #16
    Thankyou

  17. #17

  18. #18
    Thank you for this! I am still freaking out slightly that what I would describe as my natural waist (narrowest part) is several inches above my belly button... any suggestions for which measurement I should use for a tail waist?

    (Fabric tail for my first so not hugely expensive, but am in the UK so don't want to waste shipping costs and disappointment on one that doesn't fit!)

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Mermaid Carla View Post
    Thank you for this! I am still freaking out slightly that what I would describe as my natural waist (narrowest part) is several inches above my belly button... any suggestions for which measurement I should use for a tail waist?

    (Fabric tail for my first so not hugely expensive, but am in the UK so don't want to waste shipping costs and disappointment on one that doesn't fit!)
    Yes, actually I had this confusion originally as well. Your natural waist is the narrowest part of your waist. It can be at/near the belly button, but for others it's a couple/few inches difference. It also depends on how high you want your tail to go up. I would personally recommend doing it at your natural waist unless you're really set on having it lower. You can always trim the tail down yourself if it comes too high up, but you can't add more on! (Tailmakers can, but shipping to fix it would be expensive!) Hope that helps

    Wingéd Mermaid Iona

    FacebookYouTubeEtsy InstagramdeviantARTGoogle+TwitterTumblr


  20. #20
    Sorry to hijack the thread but j have a quick question.... I made my first fabric tail this week based on sasha's YouTube video. It seemed pretty tight. However I tested it in the pool last night and it stretched a lot! When I swim the water pulls on it so you get ballooning on one side and you can see the legs through it on the other. Should I take it in so it is really, really tight when it is dry?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •