Mermaid Top Review 10: FinFolk Mythic Silicone Top

Top #10 Finfolk Mythic Silicone Top

Choose size and mythic color.

Price:

Part of a 2017 Black Friday Sale.

Top $250 + Shipping $9.26 = Total $259.26

Production Time:

  • Purchased 11/24/17
  • Shipping label made 4/12/18
  • Shipped 4/23/18
  • Delivered in Tampa, FL USA 4/25/18

Customer Service:

I truly want to say good things about the Customer Service for FinFolk. I adore the look of their silicone tails and their Mythic tails are very unique. I had also met Abby and Bryn in person at their Jan 2018 Disney Meet Up. They were so sweet and open and willing to talk about their products. We even discussed this top and the timeframe to make/receive it (I unfortunately received misinformation at that time.)

I am disappointed with the amount of time it took to get the top and the communication I had from the FinFolk Team.

When I purchased the top I was under the impression that they were pre-made and just needed the “Mythic” color choice before they would be painted and shipped out. I ordered the top from the FinFolk website. (From what I can tell none of that was true & none of the tops are pre-made prior to their sale.) At the time they only offered one of each size and some were already sold. I felt lucky and excited when I checked the site (it was a while after they had been posted for sale) that my size was still “In Stock” and I made the purchase.

This isn’t a custom top. The only choice I made in it was the Mythic color choice. I choose Gold because I wanted a neutral color.

It took 5 months for me to receive the top and that was after talking to them in person at Disney Jan 2018 (I was told it would be finished that month), sending an email 6 weeks later, sending another email 5 weeks after that and finally posting on the FinFolk Pod Facebook page. I will say that I did receive correspondence to all of my emails but they always were vague saying it should be finished that month or that they were working on it. I never received updates when it kept getting delayed and delayed.

In response to my final email final email, (I’d received a shipping notification and kept checking the tracking number as I had a photoshoot that week so I was hoping for the top to arrive before the shoot. It kept saying “pre-shipment” like they hadn’t brought it to the post office yet for over a week.) They gave some reasons for the delays:

1. Shipping: “we wait until we have a good number of tops, scale orders, etc. to ship before taking them all to their designated shipping provider to make the trip as productive as possible.”

2. The wait: “There were a lot of unexpected delays this winter– moving into a new space, plagued by horrible weather that gave us 1 good painting day out of 10, and quite a few other behind the scenes things, and we openly admit that the tops were delayed a lot longer than we anticipated and while some tops were delivered by the deadline and by March, others were not and for that, we’re extremely sorry.”

Quality/Durability:

The top is gorgeous!! The silicone base is soft yet supportive. The nude bra base has soft fabric. The shimmer and irredecence of the gold paint scheme is gorgeous. It seems to match all of my tails and pics up a bit of the color around it.

Unfortunately, the durability of the top is a bit lacking. I’ve only wore it one day swimming in the Florida Springs and already 2 of the silicone side fins have came unglued and are flopping all willy nilly. I know it’s an easy fix but it’s just not one I expected after just one day of wearing the top.

Also, as I was inspecting the fins I noticed that one fin is a white base instead of a gold base. There is a slight difference in color on that one fin but it’s only noticeable if you look very closely. It’s just an interesting note.

Fit/Comfort:

It can be worn strapless but it came with nude bra straps in a little bag. A photograph friend warned me prior that she had shot several mermaids in this design of a top and they have a tendency to flop over so she suggested always wearing straps with it. I did put straps on and it does flop over when swimming. I need to tighten my straps more or I need to add permanent ones to keep it up. I ruined several pictures and videos by grabbing at the top to put it back in place.

I have only wore it once but I wore it all day and went in and out of the water several times that day. I swam fast, dove deep and just lounged around in it. The top fits me well. It’s not too tight, in fact the cups are probably just a bit too large, but it is very comfortable. I plan on wearing this top very often because how comfortable it is.

Pros:

  • Beautiful
  • Photographs gorgeously
  • Very comfortable
  • The color matches almost everything

Cons:

  • Customer Service was lacking. No communication when it was delayed.
  • It took a LONG time to receive the top.
  • It tends to flop over when swimming or ascending quickly.
  • After one day the side fins are already came unglued

Lessons learned:

  • I was very worried and intimidated about possibly offending FinFolk by voicing my frustration. I thought I might eventually want a full silicone tail from them or maybe a Mythic sometime down the road and I didn’t want my new relationship with them tarnished. I felt I needed to get somewhat forceful with my emails and Facebook communication to let them know how frustrated I was getting waiting for the top. It wasn’t until I did this that I started getting a response I wanted from them and finally received the top. I’m not sure how long it would have taken if I didn’t reach out to them to keep reminding them that I still hadn’t received it.
  • As much as I love how this top looks and feels…I’m now uncertain about how much business I want to give FinFolk. (Although if I did get a full silicone tail from them…I’d definitely want a matching top 😄.)

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Mermaid Top Review 9: Mermaid Kariel Silicone Malia Scale Top of Art

Top #9 Mermaid Kariel Silicone Malia Scale Top of Art

Purchased pre-owned. Made to match a Sequin Tail of Art

Price:

Came with pre-owned tail purchase

Customer Service:

I purchased a pre-owned Sequin Tail of Art. This top was made for the original buyer of the tail. She wanted it to stay with the tail. The purchase was very easy. We communicated on Facebook. Then over the phone and text messages.

Mermaid Kariel reached out to me after my purchase and told me I could come to her with any questions or concerns. So far I haven’t had any.

Quality/Durability:

This top by Mermaid Kariel was made 3-4 years ago (2014?). I’m not sure how much the previous mermaid wore it but it has held up very well. The silicone is super soft and pliable. Each Malia style scale is individually crafted and then pieced together with silicone. There is a gorgeous white sparkly silicone shell in the center.

When I received it, I looked it over very carefully and saw a few places that the edges of the silicone scales were fraying or tearing. The silicone is very thin on certain scales, I choose to do a bit of doctoring with some silpoxy. I just added some to the back to give the scales some more support. I also put some more silpoxy under the silicone shell where there was a bit of a gap between the scales and the shell and clamped it down to dry.

Quality of this top is simply amazing! Mermaid Kariel was certainly clever about how she decided to make the top. The scales are somewhat white & translucent with a bit of lavender highlights and gold sparkle through them. BUT she placed them on hot pink bikini base so the way they are placed allows the fabric base shows through the scales and gives them a pink glow. The effect is simply amazing.

Fit/Comfort:

The bra base is a hot pink Victoria’s Secret strapless bikini. It is a 36DD and I’m about a 36B/C. I wasn’t sure it was going to fit but when I put it on it formed to my shape very nicely. It doesn’t squeeze me like some of my other silicone tops. I would wear this top all day long if I could.

As I swam around in the water (strapless) it stayed in place very well. Only once when I was at the bottom of the pool and pushed my way to the surface really fast did the top slip. That is no problem. Now that I know it does that I will be a graceful swimming mermaid and not make sudden movements in the top.

I’m also thinking about attaching a nude silicone halter strap to the top to hold it up better for me.

Pros:

  • Clever design
  • So much sparkle and glitter
  • Very comfortable

Cons:

  • I love this top. The only con is that the scales are thin and soft. As the top ages they are tearing and tattering a bit.
  • It didn’t come with straps & it’s a bit too large for me so if I swim with a lot of thrust it will slide down.

Lessons learned:

  • I can fit into a DD cup!! LOL 😂
  • I’m getting more comfortable working with silpoxy to do small fixes.
  • I hope someday Mermaid Kariel makes more tops and I can get another one.

Mermaid Top Review 8: DIY Lion’s Paw Real Shell Top

Top #8 DIY Lion’s Paw Real Shell Top

Shells and rhinestones attached to bra base by me.

Price:

Lions Paw shells from Amazon. 5-5 1/2 inches. *Cost around $12 for both shells.

Bra base from Amazon. *I bought a Warners Woman’s Easy Does It Wire Free Bra (super comfy!) for around $15.

Shells, rhinestone, flatback pearls from Michaels.

Production Time:

  • This was my first mermaid top that I made while waiting for my MerNation silicone tail to be made.
  • It took a few days of continuous work to make. Then another day or two to fix after my first swim.

How to/DIY:

I attached the shells to the top with e6000 glue. Use in a well ventilated area as this glue is harmful when the fumes are inhaled. I had a mannequin that I put the bra on then glued the shells in place and set a ziplock bag filled with water on top to weigh it down and hold the shell in place while the glue dried. I did one shell at a time over 2 days.

Then I added flat back pearls and rhinestones on the shells and on the top. I used a few different tops I’d found on Pinterest as inspiration. The rhinestones were cheap plastic from Michael’s and the e6000 melted the backing off of them so I used GemTac to attach them to the bra. For pearls and shells I used e6000. The easiest way to attach the rhinestones is to put the glue into syringes and make dots of glue then either pick up the gems with a tweezers or a wax tip jewel setter.

Quality/Durability:

I wore this top for a day-long photoshoot in the Flordia Springs. The shells are securely attached to the top but after swimming in the water for several hours the Gemtac on the rhinestones loosened and when I was taking off my top I noticed a lot of the rhinestones were loose and could be peeled off. They did not come off in the water and the ones I didn’t pull off dried securely on again. The jewels that were attached with e6000 stayed on and didn’t budge.

Afterwards, I gathered up the rhinestones that had come off and reassessed the top. I used e6000 to put more shells around the top and put some of the rhinestones back on.

Now this top is used ONLY for dry events. The rhinestones still sometimes fall off just due to the age of the top.

Fit/Comfort:

I choose a full coverage bra that I knew fit me. This top is very comfortable and fits very well. The shells are a bit heavy so that’s something to concider when choosing a bra base.

The Lions Paw shells do come a bit below the bottom edge of the bra and dig into my skin. I’ve been meaning to take my dremmel and sand down the edges so it is more comfortable.

Upkeep:

The rhinestones do periodically fall off and require upkeep. I keep a sandwich size ziplock bag with me and put the fallen soldiers in it when I can and use e6000 to reattach as needed

Pros:

  • Satisfaction of making your own top
  • Customized to exactly what you want
  • Cost efficient

Cons:

  • Time consuming to make
  • Real lion Paw shells are very heavy
  • Rhinestones fall off easily when applied with GemTac

Lessons learned:

  • E6000 works great to attach large shells to a bra.
  • E6000 needs to be used in a well ventilated area. Be careful not to breath in the fumes
  • Gemtac is only good for tops not worn in water. They start to become unglued after a few hours of being submerged in water.
  • E6000 can distort the foil backing on cheap rhinestones.

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Mermaid Top Review 6: Marine Magic Silicone Stingray Top

Top #6 Marine Magic Silicone Stingray Top

Custom made.

Price:

Part of a BOGO Black Friday deal. (x1 Silicone Wrap & x1 Top) $240 + $12 shipping. Total $252.

(Marine Magic Tops are usually $160-180 & wraps are $130-160.)

Production Time:

  • Purchased 11/24/17
  • Finished photo sent but I requested she make changes 12/19/17
  • Shipped 2/15/18
  • Delivered in Tampa, FL USA 2/20/18

Customer Service:

I had been watching Marine Magic on Etsy because I initially wanted another silicone gap/waist wrap. I hadn’t decided whether to try out Marine Magic or ask MerNation to make me another one (that I knew I’d like). When Marine Magic posted that they were having a Black Friday BOGO sale, I thought I’d give her a try.

The way Mermaid Kalynn makes her tops is that you can choose one main bra cover, an accent, and details. The color is custom & you choose the bra size. At first I didn’t know what to choose. I liked her top with a bra cover of a starfish but I was curious about the Vampire squid option. She said she had another customer interested in stingrays and suggested that. Since what I really wanted was the gap wrap, I decided to take a risk and get something that I normally wouldn’t consider and decided on a gray speckled stingrays with a seahorse accent and Starfish details.

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I ordered off of Etsy so all of our communication was done through that site. She kept me informed with updates and photos the entire way. She started off by sending me photos of the stringray sculpts. Then asked about eye color. We decided on pink to match my tail. She sent photos of just the sting rays & they were adorable. She even put little stars on them to match the stars on my Spellbound tail.

Then we talked and I kept mentioning that I wanted it to be simple and not too busy. I wanted the stingrays to standout as the focal point of the top.

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She allowed me to choose which direction the starfish faced. Then she suggested not putting the seahorse on it and I agreed. We decided just to add some pink & cream colored Starfish around the stingrays.

Once she was finished & it was ready to be shipped out in time for Christmas she sent me a final photo. Unfortunately, I thought there were too many Starfish and they just didn’t look like Starfish anymore. I told her my concerns and she was extremely understanding & even offered to completely redo the top. I loved those little stingrays so I asked if she would just try to preserve them but reduce the number of Starfish. I thought that maybe a different size starfish might fill it in better.

Again she sent me photos of the sculpting she did on another size starfish. Then she sent me photos of the layouts before glueing the starfish down.

The top was shipped out right away when it was finished. The top is super cute with two little stingrays staring up at me.

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She also included a little mermaid crown and extra Silicone Starfish.

Quality/Durability:

This silicone top is different from some of the other full silicone tops in that the silicone is very thin and floppy. However, it seems sealed together very well and the pieces are not pulling apart.

There is a thin layer of clear Silicone over the entire top including the nude fabric part of the bra that shows through (I’ll note that Mermaid Kalynn wanted to cover up all the nude parts but it was my request to leave them open.)

I haven’t wore it enough to see how it will stand up to a long day in the water.

Fit/Comfort:

It is a VERY comfortable top. The silicone is soft and molds to me nicely.

There is no push-up padding. For me the way this top fits (it may be because it doesn’t have padding) it gaps too much on the top for me to wear it as is. If I wear another bra under it it fits great. I’m going to try to play with adding some padding or sewing it onto another bra base to make it fit better for me because I really like the way it turned out and want to wear it more often.

I did try it out in my pool and the little stingray heads flop up and down as I swim. So cute!! It also might be the way I chose to orient the Rays. If they were turned another direction they wouldn’t do that.

Pros:

  • Very unique top
  • The stingrays are adorable and have the cutest little eyes
  • The pink and cream and white starfish are the perfect colors. They match my skin tone and my tail perfectly.

Cons:

  • This was a brand new sculpt from a brand new Silicone Top maker. It took a lot of conversation and communication to get a final piece that I was happy with.
  • The cup size doesn’t fit very well. I will need to layer it over another top or add padding
  • The silicone on the stingrays is very thin. It doesn’t give much shape or support.
  • The paint and construction feels a bit amateur to me. For the price point and the fact that it was the first time she made a stingray top it is great. In time Marine Magic has the potential to make high quality $200-$300 pieces but she isn’t quite there yet. (At least with the stingrays, some of her more current work looks gorgeous!)

Lessons learned:

  • It can be really difficult to speak up and let an artist know you are unhappy with a result.
  • Patience and direct communication is best when working with a new top maker.
  • Sometimes an artists vision and your vision are very different.
  • I’m glad I took a risk and took advantage of the BOGO sale to get this top. I don’t think I would have ordered it at full price.

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Trial 3 DIY Aerial Costumes: Tie Dye

I’ve figured out that I am a lot better at tie dye than painting. Especially if you have the right tie dye products.

In the past few years I knew I wanted to create more costumes either by painting/embellishing/dyeing,  I bought some white cotton leotards, biketards, and dance shorts from Aliexpress. They were made in China and took over 40 days to be made and arrive. I bought 5 of each and the price added up but they were all under $12-14 each.

NOTE: That when buying from China sizes run VERY small and the arm straps are NOT made for aerialists. Be prepared to make alterations.

I was at CVS and saw a tie-dye kit on sale for about $5. The colors were bright and it had everything included: dye, bottles, rubber bands, instructions and gloves. Tulip One-Step Tie Dye Kits
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I have a new little nephew who lives half a country away. I wanted to make him something personalized from me. I went to Target and bought a 5-pack of white onesies to include in my tie-dye session.

I ended up tie-dyeing 9 items at once. This made things so much easier. It took about 1.5-2 hours to do the actual tie-dyeing. Then I left them to set overnight and rinsed and washed them the next morning (this took about an hour to do).

  • x4 baby onesies
  • x1 large leotard
  • x1 biketard
  • x1 leotard and x1 dance shorts (matching)
  • x1 old tank top (as a tester)
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I did a Pinterest search on different ways to tie-dye. I used a few different methods.

Wet or Dry Method:

I tried both the wet and dry method. Having the fabric wet/damp (I ran them through a quick wash/spin in the washing machine) made applying the dye a lot easier and less messy. The wet fabric soaked up the dye easier and had a more saturated look. The dry fabric the dye would bead up and went everywhere. I had to be slower and wait for the dye to soak into the fabric. The final results with the dry fabric had a lot more white area. The first baby onesie was done dry and the last one was done wet.

This link show several different tie-dye methods.

Spiral Method:

This one is my favorite. I grabbed the fabric in the center and spun it around in a circle and put rubber bands around the entire thing. It makes 6 triangle/pie pieces that you soak with dye. (I later learned that you can use a fork to spin the fabric around…like spaghetti. This might make this easier. I’ll try it next time.) I did the first and last baby onesies with the spiral method.

Heart Method:

I wasn’t as successful at this one. BOO! This was harder than I thought. I also used a permanent marker to draw a heart on the fabric. Next time I probably won’t use permanent marker…Now I on the leotard that has the heart on it I’m going to need to either paint or do something else with it because I don’t really like the random heart… The second baby onesie was done with the heart method. It worked out a bit better than the leotard.

Bulls Eye Method:

This is a tried and true method. It leaves a big circle bulls eye on the fabric.

Stripes Method:

There are so many options on this one. You can use one or many different colors. I love it! I did the third baby onesie with this method.

Wrap up

I think tie-dye is a great inexpensive idea for aerial costumes. Especially for a less formal event.

I’m visualizing an aerial/circus tribe at a festival with everyone having different but cohesive tie-dye costumes. Either in same colors but different methods or different colors but same methods, etc.

Or for a studio Open House or Student Recital that the performers want matching custom costumes but don’t want to spend $$$ on a custom costume.

Or for an aerialist who just wants to jazz up their practice leos… (which is what I’m probably going to use these for)
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Trial 2 DIY Aerial Costumes: Fabric Paint and Rhinestones

This is my second attempt at making an aerial costume. I had a white cotton unitard with wide legs (not tight like I would want for aerial routines) that had been laying around for a few years because it was an “On SALE” mis-order that I couldn’t return. I finally decided to give fabric painting a try.

  1. I started the by sketching a pattern of what I wanted my swirls to look like then I colored them in.
  2. I put the unitard on my inflatable mannequin (bought off ebay $25) and took a pencil and drew outlines of the shapes.
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  3. I put Jacquard Water Based Resist in a Jacquard 1/2 ounce squeeze bottles with stainless steel tips (see below for list of supplies) and outlined my design.
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  4. I used Jacquard Dye-Na-Flow to fill in the design. I put the paint (which looks and feels like fabric dye) in the small 1/2 oz squeeze bottles. I used a very small amount on a paint brush and applied it to the fabric.
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    It spreads very quickly and you need to be very careful that it stays in the lines.
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    NOTE: I should have made my water resist lines thicker because the paint (dye) bled out quite a bit.
  5. I had to “fix” all these areas where the paint bled through. I took white textile paint and touched up the design. You can sort of see the paint but from a distance it looks OK.
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  6. Next, I took Jacquard Textile paint and outlined the design and made some high and low-lights around it.
  7. Then I ironed to set the paint into the fabric.
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  8. Time for some rhinestones. I separated them by color and size.
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    Then I planned out the order that I wanted to attach them and put them into lines.
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  9. Attaching rhinestones is very easy. I watched a few You Tube videos on How to Embellish Dance Costumes. I used E600 and a Jewel Setter (a stick with a bit of wax at the tip. You can get them at Michaels or a craftstore and they help A TON!).
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    Finished product:

I like it. It isn’t professional and I wouldn’t use it for a paid performance but it was a great learning experience. I now know how these paints work on stretchy fabric. I learned about water based resist, dye-na-flow, and other design aspects. It still needs some work but …I like it.

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Supplies I’ve acquired during the past few years.

Fabric paint:

Some I had purchased in 2014. I’m not sure how much I paid for it. The new paint I’ll put purchase prices for reference. Fabric paint isn’t cheap unless you know the exact colors you want. Otherwise it all adds up pretty fast.

Jacquard Textile: For Natural Or Synthetic Fabrics

  • 122 Black. Very thick paint. Used about 6 months ago to paint over the logo on my bouldering crash pad. It covered the bright orange in two coats.
  • 123 White
  • 111Sky Blue
  • 114 Turquoise
  • 155 Fluorescent Blue
  • 151 Fluorescent Yellow: very light, could not be seen very well on white fabric.
  • 153 Fluorescent Pink. (2.25 oz.) Amazon $7.96
  • 156 Fluorescent Green. (2.25 oz.) Amazon $5.72

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Jacquard Lumiere: Light Body Metallic Acrylic

  • 561 Metallic Gold: 2 bottles purchased about 10 years ago for a Wonder Woman costume. One bottle opened and 2/3 empty. The paint was very thick but it still worked fine.
  • 567 Super Sparkle
  • JAC9901 Halo & Jewel Colors Lumiere Exciter Pack, 9 Color (0.5 oz. bottles): Halo Pink Gold; Halo Blue Gold; Halo Violet Gold; Pearlescent Turquoise; Pearlescent Green; Pearlescent Magenta; Russet; Pewter; Sunset Gold. Amazon $9.99

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Jacquard Dye-Na-Flow: Free Flowing Liquid Color For Natural or Synthetic Fabrics

  • 830 White
  • 801 Sun Yellow
  • 824 Azure Blue
  • JAC9908 Dye-Na-Flow Exciter 9-Colors (0.5 oz. bottles): Chartreuse; Turquoise; Periwinkle; Violet; Magenta; Scarlet; Bright Orange; Golden Yellow; Sun Yellow. Amazon $11.65

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Jacquard Water Based Resist

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Other stuff

Tulip Glitter Spray Fabric Paint – 40 oz. Michael’s $7.49 (on sale $5.99) *Looked great when I tried it. It was a sheer glitter but I’ve been told that it doesn’t hold up well when washed.  It was easy to do so maybe this is for that costume that you wear once and then have time to re-spray after washing for the next use.

Tulip Glow in the Dark Spray Fabric Paint – 40 oz Michael’s clearance $2.99

Jewel Spinner with Rhinestones – Michael’s $2.99 (on sale $2.40)

Tools:

  • Cardboard
  • Water bowl
  • Paint brushes- assorted
  • Foam brush
  • Pencil
  • Scissors – Michael’s Bent 365 $12.99 40% off = $7.79 (to be fabric only scissors)
  • Jacquard 1/2 ounce squeeze bottles with stainless steel tips
  • Bead pick (plastic stick with wax on tip to place rhinestones) – Michael’s $4.99 for 3 (on sale $3.99)
  • Stencils
  • Paint pallet with cover -Michael’s $1.59
  • Mannequin – Inflatable Female EBay

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Trial 1 DIY Aerial Costumes: Fabric Paint, Cutting, & Rhinestones

This blog goes through some trial DIY aerial costumes. The first is just an old tank top that I test painted. The second I had an old unitard I was going to throw away. I re-dyed and cut, painted and rhinestoned to make it special and customized.

Intro:

I don’t know how to sew and I never had a nack for drawing or painting. Soo…I thought it would be a great endeavor to make myself some aerial costumes. (I don’t know why I always think I can do these crazy things…) I started by brainstorming ways to create…since I cant sew I needed to start with a pre-made base.

I was looking discount leotards, unitards, and biketards (I didn’t know if I was going to be any good at costume making so I wanted to keep it cheap). I did a web search and pinned a bunch of potential items. I tried to keep it “cheap” cotton, white or nude. Here is my Pinterist page.

NOTE: I had been thinking about making a costume a few years ago but never actually got around to doing it. I had 2 cotton white unitards (one has tight legs and the other has wide legs (the wide leg one was a mis-order & not what I wanted for aerial but it will be a good trial piece). I also already had a good base of fabric paints in metalics, blue, yellow, white and black. (And I was slowly buying more and more. I need to stop my visits to Michaels and my late night Amazon shopping binges.)

I’m also creating a list of awesome aerial costume makers/websites because although I am loving costumes that I make myself sometimes you need a professional costume. Please leave a comment if you have other DIY costume ideas or know an awesome aerial makers.

Trial tank top:

First I started by drawing some different ideas out on some paper. I was trying some swirls and other patterns. I have little or no artistic talent when it comes to drawing…but I’m going to see where it goes.

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Then I took an old tank top that I was going to throw away and put some cardboard between the layers and sketched some lines with a pencil. Then started painting.

Meh, not that great but that’s why its an old tank that I was just testing my skills on. It does look better on than on the table…

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Trial Unitard: Old light pink cotton unitard

It was stretched out and faded and has a few holes starting in the leg and crotch. I was going to throw it away but then I stopped and thought it would be a great piece to start with because if I ruined it I wouldn’t feel bad…I’d just have wasted a ton of time. It took me an afternoon to dye, cut, and paint (we went out to dinner while the front was drying and I finished painting the back that evening). Then the next morning I ironed and added rhinestones (which took less than an hour).

Ombre Fabric Dye:

I wanted to refresh the color and I had a package of Dylon Flamingo Pink fabric dye that I had purchased 6 or 7 years ago and never used. This is the video I tried to follow. Ombre fabric dye video.

  1. Wash without using fabric softener.
  2. I put the unitard on and marked it with safety pins where I wanted to gradients to be (chest, hips, knees).
  3. I found a hanger and some ribbon and I used my laundry room cabinets to make “hooks” so I wouldn’t have to hold the unitard all the time.
  4. Then I got the unitard wet and rang it out.
  5. I set up my bucket in the sink. I also set out the dye, salt, measuring spoon, scissors, plastic spoon to stir on the counter.2016-04-02 14.38.55
  6. I heated water up in the microwave in a plastic bowl and dissolved the fabric dye and added the salt.
  7. I made sure the tap water was very hot and started filling my bucket in the sink. Then I added in my fabric dye mixture.
  8. I submerged the unitard up to the waist and kept dipping it from waist to knees for about 20 min.
  9. Then for about 10 min I dipped it from chest to waist.2016-04-02 14.38.22
  10. Then let it sit for about 10 more minutes hanging with just the knees to the bottom in the bucket.2016-04-02 14.39.10
  11. Then I rinsed the unitard until it ran mostly clear.
  12. Then put it through my washer and dryer. 2016-04-02 15.58.38

Cutting:

I’ve seen some instagram posts and a YouTube video by Adam Slacks with a unitard that has been cut up and I really liked that look. I wondered if I could do it myself. I had tried to cut a t-shirt before and it turned out OK…so I decided to give it a try.

I used pins from Pinterest for inspiration:

Steps:

  1. I put the unitard on and kept the safety pins in to mark body landmarks (chest, hips, knees).
  2. Then I took a pencil and marked where I wanted to make my cuts.
  3. I used a piece of cardboard inside the unitard to help stretch it out and keep shape.
  4. I used a ruler to help keep the lines straight but I ended up eyeballing most of the cut.2016-04-02 17.30.12
  5. As I braided I used the safety pins to hold the final braid in place.
    2016-04-02 18.10.57
  6. Then I just used a simple thread and needle and sewed the end of the braids together with knots.
  7. I bought an inflatable dress mannequin from ebay for about $25
  8. I kept it on the mannequin for the painting and rhinestones.
  9. I used a pencil to draw some swirls then painted some silver and pink swirls. With the silver at the top and the pink towards the bottom to keep with the ombre feel.
    iphone - 19
  10. Then finally I put some rhinestones on it with the clear crystals at the top and the pink crystals towards the bottom.
    iphone - 18
  11. Finally, I put it on and tried it out on my hoop. Fiphone - 24Fiphone - 29

NOTE: Cutting will make the size change sometimes smaller and sometimes larger. The S curve cut/braid really pulled the fabric out of line and it was too small for me. It ripped on my first trial. Nothing that couldn’t be fixed because…well its already cut up. But I suggest a few trial runs before using a cut unitard in a performance to make sure the cuts don’t rip in inappropriate areas.

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