It's so cozy! Even though it's slightly more expensive, I recommend using Soft N Comfy fabric rather than fleece. Get the kind that's soft on BOTH sides. It really makes all the difference when touching and feeling this blanket. Right now it's on sale at JoAnn's until December 24th!
Before you print out and cut these patterns. I would recommend not printing the tail pattern and just printing the fins. The tail pattern can be easily done without the pattern. Of course, if you feel more comfortable using the pattern and don't mind printing and taping all the pieces together then by all means, that's what it's there for;-)
Here are the files for a younger child 1-5.
Here are the files for an older child 5-10.
For the 1-5 year old pattern yardage is as follows: 59" length soft minky fabric
1 yard for tail
15" for waist fin
1/2 yard for tail fin
For the 6-10 year old pattern yardage is as follows: 59" length soft minky fabric
2 yards for tail
20" for waist fin
1 yard for tail fin
Step 1: If you are making the smaller mermaid tail and are only using 1 yard then unfold your fabric and refold it so that it is 59" long and 18" wide. If you are making the larger mermaid tail then keep your fabric folded as it was folded at 72" long and 36" wide.
If you are using the tail pattern then skip to step 3.
Step 2: Fold your fabric in half again lengthwise.
Step 3: If you are using the pattern then just pin your pattern down onto your fabric and cut.
If you are not using the tail pattern....
For the younger child's blanket, if you're not using the pattern then start cutting at the corner of the top raw edge and slowly taper down to a tip at the bottom tip.
For the older child's blanket, if you are not using the pattern then measure out 11.5" from the folded line. Then measure down 67" and make a mark. Start your cutting at 11.5" and taper your cutting down to 67" mark.
Step 4: The tail is cut onto your fabric like so. For the second cutting, flip the pattern and rotate 180°.
Step 5: Lay the waist fins on the fold (use pattern to know which edge to place on fold). Be sure to leave enough room to cut 1 more. You have to cut 2 so after you cut the first one, place your pattern on the fold again and cut. And remember to cut the second one slightly shorter on top as per the pattern guide.
Things are looking a little messy by now. Oiy!
Step 6: Place right sides of tail fins together and sew along the curved edges. Clip curves when finished. Repeat for second tail fin.
Step 7: Turn right side out and repeat with second tail fin.
Step 8: Now here comes the tricky part. Starting at the bottom of your tail, sandwich one tail fin between your tail pieces. Tail pieces should be right sides together. The bottom edge of the fin should be lined up with the bottom edge of your tail point (make sure you don't accidentally sew the fin upside down!) Now sew along from the point of the tail to the waist with the fin sandwiched in between.
Step 9: Repeat for the second tail. It will be much harder this time since the fins are stuffed between the tail pieces.
Step 10: Turn right side out! Finally looking like a mermaids tail!
Step 13: Turn right side out.
Step 14: Pin the smaller of the two fin pieces to your tail, right sides together and sew.
Step 15: Then using a slip stitch (here's a good tutorial by Positively Splendid on how to sew a slip stitch *ie blind stitch* by hand) sew the raw edge of your waist fin to the raw selvedge edge of your waist. This will encase all your raw edges inside your waist fin.