My second daughter just turned 8 years old and she LOVES her Build a Bear, Sara. She also LOVES mermaids. So why not combine the two and make a mermaid costume for her teddy bear as a Birthday gift!
Supplies Used to Make a Costume for a Teddy Bear
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- Butcher Paper to make the pattern
- Tape Measure
- Costume Fabric
- Organza Ribbon
- Shell Necklace
- Needle and Thread
How to Make a Mermaid Costume
Begin by taking measurements of the teddy bear and creating a simple pattern on butcher paper. You will want to measure the hips and the chest.
For the tail, the top measurement will be from the bear’s hips. Cut the measurement in half and add 1 3/8 inch. That will be the top width of the tail pattern. For the bottom, draw a mermaid tail. I drew this freehand, but if you’d like I am sure you could find a shape online to trace.
For the top piece, use the chest measurement and add. You will want pattern pieces for the tail, top and add 1 inch to the length.
The center strap will be wrapped around the middle of the top strap. I made my pattern about 1 1/2 inches wide and 10 inches long. This was longer than needed but it can be trimmed later.
The fabric I used is a simple costume fabric that had a nice shine to it, I am not sure of the name.
Cut out 2 pieces from the tail pattern pieces and 1 piece from the top and center pattern pieces.
To create the ruffled ribbon accents on the costume, I used some organza ribbon I already had on hand. Long stitch along one edge and pulled the thread to gather the ribbon.
Sewing the Mermaid Tail
Align the 2 tailpieces with right sides together. Pin a length of gathered ribbon to the inside of tail fins. I used 2 different pieces of ribbon, one for each side.
With a seam allowance of about 3/8 inch, sew down one side of the tail, around the fins and up the other side, leaving the top open.
For the waist, fold the top down 1 inch and sew along the raw edge making a waistband. String the elastic through the waistband, sew the ends of the elastic together, and then sew waistband so it is no longer opened.
Turn the tail right side out. Stuff some batting or grocery sacks into the fins so they are nice and full.
Sewing the Bikini Top
I got really excited at this point and forgot to take lots of pictures. So I’m sorry about that, but I’ll try to explain things so you still know exactly what I did.
For the top, fold the piece in half length-wise with the right sides together and sew down the raw edge.
Repeat with the center strap.
Pull both pieces so the right side is facing out.
Stuff the top piece with batting or grocery bags until you like the shape.
Ruffle 2 smaller strips of the organza ribbon to put in the center of the top and hand-stitch them to the center of the top. Cover up the stitching for the ribbon with the center strap and hand-stitch to the top.
Hand-stitch a hook and eye onto the back straps to hold the top on.
Next comes the bracelet and for this, I used an old pukka necklace. Cut a length of the necklace that will wrap around the wrist of the teddy bear. Bring the ends together and tie a knot. WALLAH! A very simple bracelet.
This is a great beginner sewing project, especially if you want to learn how to make your own patterns!
And just in case you were wondering my daughter (and Sara) loved the new outfit!
Do you have a child that loves their teddy bear or stuffed animal? Share and leave a comment below!
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