If Mermaids could sew….

You may have seen that meme that’s going around “I’m done adulting, let’s be mermaids”. I think it’s super cute, and it plays to my childhood fantasy of being one of the (nicer) mermaids in the Peter Pan story, lounging in the mermaid lagoon, putting pearls in my hair.


While I can’t actually BE a mermaid, I CAN sew up an adorable mermaid outfit for my daughter, so that’s just what I’ve done!

I’ve been hoarding these Candy Mermaids from Wanderlust Custom fabric for the better part of a year, waiting for the right inspiration. When I was invited to test the new Be Frilly skirt from Ellie and Mac, I knew this would be a great time to use some of them up on a summer set for my girl. I used the mermaid scales for the waistband,  and the solid purple coordinate for the connectors. The main ruffles are in purple sparkles from Pink Zeppelin Fabrics, because sparkles go with everything!

The Be Frilly skirt is a super quick sew. It has the option of shorts underneath for modesty, and features two layers of ruffles with a comfy yoga waistband. I opted to leave off the shorts, as it makes for easier diaper changes and potty training efforts, but it’s a nice option to have for when she’s older and doing flips over the bars and I don’t want her flashing the boys!

I’ve actually been looking at cute skirts like this in the stores, thinking I should make my own, so I was glad when Ellie and Mac made it super easy for me by putting the pattern and tutorial together. I was also really happy that in addition to a cut chart, actual pattern pieces for the ruffles and connector are also provided, since I can’t cut a straight rectangle to save my life. I’m telling you, This will NEVER turn into a quilting blog, much as I admire the beauty of quilts, because my rectangles always come out wonky despite my best efforts.

I made the size 6-12 months, and the fit was perfect except for one thing: the cloth diapers my babe wears make for a rather stark difference between her hip and waist measurement, and it can vary depending on the diaper. This means that while the 6-12 months is her correct size, I was concerned about the gathering stitches popping as I pulled the skirt over her fluff.

Not to be deterred, I did a little research and found the perfect solution: clear elastic! I used one of the serger feet that came with my machine (you can use a regular foot, this just made it easier!) to insert the elastic as I served the layers together. And, because I love you guys, I made a video tutorial on how to do it! You can view it on my sewing tutorials page here

As a bonus, I also made a video tutorial on how to gather with the serger. Once you try this technique, you’ll never go back to the time consuming and clumsy method of gathering with basting threads- this is a total game changer!

To finish up the outfit, I made a Peekaboo Little Miss Sunshine top (pattern used before here as a dress), because it was quick and easy and displayed the adorable mermaid panel well!

This photo shoot was hilarious, as Princess kept trying to wade into the lake, and thought the shells were messy because they got a little muddy, so she wouldn’t hold them properly. She even mistook the mud for chocolate at first, and took a BIG lick, which she proceeded to spit out all over me as I quickly scooped her up and tried to keep her from getting it on her clothes. Never a dull moment, trying to photograph a toddler, I tell you!

The Be Frilly skirt is on sale right now- so go grab if you have a  sweet girl to sew for! The Candy Mermaids are also being re-run, so you can pick those up too if you love mermaids (I don’t sew strike offs for Wanderlust, I just love these fabrics!) I think I’m going to need some on swim….and french terry….and maybe a few more panels….

Full disclosure: some of these links may be affiliate links, but all opinions are my own. Any $ I make never escapes my PayPal account- it just gets recycled into more projects to share with you!

I hope these videos are helpful, let me know if there are any other videos you’d like to see!

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