Wednesday, January 8, 2014

DIY Mermaid/Naiad Top:

Hello All!
I thought I'd share my first ever DIY post today. In a few weeks I'll be headed off to stomp all over a paddock with my party-pixies in tow, for Australia's annual Rainbow Serpent festival. It's a four-day bush-doof extravaganza held in regional Victoria, and a place where artists and all manner of creative types gather to let loose.
This will be my first year at Rainbow Serpent, and I'd been wanting to make a Naiad/Mermaid costume for AGES after seeing an episode of Girls of the Playboy Mansion where model Bridgette Marquardt wore what was possibly the most awesome mermaid costume ever. Marquardt actually has her own line of costumes, but I knew exactly what I wanted and I knew it wouldn't take TOO much to make it all. I took photographs and hopefully the instructions provided will be written clearly enough for you to make your own!
You will need:
*Hot glue gun or super glue (super glue will work better, hot glue generally won't be strong enough
*Sewing needle and Cotton thread
*Assorted shells  and beads (I found mine on the beach at Christmas, but any craft supply store should stock bags of shells/sea-themed beads
*Glittery nail polish or enamel-based paint
*Old corset/bra/bandeau top
*Tulle OR netted wool (I used Filati de Florence Reticolo knitting yarn)

I started by laying my shells out on a piece of paper, painting them with glittery nail polishes (I used green and turquoise colours) and leaving them to dry.

Next I stretched out and stitched a length of Filati de Florence Reticolo knitting yarn to the bottom of the corset top.

Step 3: Begin hot/super-glueing shells to shirt

It's a good idea to let this dry overnight, and also to reinforce the strength of the design (because shells are quite heavy) by stitching in any shells that have holes in them.

Step 4: Begin stitching beads, sequins and other findings to top. I found the starfish-shaped beads in a pack of kids craft supplies at spotlight, then I painted over the tacky colours they came in with turquoise nail polish.

When the majority of the shirt has been covered in beads, shells and other assorted finding's you're done!
If, like me, the shirt you used needed straps buy a packet of bra straps and attach them using either built-in hooks or a sewing machine.

My mermaid top is a halterneck style, with two long metallic straps sewn to the back to hold it all together, bikini-style.

Xo, Ellen