The Netflix special Barbie: Dolphin Magic was much better than I expected it to be. It was action-packed, full of interesting dialogue and most importantly, there was a huge focus on mermaids! This special has reignited my love for mermaids, and made me desperately want a mermaid doll.
However, as a consumer, I know it is important to think about my environmental impact. I purchased a Dreamtopia mermaid only last year, and where did that mermaid end up? In a batch of other dolls that sold for a fraction of their cost. *facepalm*
So! I have decided that instead of buying a whole new doll, I will simply DIY myself a mermaid tail. Bonus: the tail can be slipped on and off, so the doll can easily become human again at will!
If you’re a parent, consider buying a Fashionista doll instead of a mermaid (they are the same price), and then making your child a tail. This only took me a few hours and I already had all the materials. If you are a better seamstress than me, it will probably take you much less time!
This way, your child gets a doll, some clothes and a removable mermaid tail, instead of a doll who is permanently stuck as a mermaid.
I decided to use an old ball gown, but you can use any fabric you have handy, or you can use an old t-shirt that you don’t wear anymore.
The model is Fashion Fever Teresa Wave F. I have done a previous post on her, which you can read here.
Begin by turning your fabric inside out (this is the most important step!) and sketching a rough design on the fabric. My tail ended up looking too straight, so if I were you, I would make my tail curvier and over-the-top.
This is the shape you are aiming for.
Next, cut out the pieces and sew them together. I sewed the tail and the fin in two seperate pieces, because obviously my dress wasn’t long enough, but you can keep them connected if you prefer.
This is how my tail ended up looking. I didn’t do any kind of fancy sewing, I just sewed (is that a word?) straight down my fabric.
To finish, I added a piece of fabric from an old shirt to hide the rough edges, but I’m sure you can hem it if you’d prefer. The tail slips on and off without any buttons or zips necessary.
I also cut up the top of the ball gown to make a matching bikini top.
The material of the dress gives the tail a “shiny” look.
And that’s my mermaid costume!
While we’re on the subject, let’s look at some mermaids through time!
I believe these mermaids are from 2015, just after Barbie did the whole rebranding thing. I remember really wanting them!
I think these are from 2017, although they might have technically released in 2016? I honestly can’t remember.
I purchased the one in the middle, the “Candy Mermaid,” but I ended up selling her because her face looked weird and her hair kept falling out in big clumps. You can read my original post about her here, and another one here where I gave her a makeover.
And here are the mermaid dolls for 2018! I think they are the prettiest so far! The blue one is my favourite, but I think they all look very cute.
There are also some Chelsea mermaids coming in 2018, which is new. I don’t really have a use for little mermaid dolls, but I suppose I don’t really have a use for bigger mermaid dolls either! My favourites are the first two, purple and pink.
If you’re interested in looking at other Dreamtopia dolls coming in 2018 (and some of them are really pretty!) the video below shows you everything: