For Bailey’s 4th birthday we had a beach party. She wanted to be a purple and pink mermaid so I promised her an amazing mermaid dress (silly mommy for setting such expectations!).
I started with purple sequin fabric and tutu tulle (purple and pink). The sequin fabric was see-through so I had to line it for it to work as a skirt. I used a tshirt of hers (which she never wears) for the lining and made a skirt. Then I alternated colors of tulle and created a “mermaid tail” base. Initially, I planned to just create the skirt and pair it with a tank top (maybe adding a bit of mermaid “bling” to embellish). But then I remembered how much she prefers dresses to skirt/top combos so decided to maximize the chances of her wearing it and create a dress. This caused some issues, because I couldn’t easily just attach a tank top (as I wanted to) since she wouldn’t be able to get into it. The mermaid base was too tight to fit over her head and she wouldn’t be able to step into a tank top. So I used the purchased tank top to create a halter top for the dress. I chopped off the top, creating a tube. Then flipped it upside down (for a nice finish at the top), sewed it to the skirt, added elastic at the top and then used the cut off peice to create halter straps. Perfect!
When I first revealed it to her she cried. (I did too, but not in front of her luckily). It was heart breaking. She is very shy and I think she panicked she’d be too much of a focus if she wore it. Plus it was definitley different to other “party dresses” she has. So I quickly showed her images of mermaids and she slowly made the connection in her head of the dress looking like a mermaid. I added a massive tulle bow to the top and she was smiling.
At this stage I was just hoping she would wear it once, without frowning, for a photo. Surprisingly, on the day she loved it. After an initial issue with a very scratchy bow which was later removed, she happily wore it throughout her party when she wasn’t swimming and paired it nicely with her still-smelling-of-chemicals-from-the-factory-in-China pink heels. It definitely was helped by a four year old party attendee saying “wow, you look like Ariel [from Disney's Little Mermaid]“. I could have kissed that child!!
She was a beautiful mermaid and I am pleased the dress will get future wear as an addition to her dress-up box.