My nieces are avid competitive swimmers. I'm pretty sure it's in their blood. So, when I asked them what they wanted for their 11th birthday back in April, they told me they wanted a monofin. This is a monofin. It's a swimming fin that holds your feet together for the dolphin kick. I think.
Anyway, back to my story. My nieces also showed me a couple of videos on YouTube where people had made mermaid tails using spandex fabric that made you look and swim just like a mermaid. They were particularly excited about this. For their birthdays we gave them the fins and the fabric, and a few weeks later they came over to do the sewing.
For the fabric, I did a lot of shopping around looking for mermaid-esque stretchy waterproof fabric. Ultimately I ordered from this website. You want something with a 4-way stretch that is also waterproof. If it's chlorine resistant, then that is a bonus. Locally, the fabric store only had 2 bolts of swimsuit fabric and it was in no way reminiscent of a mermaid.
To start, I had each of them lay on a piece of paper wearing their fin. I then traced out the pattern. This does not need to be precise. In fact, our patterns were pretty rough. Next, we traced the pattern onto the fabric using chalk or a pencil or a fabric pen. Note that this is going to be your sewing line - not your cutting line!
|If your fabric stretches more in one direction make sure the stretchiest part goes across.|
|It's very hard to put your tail on and perch on the arm of the couch.|
Now the hard part is getting in and out of the fin and tail. If you are poolside, then you want to carefully put the fin on while sitting on the edge of the pool and then wiggle into the tail. If you discover a graceful way to do this, please let me know. But it is easier in the water than in the living room.
|The Iowa mermaid wiggles into her tail.|
|This mermaid can swim.|
WARNING: It should go without saying, but I'm gonna say it anyway. Swimming with your feet and legs bound together is not for the novice swimmer and should only be done under adult supervision - preferably an adult who can, you know, swim.
P.S. I used a new online photo editing software for this post. It's Pixlr. And I like it. Even though I might have gotten a little carried away here.