Set the spotlight on your fabric scraps; grab a few other supplies; and let’s make fabric feathers. Here’s something worth mentioning: I’ve thought of making fabric feathers for a long time but I never got around to it. Recently though, I collected some scraps from my muslin projects and I'm trying to come up with some inspiring scrap fabric creations. These feathers didn't disappoint.
FABRIC FEATHERS COST AND COMPLETION TIME
If you’re wondering how long it takes to create fabric feathers, it’s a pretty quick project. Assuming you have fabric scraps and you have basic craft supplies on hand, your non-fluffy version can be completed in 10 minutes. For a fluffy feather, add washing and drying time.
TOOLS, SUPPLIES, DETAILS
Scraps of muslin or other fabric that frays
Preshrinking fabric scraps before constructing feathers is recommended.
Half inch wide bias tape - The bias grain of fabric intersects diagonally with the lengthwise and crosswise grain. True bias is found at a 45° angle to any straight edge when fabric grains are at right angles. Images of bias cut grain and strips in step 5.
Ruler (Optional) - Choose to eyeball and create an organic line, or press a seam down the middle when ironing scraps.
All purpose thread - The general rule is to choose thread one shade darker than fabrics.
Feel free to use a contrasting color to highlight feather center. Or use a decorative stitch to stylize your feather.
All purpose craft glue - Choose one that adheres to wood/bamboo and fabric. Or a hot glue gun and glue sticks.
Dressmaker’s chalk or water soluble marker - Both are available at craft and sewing sewing supplies stores and their marks will disappear after going through the wash.
Bamboo/wooden skewers, 12” Twelve inch skewers are reasonably priced at about a couple bucks per 100-pcs. They are available online and at supermarkets and department stores.
Marshmallow roasting sticks 30" - For large feathers; usually comes in packages of 12; also available online and at local dollar stores during warmer months.
Yarn or crochet thread - Compatible to your needle size.
Tapestry needle - Points are blunt but will penetrate fabric even if it’s a tight weave.
If working with scraps that have not been washed, you will need to factor in shrinkage when sewing pocket for skewer.
Step 1: Creating Fabric Feathers - Marking & Cutting
(a) For uniform feathers, rip or cut 2 fabric rectangles; draw a line down the center or use an iron to create a seam; stack on top of each other; fold fabric in half lengthwise and cut out feather shape.
(b) To create unbalanced and flawed feathers: Draw or press a line slightly off center line on rectangle; cut out and shape sides separately. In addition; cut away small portions of fabric at random distances to create inconsistent edges.
Step 2: Feather Construction - Centre Pocket/Casing
Sew pocket/casing wide enough to fit skewer size. Set machine to a short length stitch; Begin stitching ½” away from top edge at base of feather and taper toward middle, to within 1” from tip. Pivot and gradually return to original seam width; stop ½” inch away from edge. Backstitch at beginning and end of seams.
Backstitch in action; (a) start stitching forward about ½” away from cut edge of fabric; (b) stitch in reverse to near edge at fabric top; (c) stitch forward again along entire stitch row to near end of fabric edge; (d) reverse stitch about ½” back.
Pivot: To stop and change direction while sewing along a seam. Pivot in action: on reaching a corner: (a) stop (b) keep the needle inside of fabric (c) raise the presser foot (d) rotate fabric around needle (e) lower presser foot and continue stitching.
To sew a casing for regular 12” bamboo skewers, stitch about 1/8”away from center line, on each side; that will create a 1/4” wide pocket.
A pocket approximately 1/2” wide fits a standard 30” long skewer; in which case, you’ll need to sew ¼” away from center line on both sides.
Step 3: Cutting and Creating Feathered Edges
Use scissors to cut ¼” slices from edges of feather to near fold line.
Note: As fabric is likely to shift, inserting skewer in pocket before slicing is a great idea. It will help keep feather stable and works as a handy stop-point/cutting guide.
Step 4: Washing and Drying Feathers
After cutting, slide feathers off skewers and put in the wash. To prevent them from migrating, use a laundry bag. Remove feathers from dryer while still slightly damp and shake to get rid of lint and fluff. Insert skewers, lay feathers flat and let air dry.
Step 5: Fabric Feathers Assembly
(a) Slide washed and dried feathers onto skewer; apply a small amount of glue to skewer under fabric at base of feather and press to fasten.
(b) Place another bit of glue on top of fabric at feather base, position tape over it. Stretch bias tape and twist skewer until it is entirely covered; use adhesive to secure end.
Note: Woven fabrics cut on the bias ceases fraying and adds stretch. Fabrics cut on the crosswise or lengthwise grain will work as well; pieces of tape need not be continuous. Top, right, true bias grain lies at fold of the fabric; far right, cut bias strips. More in TOOLS, SUPPLIES, DETAILS.
Hanging Feathers: Measure desired length of thread or yarn: at base of feather. At the side of skewer, poke a threaded needle downward to underside, bring needle up through to opposite side. Pull ends of thread or yarn until it lies flat against skewer; tie a knot.
I hope you are inspired to design own bundle of feathers. Whatever you create, enjoy!
Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read.
Want to know more about fabric feathers? Learn more at http://allmywaysandrea.com