Swimmable Mermaid Tail

Kaia has been waiting, and waiting, for this project to happen.  She picked out her fabric last month, but we had trouble getting the fins.  They finally arrived today, so I had to get right on it!

Behold – Mermaid Kaia!


This was a fairly simple project to do.  We got the swim fins from Metro Swim Shop (yes, you read correctly, I said ‘fins’.  I got this fin for myself and will make my own tail as soon as I get the fabric.  The description says it’s for kids, but it fits up to a women’s size 8 shoe)

First, I had Kaia put on her fin and traced her lower half (from waist down) on a large piece of paper.  This gave me the basic shape of her body.  When I was tracing the fin part, I had her sit up for that the fin was flat on the floor.  The tracing is not the proper measurement of the pattern, it simply give me a shape to go by as I mark in the proper measurements.

Then, I measured Kaia around her waist, hips, thighs, knees, shins, and ankles.  I took each of these measurements and divided in two, since you will have 2 sides to your fin.  Ex: her waist was 21  so half that is 10.5

On the paper, along the tracing of her body, I marked the measurements in the proper places.  Ex:  at the waist of the tracing, I measured out 10.5 inches, marking on either side of the tracing, so that the center of the tracing is also the center of the measurements.  Do this with all your measurements and then connect the markings.  The markings will probably be an inch or two out from the original tracing.  Use the tracing as a guide of how to shape the pattern.  Does this make sense??

Then, cut your pattern out.

Take your chosen fabric and fold it in half.  This way you will cut out both sides at one time.

Lay the pattern on the fabric and pin it down well through both layers of fabric.  Make sure there are no wrinkles.

Cut out your fabric.

Take the pattern off and, if they aren’t already, put the right sides together (meaning the sides that will be showing once you are done should now face each other).  Pin the fabric together really well so that it doesn’t slip or bunch when you sew it up.

Then sew along the sides leaving the waist open, and one side of the fin open (see finished picture below)  I left 1/4 inch seam allowance on the first run and had her try it on.  Then Iwent back over the edge with a zig zag stitch to finish it off.

To get the mono fin into the tail, you will need a hole big enough to slip it through.  The adult monofins are a little more flexible and might fit through the waist hole and be worked down to the tail.  Kaia’s fin is pretty stiff, so we left a hole in the bottom of the tail for the monofin to slide into and then put 4 pearl snaps to close it off.  I zigzagged the open edges to prevent any fraying.

At this point I checked to be sure the monofin fit into the opening and had Kaia try it on to be sure it fit well, and figured out where she wanted the waist level to be.  It was a little loose in the waist, so I took it in a bit.  You could make an elastic waist band, but the fabric Kaia chose hugged her body well once I took it in, and didn’t need any elastic.

With the right sides still facing, fold the waist band down (wrong sides together) to where you want it to be on your body (below the navel, at the navel… etc.) and finish the seam.  I did two lines of a wavy stitch to make it look like scales.

Kaia’s really happy with how it turned out and wore it to bed the first night (fins and all).  You can see in this picture on the bottom left of her tail, where there are snaps that open up the tail to let the monofin in.  You can even see a little of the pink fin sticking out.  I want to fix that but Kaia said “no”.

I’ll post pictures once mine is done!

63 thoughts on “Swimmable Mermaid Tail

  1. Awesome I live in a poor family and can’t afford it can u make it out of old clothes?
    Plz answer back. I have a community pool that I can swim in.

  2. Ava, I don’t see why not. You’d need to use clothing that has 4-way stretch to it and that will hold it’s form pretty well. Otherwise, it might slip off when you are swimming 🙂

  3. Hey Paige! I honestly don’t remember where I got the fabric from. I know it was 4-way stretch swim fabric. You can find lots of it by googling.

  4. Thanks so much for this tutorial! I just purchased this Monofin for my granddaughter’s birthday, in the hopes of finding a pattern for the actual mermaid ‘body’. This is perfect!!! Thanks again!

  5. Hey, on a scale from Easy-Hard, what would you rate this project at because I’m kind of new to sewing.

  6. Hey there! I’m not a huge fan of sewing, but I have a little bit of experience. So, I’d rate it fairly easy. The hardest part is probably that you’ll be sewing stretchy fabric, which can be a bit harder. So, take it slow.

  7. My daughter stumbled across this post, and is begging me to help her make it. Where did you find the monofin?

  8. These mermaid tail look so pretty I wished I had one like that but since you show us how to make one I’m happy I can make one my self thank you very much maria

  9. Ava same thing except I have fabric but I don’t have anything used to sew or a mono fin but there are videos online so you make your own Mono fin

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