Mermaid Costume- Violette Field Threads Style

When Robin of Pattern Revolution requested some blog contributors for her new series on patterns with a twist, I knew I had to make a princess dress for my oldest girl, and it would double as dress-up and a Halloween costume. You all know how mermaid obsessed we are over here at Chasing Mermaids, so, it goes with out mention that Ariel was our choice. Sorry, Merida you are a close second! I had just placed an order for a variety of  Kona solid prints, so I was all ready to sew.

I decided to use a pattern from Violet Field Threads. I have been working my way through their patterns and have fallen in love.  I chose to use the Viola pattern because the scalloped overlay skirt has the very essence of Ariel. Along with the sweetheart bodice, halter straps, and sash, it is the perfect pattern for Ariel. I didn't really alter much to this pattern, so it's easy for everyone to do!

I met a lovely gal in one of my sewing Facebook groups who recently was given this gorgeous green fabric from an elderly lady in her town. It has probably been laying around for years, but when she shared a picture with its scaly texture and perfect color I knew I had to have it. She really didn't have a plan for it so we did a fabric swap and I couldn't have been more excited!

I printed out the Viola pattern by VFT and taped it all up per directions. I traced out the size I needed and got all the fabrics washed and ready to cut. The first modification I did to this pattern was to take the underskirt rectangle and extend the length for my size 5 by 7". I wanted Ariel to have a long skirt and this pattern has a skirt that ends above the knees. I also cut a strip of fabric 4" by selvage width to add a ruffle onto the bottom of the skirt. I was going for a flowing look and one to hide shoes while hoping to give the impression of a fin under there! If you want to make this look, you'll have to measure your child from the knee to the floor for the total measurement of the lengthened skirt piece and the ruffle.

I then sewed up the pattern per the directions. I made the bodice in light purple and the straps and ties in a darker shade, no real rhyme or reason, just thought it would add depth. Once I followed all directions for the straps, bodice, ties, and overlay, it was time to alter the underskirt. I had already cut the fabric longer by 7" and then I sewed front and back together at ONE seam, then serged and opened it up. I then added the 4" ruffle to the bottom of this underskirt. NOTE: my selvage width was really wide so if yours is not , you may need to cut TWO strips and sew them together and then gather to make the ruffle. A good general rule is that the ruffle strip should be 2-2.5 times longer than the piece of fabric you are attaching it to. After attaching the ruffle, I then sewed the other seam and continued to follow the directions per the pattern.

All in all, this pattern is pretty fast once everything is cut. I added some sweet white flower lace trim around the bottom of the bodice where I topstitched around the top of skirt. Since she is a PRINCESS, a little bling was necessary. I found some rhinestone type gems in my craft box and I glued them on. I didn't want to take away from the beautiful dress and fabric so I felt like this was just enough detail.

She is one pretty MERMAID and every princess must master her wave!

It hit me later that I had recently seen a FREE tutorial on a blog for a felt crown. This tutorial has a crown template and you can follow all the directions here from Heidi and Finn. I found some purple felt in my FELT DRAWER (yes, I have one of those) and it was the perfect color. I added some more rhinestones to match the dress and some of the same lace. A little silver ric rac was the ideal detail to make it look a little more royal! The tutorial shows you how easy it is to add hand embroidery details, so I grabbed my embroidery floss bag and needles and sewed an "A" on the front, for none other than our favorite princess ARIEL! Add a little elastic to hold it all together and you have one sweet handmade crown-- a perfect addition to our princess dress.

When she arrived home from preschool and saw her dress for the first time she was in AWE. I am so thrilled that she loved it and that those late night hours of squeezing in FUN sewing was worth every minute. She will most likely be Ariel, not only for Halloween, but every day of the year! By the way, if you want the full look on October 31st you can get this red wig for $5 at Walmart. This is my very first hand sewn Halloween costume for one of my kids. I so love to make them happy with this hobby of mine.

One pretend mermaid for Halloween above..and my
REALmermaid for everyday below!