A, B, C = Color A, Color B, Color C etc; ch = chain; dc = double crochet; sc = single crochet; st(s) = stitch (es); ( ) = work directions in parentheses into same st; [ ] = work directions in brackets the number of times specified; * = repeat whatever follows the * as indicated.
sc2tog = [Insert hook in next stitch, yarn over and pull up a loop] twice, yarn over and draw through all 3 loops on hook.
Skirt is worked in two pieces beginning at the waistband.
To change color work last stitch of old color to last yarn over. Yarn over with new color and draw through all loops on hook to complete stitch. Proceed with new color. Fasten off old color.
To lengthen or shorten skirt, repeat Rows 6 and 7 more or fewer times, ending with a Row 6, before working the Shape Lower Edge section.
With middle size hook and B, ch 44 (50, 56).
Row 1 (right side): Sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each remaining ch across, turn—43 (49, 55) sc.
Ch 2 (does not count as a st here and throughout), dc in each st across, turn.
Ch 1, sc in each st across, turn.
Ch 2, dc in each st across; change to C, turn.
Body of the skirt, Row 5
Ch 1, sc in first st, *skip next 2 sts, 5 dc in next st (shell made), skip next 2 sts, sc in next st; repeat from * across, turn—7 (8, 9) shells.
Ch 3 (counts as first dc here and throughout), 2 dc in first st, skip next 2 dc, sc in next dc (center dc of shell), *skip next 2 dc, 5 dc in next sc, skip next 2 dc, sc in next dc; repeat from * to last 3 sts, skip next 2 dc, 3 dc in last sc, turn—6 (7, 8) shells and one halfshell at each end of row.
Ch 1, sc in first st, *skip next 2 dc, 5 dc in next sc, skip next 2 dc, sc in next dc; repeat from * across, turn.
Rows 8-31 (33, 37)
Repeat last 2 rows 12 (13, 15) more times.
Row 32 (34, 38)
Repeat Row 6. Fasten off. Shape Lower Edge
Row 33 (35,39) (right side)
With right side facing, skip the first 6 sts of previous row, join C with sc in next dc (center dc of first full shell), *skip next 2 dc, 5 dc in next sc, skip next 2 dc, sc in next dc; repeat from * working last sc in center dc of last shell, turn; leave remaining sts unworked—5 (6, 7) shells
Row 34 (36, 40)
Ch 3, dc in first st, skip next 2 dc, sc in next dc, *skip next 2 dc, 5 dc in next sc, skip next 2 dc, sc in next dc; repeat from * to last 3 sts,, skip next 2 dc, 2 dc in last sc, turn—4 (5, 6) shells and 2-dc at each end of row
Row 35 (37, 41)
Ch 3, dc in first st, skip next 4 sts, sc in next dc, *skip next 2 dc, 5 dc in next sc, skip next 2 dc, sc in next dc; repeat from * to last 5 sts, skip next 4 sts, 2 dc in last st, turn—3 (4, 5) shells and 2-dc at each end of row.
Row 36 (38, 41)-37 (40, 45)
Repeat last row 2 (3, 4) more times—1 shell and 2-dc at each end of row.
Waistband Shell Trim
With wrong side of waistband facing and working across opposite side of foundation ch (at bottom edge of Row 1), join B with sc in any ch, *skip next 2 ch, 5 dc in next ch (shell made), skip next 2 ch, sc in next ch; repeat from * across, turn—7 (8, 9) shells.
Seam skirt pieces
Hold skirt pieces with right sides together. Sewing from wrong side, sew side edges of pieces together from Row 1 through Row 32 (34, 38). Do not sew lower edges together.
With B, *ch 2, sc in 2nd ch from hook; repeat from * until piece measures about 14” longer than waist size. Fasten off.
Note: ½” (13 mm) elastic can be used instead of drawstring.
Place drawstring around top of right side of skirt with ends at center front. Fold waistband down over the drawstring and thread ends of drawstring through space between center front dc stitches. Sew Row 4 of waistband to top of skirt where waistband and skirt meet, keeping the shell trim free. Pull on ends of drawstring and tie into a bow.
Cut three 9 x 52” (23 x 132 cm) strips of netting (or desired length and width). Place the strips on top of each other and sew a line of basting stitches about ½” (13 mm) below and parallel to one long edge (top edge). Pull gently on the ends of the basting thread to gather the top of the netting until it fits around the lower edge of the mermaid skirt. Pin the top of the netting just under the lower edge of the skirt and sew in place, sewing from the wrong side. If needed, trim netting to desired length.
Sew beads evenly spaced around lower edge of crocheted skirt. Sew large sequins evenly spaced over the netted skirt. Weave in ends. Wear the finished mermaid costume over a leotard.