Step 1: The base
Step 2: Making the scales
With 1/2 yard of each fabric, we only had enough fabric for creating ~22 complete strips of fish scales; 30 would have been ideal.
Step 3: Tail and scale assembly
Same thing for the front dress panel: scales layered starting from the bottom of the dress, with the first strip hanging slightly below the hem. Then the front and back panels were sewn together, bulky seam allowances trimmed. Finally seashells were attached to the front using a hot glue gun, straps to tie around the neck were added and voila! Mermaid costume complete.