I am so pleased to showcase and share the journey behind the latest and most anticipated design to hit my shop... Fashion Doll Crochet Mermaids!
This mermaid design has been my off and on again project these last 2+ years. She has seen so many changes and helped me to discover new techniques and skills.
It all started way back in August 2013, when I shared the first work in progress update "WIP Crochet Mermaid Barbie". There, I shared my first attempts at crocheting the mermaid tail and the video tutorial I used to learn the crocodile stitch.
While working on an amigurumi crocodile in 2012, I figured out how to make increases to the crocodile stitch on the sides of the project – this would come in handy when designing the mermaid's tail, since it needed to start small and grow in width.
The next design challenge I faced was how in the world I was going to do the increases once I had switched from rows to rounds. See, increasing on either end was easy, increasing in the round would be different. Luckily, I was able to figure out a way to do this and soon those of you crocheting this mermaid tail will also be able to do it!
She got put on hold for several months when I decided that some Holiday themed patterns for my shop where more important. There she remained all alone in a little box...
Following Christmas, I went back to my mermaid project and completed the first edition of the fashion doll mermaid. See Crochet Barbie Mermaid. There, I showcased the first two brassiere designs, a starfish headband, a treasure bag and of course the original mermaid tail.
Although the design was complete, I delayed making the pattern available because I wanted it to be a multi fashion doll set for all of the doll sizes. I am so glad I did, but I come back to this later...
During the spring and summer of 2014, I worked on the mermaid design for the little Kelly doll size by Mattel (a.k.a. one of Barbie's little sisters). See 6 Little Crochet Mermaids. There, you'll see the original mermaid tails for that size (one in single crochet and two using the crocodile stitch – one with and one without beads), six sweet brassieres, three headbands and three hair prong clips.
Not long after sharing the little mermaids, I shared some pretty seashells, which I will be sending off to my testers soon. See Crochet Seashells for a preview. Note: If all goes well, May 2016 will see their release for free on the blog.
Next, I got to work on Triton... It was by crocheting his tail that I discovered a better way to work around the doll's heels and also when I thought of adding an elastic waistband – this is the reason I was so glad I waited for the fashion doll mermaid.
Using the Triton's tail as a model, I re-crafted this fashion doll mermaid tail to give a better fit, add extra length in the back only and add the stretchy waist. Success!
See Under the Sea Update for a preview of Triton seated in a shell throne with the shells, a flounder fish and the original mermaids.
While waiting for new thread colours complete these tails, I started working on the tail design for the Skipper and Chelsea doll sizes by Mattel (Barbie's teenage and other little sisters). I also redid the tail for the Kelly doll. Plus, I designed three more brassieres for the later (they also fit Chelsea), nine for Skipper and seven more for Barbie! Bringing the total of tops for each size to nine. :D
See my Facebook Update for a preview of all the newest crocodile mermaids for all the doll sizes I have to date.
Although, I was hoping to finish up a few more doll sizes first, I thought it was high-time that you got to crochet some mermaids too. Which is why tomorrow (Friday, April 29, 2016) I will be releasing the mermaid tail crochet pattern for the 11½" doll. Then, on Sunday, I will be releasing her nine brassieres with a few to come to the blog for free later in May.
Also to come later in May are the hair accessories, a treasure bag and the seashells!
Now, let's take a full look at the mermaid attire designed exclusively for the 11½" doll...
First and foremost, we have the distinctive mermaid tails. As previously mentioned, they use the crocodile stitch. The lighter one was crocheted with beads and the darker one without.
The tail is worked from the bottom up to the waist. After which the fins are added to the tail using a variation of the shell stitch. See them pictured here with six of the nine brassieres...
To make dressing the doll easier and keep her feet from poking out of the holes that make up the crocodile stitch, a mermaid sock was designed. It is also worked from the bottom-up, and of course I had to make one to match both tails. See how it keeps her feet snuggly together...
Next, we have nine unique brassieres to go with these outfits, and do you know the best part?! They are not strictly for mermaids. Think fabulous bikini tops and summertime wear!
In order, they are called:
I crocheted two of each design, but I'll only show one of each here... *Click to enlarge.
*You'll notice three of the brassieres are pictured with an alternate mermaid tail. This simple tail pattern is set to come to the blog for free in October this year (2016). Plus, the three purple brassieres will also be available for free on the blog in May!
There are five different fastenings. The first is exclusive to the first top, the second is exclusive to tops 2 & 3, but the last six tops share either two or all three of the last three alternate fastening variations for even more fun!
In order, the fastening options are called:
Next up are the hair accessories...
There are two types accessories – headbands and prong clips, AND two types of motifs – starfish and sea flower. Add one or five beads into the mixture and you can come up with 12 unique hair accessories for your mermaids!
Also, you don't even have to weave in the ends of the hair accessories when you're done. Simply trim the ends and leave them there for an extra flare!
These hair accessories were designed for the 11½" doll, but they will also fit the teen and tween doll sizes too. Here are a few to match the brassieres above (7 are starfish, 2 are sea flowers)...
*Smaller variations of these accessories for the child doll sizes and will come in the Summer of 2016.
All that remains is the very important treasure hunting bag every mermaid needs for her great adventures!
I was going to make the fashion doll mermaid one complete pattern back when the attire for the original mermaid was just a few items...
However, since there so many fabulous accessories to go with the tail, and since the tail pattern on its own is extensive, these will be coming as four separate crochet patterns.
Here are the four patterns and when you can expect them:
Each of these will be available in my store on their release date. Purchasing the PDF versions of two or more of these mermaid crochet patterns will automatically give you a discount!
If you are signed into your Ravelry account at time of purchase, you don't have to purchase them all at once to get the same discount, BUT you will need to grab them all at once if you do not have a Ravelry account.
Stay tuned throughout this year for more fashion doll mermaid sizes!
Which crocodile tail, brassiere or hair accessory is your favourite? Share with us below...
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I am a Norwegian/Canadian currently studying Midwifery in the UK. I love to crochet!
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