Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Mermaid with budget sequins

 I started the tail for one of our 6 mermaids this week.  My inspiration was this awesome costume worn by Katy Perry in a hairdryer ad.  When you see a mermaid costume that someone wears to a Halloween party or Trick or Treating it usually has a slit up the back so that the girl can walk.   These mermaids, as I mentioned before, are really just animated set dressing.  They do not speak and they don't really move except to flip their tails so we didn't need to make slits for movement.  This tail starts off with just a slightly inverted tube sewn out of mint green, 4-way stretch Panne'.*  We measured around the actress' ankles and then added two inches around the hips for a very snug fit.

*This measurement was later found to be incorrect, the Panne' is actually a 2-way stretch fabric.

The next step is to make it look scaly.  We didn't want to use all sequins because we don't want the mermaids to distract from what is going on in the scene by being too spangly.  I randomly sewed groups of 3 and four here and there on the tail.  Enough to catch the light but not glitter continously.  
Sequins are expensive! Some of these sequins I already had in my stash.  The silver wheels were given to me by my MIL.  These I sewed on by hand very loosely so that they won't pop off when stretched.  Some, like the holographic one in the center top, are actually big confetti that you get to decorate a party table, cheap but they have no holes. I found some big 1" ones like the ones on the inspiration costume but they were $15 for 3 yards!  Ridiculous. 

Sooo, I swabbed some iridescent polyurethane onto..dun-dun-daaah..a clear file folder and popped out a bunch of circles with my one inch hole punch.  These and the big confetti I sewed on by machine about a 1/4" through the top, not all the way down.  At first my machine had no objection to sewing through the plastic with a medium knit needle, but then it changed its mind (making a huge thread tangle) so I switched to just a regular needle and I put a piece of paper underneath the fabric to stabilize.  So far so good! 

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