No latex yet, but rubberised bed-sheet, turned into a mermaid tail, leg binder or hobble skirt, whatever you want to call it:
I put a wide adhesive tape onto one of my legs (lengthwise), marked about 20 spots over the length and measured the surrounding of my legs at each of these spots. Then I put that tape onto the cloth and marked each surrounding length with a dot - it became something like on the picture below - the horizontal lines aren't on the cloth, only dots on the ends or each line. I should have left the adhesive tape on for proper folding, but I didn't.
Finally, I simply "stitched" the cloth together with safety pins on each dot and tried it on. I was afraid that using just one wrapaound instead of two pieces for front and back wouldn't work, but it does! I tried it on and it is a very tight fit, just as tight as the string I used to measure my legs. The fabric stretches a bit and therefore it is no problem to get the feet through the narroest part.
The next step will be to bring this to a tailor and have it stitched together for real and add seams to both ends. I think even adding a zipper should look quite harmless. I will have in mind that it is a cover for some oddly shaped art object and answer something like that if he really asks. The result won't be a mermaid tail, it has no cloth left for the fin. If I really want one, I can try to make a glove for the monofin that goes up the legs a little bit.
I only made one mistake while "stitching" this piece: It should have been inside out for that. So the tailor will have a small challenge here. On the other hand - have to decide that by tomorrow evening - I could just leave it as it is. The cloth is rubberised on one side, and while it looks cooler to have that on the outside, it might be nice to have it on the inside instead. Perhaps I will try both, I need to know how much this will cost first - probably around 10 Euros.
Eventually, I should find an excuse to have my sister explain me how to use her sewing machine. I have more of this fabric and plenty of ideas. And once I run out of this fabric, I can still get something else. One serious idea is to make a slightly tighter version of the bolero single glove and that is nothing I could give to a normal tailor.
Oh, and eventually, I could buy some latex sheet and make a shiny latex tail.
It is exciting to see, how simple things can be
Oh, and for you to see what I got so far:
I actually like the tail
that the extra cloth in the back creates and so I will tell the tailor
to leave it there and just cut the borders straight. And that concludes my decision about the outside, rubber to the outside.
To be continued...
I gave it to the tailor now, told him it was for a lamp. For the moment, he will only stitch the main seam, I want to measure again for the correct length.
Got it back, checked the fitting and then gave it back for finishing. Sewn all the way it feels much better even. It will get a zipper on the waist line as well as a reinforced hem up there. Reinforced with a non-stretchable ribbon, to make sure, the upper end stays put. And if I ever use it for swimming, it will keep the tail closed there, I guess, the water would lift it off otherwise. Perhaps I will add a hook for safety, something I can do by myself. The tailor promised to have it done tomorrow.
Expenses so far: 6 Euro.
I expect a bit more for the finishing, because of the zipper and the extra ribbon, perhaps 20 Euros total.
Now, tell me where you get such a garment at this price, tailored to your personal measurements even
By the way, does anyone know where to get a monofin for adults for around 20-25 Euros? I consider making one from plywood and add simple gymnastic ballerinas. Or perhaps I can find a large piece of plastic... Still, theoretically, I want to use it for swimming as well and then I need a real monofin.
Got the finished tail from the tailor. He forgot to put the ribbon into the top hem but instead I can add a drawstring and a hook, that might be even better, the zipper alone is no good, hard to close and probably a bit weak as well. The tail is very comfortable, fits perfectly and is absolutely restraining the legs except on the ankles. Ankle freedom will be removed by the fin part later on. I only think I should have made it a few centimeters longer on the top. It still looks exactly as on the previous pictures, so no updates are needed.
I had to pay another 11 Euro, so total expenses are 17 Euro. Not bad for a fetish item that is made to measure
I think I will have another one made soon, but with a few changes. Definitely, the waistline must be a bit different, I will have a look at the designs of tight pants and skirts. It probably needs a wider hem, around 5-8 centimeters and perhaps even two extra tucks for a better shape. Well, the current one is the most simplistic design possible and considering that it is very good.
Another idea goes away from the fish tail: Cut a strong rigit piece of cloth or canvas to the same shape, punch a few rivets into the borders and use a lace to close it all the way. I would probably make this one much longer, reaching right under the armpits.
Once I can use the sewing machine without breaking it, I will make the top part, a slightly modified bolero armbinder, specifically tigher and closing in front instead of by the long zipper in the back. Oh, that design even allows for an attached hood, but that might be too difficult for me.
Once I can do all production steps by myself, I should probably start an online shop
Last night I added a hook to support the zipper, it should not open by itself anymore (and didn't so far). I also marked a slightly different seam near the zipper with safety pins, there is too much slack on the back of my waist and also on the legs it can be improved a bit. I will eventually take the new measurements and have a second one made. This second one will have a wide hem on the waistline and perhaps a fin-bag extension.
PS: I doubt that this fabric alone could work as a real leg binder, it might need reinforcement by straps. My knees happen to be as wide as my calves, so I could insert a non-stretchable cloth ring there, it could slip over the calves and would be kept in place by the outer fabric. The ankles could get another ring that could be closed with velcro, not much strength there, once the knees are fixed - probably needs another zipper too, to get the feet through first. That way it would still be suitable for public wearing (as far as a fishtail is suitable for that at all), nothing visible from the outside.
PPS: This has become a very long post. Too bad I can't split it.