Wednesday, October 2, 2013

I was thrilled when an Etsy member contacted me recently about making her a really special fishtail skirt for her birthday, which just happens to fall right on Halloween! Given the happy coincidence of birthday and Halloween celebration, each year she goes all out when it comes to her special costume. This year my client decided to dress up as a mermaid, inspired by Kim Kardashian's 2012 Halloween costume, which is really lovely:

I designed both a calf-length and maxi-length fishtail skirt a few years ago which I sell in my etsy store, but I usually make it in ever-popular black woven fabric (with spandex for extra wiggle);  making it in bright emerald green foiled spandex was going to be fun! Never having sewn spandex costume fabric before, it was going to be a great learning experience as well.

 One thing - I didn't like the way the Kardashian skirt dips down in the front at the knee, as it looks a little awky; I was sure the indentations from knobbly knees would show through the spandex with that cut, plus, it would most likely impose a Morticia-like shuffle on Katelyn (my customer). So, we both agreed we'd stick to my original design which has a rise both centre front and centre back, as being generally more graceful and practical.

The next task was to track down some drapey chiffons in varying shades of green with which to make the fishtail fronds. Do you think I could find any green chiffon ANYWHERE??? No! Nothing, zip, nada - obviously green is out this year. It's times like these that I wish I lived in New York or somewhere, where there's an infinity of fabric choice! Eventually I found a great pleaty grass green georgette, which I decided to layer with dark green organza. I was less than happy with these replacement fabrics before I actually got the skirt mocked up, but once I saw the complete effect my worries were put to rest:

My client decided she wanted to get happy with a glue gun, clam shells and pearls and embellish her own mermaid bustier, so I've shown the skirt with a lovely dark green sheer lace top. Here's a side and back view, showing the lovely flow to the organza tail:

I ended up hand sewing (with pin-prick stitches) the top organza layers to the skirt, as machine zig-zag stitch produced a clunky ridge of stitching that sort of puckered and distorted the lovely flow and drape of the spandex. I found that out the hard way, having to unpick the entire thing, each zig by zag, as the thread would not pull through the grippy spandex. It turned out well in the end - I just love the frothy, floaty mermaid tail!

This was a really fun project - I can't wait to make more costume-style clothes now!

#mermaid skirt  #fishtail skirt#  #Kim Kardashian mermaid costume #Halloween costume


Valerie Griffin said...

I love this

Valerie Griffin said...

Is it possible to buy the pattern from you?

Theresa said...

This is amazing.

Aaron Grey said...

Hi, can I contact you through your email? I've something to share that might interest you.