Introduction: Iridescent Mermaid Tail Purse
Look at this stuff isn’t neat; wouldn’t you think my collections complete?
Wouldn’t you think I’m a girl, who has everything?
Well now you can create this Fin Fabulous Fashion Accessory just like me. Mermaids have always been mysterious and beautiful and when I laid my eyes on this Iridescent Chameleon tint, I knew exactly what it would become. My motto used to be, If I can’t glue it, I don’t do it.
But my mother always said I should know how to sew and it really does help when I am creating costumes or needing to fix something. If you’re not sure about sewing, don’t sweat it, you can do it. There are lots of great tutorials to help you in this adventure.
I am no Seamstress just do what I can to create.
So, let’s dive right in.
Step 1: Gadgets and Gizmos
Fabulous Chameleon headlight tint (3 feet) neo chrome Dark Blue
Clear table cloth vinyl (Thin)
Black stretch fabric (Not specific)
Fin and scale pattern
Lighter or mini torch (optional) Be extremely careful
Black and green permanent marker
Scissors (Small pointed and regular size)
Thread to match
# 90 sewing machine needle
Purse clasp and chain from downer purse.
Cameo cutter (optional Helps in cutting out scales) Cameo
Sewing machine (Used Straight stitch)
Step 2: The Fluke,fins and Peduncle
Say that 10 times!!
Let your imagination go or just print out the one used in this ible. I like to use recycled cereal box for my template. You will have 2 pieces for the fin parts and one piece for the peduncle scale /bag area.
This purse requires double of the fin pieces for a unique treatment to create the wavy design in the Fluke.
After you have created your pattern, it’s time to prep the chameleon tint and the clear vinyl.
The total length of the bag is 10" the width is 9" . Then the pouch is 4" x 5".
Step 3: The What’s Its? Chameleon Tint and Clear Vinyl
This stuff is Amazing!!
So, most of you know that I love Angelina film and use it in various projects. But it is only so wide, has no adhesive and very thin. After receiving a sample of this tint for a review, the wheels started churning and yours will too.
It is colored one side, adhesive on the back, designed for outdoor use, sew-able, digitally cuttable, mold-able etc.
Take your clear material and lay it out. (If it is crinkled use a hairdryer to heat and smooth). Now the tint has a protective film on the front and back. For one set of fins, you cut a piece of tint just the right size for the pattern. Now peel the back off and press onto clear vinyl. If bubbles appear poke with a needle to release trapped air. (backside only)
With your craft knife cut out your left and right fin. These will get sewn on the bag to create your fluke.
Second set, cut the fins but only out of the tint and don’t remove the backing (no clear needed)
There is a protective film on the front it is best to remove it now,before sewing. Will just make it easier in the end.
Step 4: Sewing and Detailing the Fins
Change the needle on your machine to #90
This will help go through the vinyl. Change the bobbin thread to the black. Put on your thread color choice.
Take the fins with clear vinyl attached and lay down first, then place tint only fin on top. Match the pieces together. You will set the machine for a straight stitch. You can use decorative stitches if you like.
Sew the edge that will attach to the bag first. Make sure to do short reverse and forward to lock stitches.
With the green permanent marker follow your fin details. (see picture) This will be the lines you stitch.
Remember go slow until you see how your machine will handle the vinyl. Repeat this step for the other fin.
This next step will create that beautiful fluke details. Be careful with this next step to avoid cutting through the bottom layer of tint w/vinyl. Use the craft knife and make a score line between the stitch lines.
With pointed tiny scissors cut up the score line all the way to the stitched edge that hooks to the bag.
Finish both fins and move on to next step.
Step 5: Feathering the Fins
Now that the fins are sewn and the slitting is finished.
It is time to take the split edges and stretch them to create feather-like distortions. I prefer to use a little butane torch lighter. You need to do short bursts so that you do not burn yourself or burn the vinyl. You can do without heating but you get a better-looking stretch if you do.
This technique really shows off the color shift of the tint.
Time to make the bag.
Step 6: Tail Pocket
The fabric for this should have some stretch. This black is a polyester scrap piece. Make sure fabric
is turned inside out. With the pattern placed on the fabric, I traced a 1/4 seam allowance around with chalk.
Put clips on to help hold in place while stitching.
The cupped part of the bag was stitched first and then I folded down the top edge. Be careful when sewing the edge so as not to stitch the top closed. Go slow.
If you have a problem, got to love a seam ripper! Ha Ha
Before stitching the top, I like to place the fins up against the bag to see just how far to fold down. You may want a deeper bag so this is an option you have before cutting the fabric.
Trust me when I say it doesn't have to be perfect unless you want it to be.
Step 7: Stitch Fins to Peduncle
The fins are placed up to the edge and stitched on from the top. The pictures show two different bag/peduncle areas. Really depends on what you will be putting in it and what kind of closer it will have. This one is designed as an open pocket.
Step 8: The Mermaids Scales
Using a digital cutter like the Cameo is a great investment and such a time saver.
You start with creating a scale design you like. Allow enough space between scallop layers to cover your stitching. I really got mine close. Should have made them a little taller.
Place just the tint material onto the cutting mat and begin cutting 15 (12" strips) may need more if bag is larger. Now that scales are cut you will need to create a piece to attach them to. Take a piece of clear vinyl the size of the bag face. place it on top of the bag and use the black marker to trace onto plastic. Add a couple lines to help keep scales aligned. (See Pictures)
Remove the protective coating from the scales but not from the back. This next step will utilize a portion of the adhesive back to help hold each scale strip in place while stitching.
Use the craft knife and very lightly make a cut from one end to the next. Test first, this part takes some practice but you will be happy you did.
Peel the little piece of protective coating to reveal sticky area, no lay across the clear vinyl and press sticky edge down. Sew the strip on. Stay inside of black parameter lines. Repeat Repeat Repeat
Use those cross lines to keep everything straight. After all the scales are applied, trim around the edge following the outer black marker area.
This piece is glued onto the bag with fabric glue or hot glue.
Step 9: Finishing the Mermaids Tail
Make any adjustments.
Now the thrift store purse has a great chain and clips, that were removed and attached to the edges of the new bag. You can put in grommets or really any strap and closure you want.
We finish by adding other details like glitter, rhinestones ,charms , etc. Make it your own.
This bag has such flash it truly is amazing. Weather its for a Fun night out, playing dress-up with the little ones or your next Cosplay convention. Hope you have enjoyed this instructable and have fun creating!
Last 2 picture are variations in color and size.
Peace! The Juliart
Second Prize in the
Sew Cool Contest
Runner Up in the
GIFs Challenge 2017
Participated in the
Halloween Contest 2017