I know this is a little weird. Especially maybe for people without kids, or people without girl kids, or non-doll people, or non-mermaid people, but for anyone who is into these things, either by natural proclivity or by default because of your offspring, you can see the importance of these removable mermaid tails.
They fit all the major dolls in the house and are interchangeable and even fit the baby dolls, creating the main player of all underwater play here— the Merbaby.
I made the first tail before Christmas but never finished the second one and the holidays got a little out of hand anyway. I sort of remembered them around Easter, but again, couldn't finish them and then about 2 weeks ago finally finished them after I had to make the shell-shaped bras, which I discovered are almost as important as the Merbaby herself. There was a lot of pantomiming here, "The shell-shaped bra, Mom, you know??" Yes, I know. So, both girls got the tails and the shell-shaped bra. They do know the real Little Mermaid story, where she turns into seafoam (minus some details) not hanging with prince Eric on some crazy boat or whatever. And there is no Merbaby. I am thrilled these have been well received considering how close they are to a major licensed character, and yet are not that licensed character. The only issue is they don't go into the bathtub, but that seems to be okay. The middle child told me her Merbaby takes her tail off to pee. Ha!
Here's how to make the tail suitable for Mermaids or Merbabies-
1/8" elastic for the waist
velcro for the shell bra
wool felt and cotton velour (I got mine from Wier Dolls and Crafts)
*quantities depend on your doll size, but 1/4" yard of cotton velour is ample. I used one piece of 8 x 10 felt for the tail (folded in half) and another sheet for the bra.
1. Measure your doll, or if you need the tail to fit several dolls, measure the biggest one, or at least hold the fabric up to the doll and eyeball it. Measure the waist as well. You'll want the tail a bit longer and barely wider then the doll.
2. To avoid swearing, draw the tail shape on the wrong side of the velour, stitch on the line to another piece of velour (right sides together) and then trim. No shifting fabric that way. Now turn right side out.
3. Fold a piece of felt in half and draw the fin shape with a fabric pen/pencil, or something you can spritz out with water. Top stitch the lines through both layers and then cut out, leaving a scant 1/8" edge. The top will be on the fold, so carefully cut that open.
4. Stuff the tail in the fin opening, pleating it if needed, and top stitch through all layers, be sure to check the back. Put this on your doll to test the length and waist, if it's all good, fold down a bit of the top hem and zig-zag narrow elastic to the inside stretching the elastic (not the fabric) while you sew.
4.5 Make the shell bra by cutting out the shape in felt on the fold—this length is longer that you think to make it in all one piece, you might have to make the bra and straps separately.
5. Sew velcro on the back and cover your naked mermaid immediately.