Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Wings for Doves, Rush, Rush, Rush - Edited

My daughter and two of her classmates are going to be doves in today's school play. A new play, a new costume challenge. Three, actually, as I volunteered to make all three sets of wings.
So it happened that I had a little less than six hours to figure out the "how to" and make them happen. No time for searching the www for ideas, no time for shopping, just a quick stash raid, a cup of strong coffee to awaken my muse and rush, rush, rush.
Luckily I had plenty of white cotton fabric (the kind used for sheets) and batting scraps, some bigger, some smaller... Well, I thought, that will have to do, let's see what happens.
As all the girls are more or less the same size, I took one of my daughter's sweaters, measured a full arm length (abt. 100cm) and a back length (abt. 60cm), and cut a 100x120cm piece of white cotton.
First I folded it on the length (100x60cm) then on the width (50x60) and with a pencil I made a free hand sketch of a wing and half of a tail directly on the folded fabric:

As I wanted two rows of feather (more actually, but I only had time for two), I also traced two arches:

 Then cut around them, through all four layers of cotton with zigzag scissors:

Here are the open wings (two layers of cotton, folded on top): 

After sewing along the bigger arch, the batting came in handy to make the feathers a little fluffier. I pinned each two layers of feathers, placed them over the pieces of batting, pinning along, adding more pieces of batting, until all the feathers had a complete layer of batting under them and then simply cut the batting around the feathers.

and trimmed along the sewn arch (you can see in the photo below that only for this portion I used four pieces of batting scraps):

The next step was to insert the batting between the two layers of cotton fabric, so I took out the pins, and started tucking, sandwiching and pinning again:

All the feathers being stuffed and pinned, I turned to my sewing machine again and asked her kindly to try and behave this time, and zig-zag stitched along the outline of the feathers, about 0.5-1cm from the edges  (no, I still can't sew straight...)

And the first layer of feathers was done:
At this point I relaxed, because the project did start to look like wings, to me at least...
Time to make a second layer of feathers. Taking the piece of cotton that fell off after cutting the wings (it was still as I folded it in four at the beginning), I placed one of the four layers of fabric over the sewn wing (folded in two on the width) and, guided by the smaller arch and the feathers already made, again, just drew feathers with my pencil, then put that layer back on the other three and cut again through the four layers with zigzag scissors.

So now I had the pieces of a second row of feathers for both wings:

It was time again to make sandwiches: one layer of cotton, one layer of batting scraps and another layer of cotton, and zig-zag them together, just like before. Here's one side sewn and pinned to the wing:

When both sides of the second row of feathers were sewn, they got attached to the wing by - guess what - zig-zag stitching along the arch. This is the moment when the first row of feathers might get caught under and stitched over... Ask me how I know!
Then I sew an eyeballed size double fabric strip to the upper part of the wing, for supporting the elastic bands sewn on for shoulders, above elbows and wrists.

And voilá, the first set of wings was done in exactly two hours! On to the other two I was, and finished them on time, too.

As you can see, there was a lot of not so straight stitching, fabric gathering and such going on, but let's just agree that all of these add extra fluffiness to the wings, ok? :)
The girls are really happy with their wings, I'll take photos of the three little doves during the play and will add to this post.


Have a beautiful day, Everyone!


gracie said...

Very creative. Can't wait to see the little doves!

Momma Bear said...

how lovely!
and you did it in record time!
don't worry about how straight the stitching is I have been sewing clothes,costumes etc.. for 30 years and my stitches are Never straight!) that just proves it was hand made and that you care when you sew;)!
I predict your Doves will be flying around the house until they tatter. and you couldn't ask for better thanks, than well loved wings, yes?

Cathy K said...

Dear Manya, you are so creatve to 'see' these wings in your mind's eye and then to create them from that! Thay are lovely, and I bet the girls looked like angel-doves!! Hugs, Cousin Cathy

Michelle said...

Very well done - it looks beautiful!

Lee Albrecht said...

As meninas vão ficar lindas! e voar como as pombas...
um belo dia a todas com muita alegria.
Belo trabalho!

Unknown said...

Oh! So cute! The wings are perfect!

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