Sometimes an idea for an element of a piece becomes a project unto itself. Such was the case with my newest, Bird Girl, art doll. For this figure I decided that I wanted to try to create fabric feathers. I did a quick Google on “how to make fabric feathers” and was off.
The actual technique is not too difficult. For each feather, you stitch together two rectangles of fabric up their centerline with a zig-zag stitch. Then you cut your desired feather shape out. The last step is to fray out the feather shape from the edge to your center zig-zag line… This is where the process became a project. Some fabrics, like burlap, fray very easily. I chose some cottons that I would guess are somewhere in the middle of the “fray-able” spectrum. It still took me sitting for hours with needle in hand teasing the threads off of the edge of each feather against a tray on my lap.
Am I happy with the results? Yes. Will I most likely do it again? Yeah. Will I choose fabrics that are a bit easier to fray? Quite possibly.
Bird Girl is now happily perched on her swing, and I’m on to new friends.
The feathers are very cool and a lot of work, but very cool.