Saturday, December 7, 2013

Mermaid dress: complete!

I'm sorry I have been so delinquent in posting! I was good about taking pictures as I went, but have not been as good about posting them. I finished the aqua and lime dress, now affectionately referred to as either "the fish dress" or "the mermaid dress", back in October. It is my favorite to date and I am extremely pleased with the end result. I also recently sold the pink dress (yay!) and am in the process of doing some alterations for the new owner, including adding a bunch of crystal AB to the lace and making a new stoned belt to go with it.

So the mermaid dress:

 I played around with some different ideas to embellish the top, rushed net
 Ruffles. In retrospect now they look so overpowering and top heavy.

 I then found an amazing embroidery tutorial from the woman who makes the Game of Thrones costumes. If you'd like to check it out, go to her website:

My designs don't even come close to hers in complexity and richness, but I was inspired to try out some new things, so I decided to make some fish to go on my dress, and hence, the mermaid/fish dress came to be.

I loved the way the fish turned out, and wanted to make more of them to put all over the dress, but they took about 4 hours each to make and therefore were not feasible.
The final step for them is coating the back in glue to keep the threads from pulling loose, and then gluing/stitching them on.
I played around with some more designs for the bodice, but ultimately decided on a striped, ruched net top and leaving the net sides bare.
I played around with some places to put the fish too, but with only two of them, I had a hard time deciding where to put them so that they wouldn't look out of place or too small.
Bodice stoning. I added a little bit of fringe to the front just to give it a little more something to draw the eye.
Experimenting with more stoning ideas, ultimately decided to leave the light blue stripes plain so that the green ones were more accented.
In progress shot with bust stoning done.
You can faintly see the fish there on my right shoulder blade, though they're a little small.
Here you can see what I ultimately did with the fish a little better. I decided to run with the fish motif and stone the bodice like it was scales.
One of my favorite books as a child was the rainbow fish. I drew inspiration from that and decided to fill in some of the scales with different colored rhinestones.
Pre float stoning, including the FOUR circle organza underskirt. I like the way the gif makes the sparkles more evident.
I am going to continue to fill in more of the scales as time permits, but I decided it was wearable at that point. I also stoned the float arm bands.
Necklace to go with, complete with shell shaped Swarovski pendant!
Posing at Ohio Star Ball with the preciosa motorcycle (wearing a different necklace).

In motion!


  1. Oh my goodness, Blessing! I haven't been keeping up with your blog and look at what I've missed. Gorgeous gowns and some quite lovely dancing, as well. The photos of the trials of embellishments are really helpful. Your design sketches, then the decision process of working out what works in real life and what just doesn't suit the dress is great. Would love to see some close ups of hair and makeup, too!

  2. Hi - I just wandered over following a post on Pattern Review - your work is lovely! The Mermaid Dress made me smile, and I can definitely see the Rainbow Fish influence.

  3. Do u have a blog or tutorial on how u made that gorgeous neck piece?

  4. Do u have a blog or tutorial on how u made that gorgeous neck piece?

    1. I do not, I'm planning to make something similar for a new dress I'm working on and I will try to make a tutorial as I go.