My friends' kiddo had a mermaid doll when we were at coffee recently, and I had an OVERWHELMING urge to make some for my niece, Penelope. You know that feeling?
Anyway! Here's my mermaid doll pattern. I hope you guys get a chance to make one too—
-mermaid patterns: pattern 1, pattern 2, pattern 3 (right click to download)
-cotton fabric (in any skin tone)
-sequin fabric (and interfacing if needed, we used fusible interface)
-yarn for hair and acrylic paint to match yarn color
-sequins to decorate
2. Print our your patterns and cut out your pieces along the dashed lines.
3. Tape the head to the body and the fin to the tail at the dashed line areas so you end up with two patterns. (one for body and one for tail) Fold your cotton and sequin fabric into two layers (right sides together) and use your patterns to cut out the body and tail pieces (add the interfacing to the sequin fabric if you want to). Sew along the edges with a 1/2" seam allowance and leave the top of the tail and bottom of the body open so you can turn your pieces right side out through those openings. Before turning them right side out, cut a few "V" notches into the turns, and then use a long object (like the end of a pencil) to help you push the fabric back through the opening. Once it's right side out, stuff your shape with stuffing to your liking (use the pencil end again to push it into the small spaces), and insert the body into the tail opening. Fold the top open edge of the tail seam in towards the doll and hand stitch the tail to the body.
4. Use acrylic (or fabric) paint to cover the scalp area of your doll (this will help her not have "bald spots" without having to completely cover her hair in yarn—because that would take forever). When you apply the paint, try to use a very light/thin coat. A heavy coat will be too hard to stitch through. ;)
5. You don't have to add the Sharpie dots, but I find them helpful to keep the spacing consistent. This is the minimal amount of "hair plugs" needed. If you look at the zoomed out photos of both dolls, the purple hair doll has about twice as much hair. It's easier to style if you put more plugs in, but if you leave it long or in a braid, it looks good either way.
6. Stitch the yarn "hair" into the dotted areas, knotting so it's secure.
7. When you get to the bang area, you can leave a little gap and then cover it with a braid at the end. Stitch on the bangs and then trim them after they are all attached. Then add a little bit of fabric glue to the forehead and style them straight until the glue dries (if they're still a little crazy, like the photo below, just keep brushing them down until they relax).
Oh, and don't forget—these make great gifts!!
Credits// Author and Photography: Elsie Larson, Project Assistant: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess Actions.