Day 1 of our 12 days of Christmas FREEBIES! We have some great free patterns and tutorials for you that make FANTASTIC gifts. They are all quick sews and take little fabric. Let’s get started!! If you haven’t seen a mermaid tail blanket yet, just wait… are you ready??? They are OH so cute!
AND they aren’t just for girls! A few teeth added, color change and viola perfect for a boy too.
They are so adorable! As soon as my daughter saw one earlier this fall, she started begging for one. I figured your daughter, niece, granddaughter, goddaughter, neighbor… someone you know might love it too. You can use a variety of affordable fabrics to sew these up. Bonus, you can make a matching dolly one too, and without buying any extra yardage. Score!! You can sew these up for Christmas, Hanukkah, birthday parties, etc.
Sizing is a bit fluid as this isn’t a tight or snug fit. There will be several different construction options given through out to help you make larger or smaller. I will have finished measurements at the end for anyone that plans on adding them to their handmade shop or needs help choosing what construction method to use.
You will need fabric; fleece, minky, flannel or even a quilting cotton will work. These blankets are not tight, so you could easily line (just cut 2 main blankets) or add batting to the tail if you want more body/weight there.
Fabric requirements for 59″ fabric:
1/2 yard for top band
1 yard for main blanket OR 1 1/4 yard for an older child
1/2 yard for the tail
Pop over and grab the free pattern pieces here. The pattern is a no trim pattern; if you need help putting the pattern together, pop over to the faqs and troubleshooting page or ask in my facebook group . Print and assemble the pattern. I’m going to use my serger for most the construction, if you don’t have a serger and are using fleece or minky, get your walking foot out! It will help feed the fabric through your sewing machine.
First cut your pieces (note this is printed on the pattern pieces too) Given in length x width:
2 top blanket cuffs- 18″ x 23″
2 main blanket pieces- 36″ x 23″ OR for an older child 45″ x 23″
2 tails on the fold
Dolly size (will fit 15″ and 18″ dolls):
2 top blanket cuffs- 7″ x 8.75″
2 main blanket pieces- 12″ x 8.75″
2 tails on the fold
First we need to shape our main blanket piece. Fold both your main blanket pieces in half width wise.
Place your cut out piece on the bottom edge- NOT on the fold side. Cut piece away through all 4 layers. I do this with both my pieces at the same time, you can do them separately if your fabric is moving around too much.
With right sides together, stitch the blanket together at each curved side. If using a quilting cotton, finish edge. Set aside.
With right sides together, stitch your top blanket cuffs together at both short ends, creating a loop.
Fold cuff in half lengthwise, enclosing seams.
To make a “shark” tail, one of the testers, Rebecca, simply cut an stitched a few triangles on the front edge of the cuff.
With raw edges together, stitch your blanket cuff to your main piece. First construction option- If you stitch right side of cuff to wrong side of blanket (as shown below) you can fold the cuff UP, over the seam allowance and make the blanket shorter. If you stitch your cuff right sides together to your main blanket, the cuff will stay up (or if folded down, the seam will be seen) and it makes the blanket longer. I did one of each. Set aside.
Next construction option, do you want your tail fin open or closed?? If you leave the tail open you will have a much longer tail than if you choose to close. I did one of each. My daughter was way too crazy with tail open…. she had her ankles in the bottom, hopping around the house. I didn’t want a broken ankle, so I closed the next one! BUT if you’re wanting a longer tail, leaving open is a great option.
If you want to leave your tail open AND have decorative stitching on the fin, do so now to each tail separately. I just free hand some lines on my tail with a decorative stitch from my machine.
With right sides together, stitch tail together at curved edges, leaving the top open.
Trim and clip seam allowance. I use my pinking shears for this, works perfect!
Turn right sides out, using a chopstitck or your fingers to press all the seams out. Topstitch along curved edges. Add decorative stitching now if desired; remember if you want your tail open, you need to add “scales” prior to stitching the tail together. You could get SUPER fancy and creative here, go for it!!
Flip your main tail wrong side out.
Flip your tail upside down. Place your tail inside your main blanket with right sides and raw edges together. If you are sewing your tail closed, you will stitch through ALL 4 layers at once. If you want your tail open, you will stitch the tail like the cuff above, just through 2 layers around the entire tail (see green/purple tail photo).
Flip your tail right sides out and admire how adorable!
Need more help?? Here is a youtube video of the process 🙂
***Added July 2016*** Tutorial on Fabric.com on lining or using woven fabrics can be found HERE.
I hope your little ones enjoy it as much as mine and the other testers! If you have ANY questions, head over to my facebook group and ask. I, several admins and helpful friends are there to help. Please share your creations in the group, on instagram#madeformermaids and on my facebook page! I CAN NOT wait to see!! Come back tomorrow and the next 11 days for more freebies
Top opening (laying flat) finishes 23″ wide.
Smaller finished Length
Length from top of band to bottom of tail if you leave tail open- 56″
Length from top of band to bottom of tail if you sew tail closed- 43″
*Note* You can adjust for a smaller child by sewing the band differently so it folds over- that finished length from top of band to bottom of tail if you sew closed- 34.5″
Older finished Length
Length from top of band to bottom of tail if you leave tail open- 65″
Length from top of band to bottom of tail if you sew tail closed- 52.5″