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Topic: Owl Costume + fabric feather tutorial *I finally have modelled photos*  (Read 32692 times)
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Donella
« on: November 13, 2010 02:27:18 PM »

I made this costume for a client last spring as part of my 2nd year of a bachelor degree in Costume making. I've been holding off posting it, because I wanted a photo of the entire costume on the model. Unfortunally, the client still hasn't given me one after almost 6 months, so I'm posting photos of the individual pieces.

The costume consists of a pair of brown velvet leggings, a 19th century corset, a feathered cape, handless lace gloves and an owl headpiece. Part of the assignment was to use recycled materials as much as possible and work within a budget of 100.

The corset - It's mostly made out of old dresses, blouses and skirts. I had to change the corset slightly after hand in and before handing it over to my client, but hopefully I'll get an updated photo soon.

UPDATE! Modelled photos!








A friend of my modelling the corset:


The cape - I made most of the feathers out of old blouses and skirts. I've also added in proper fake feathers to create an interesting texture and look.





My friend modelling the corset and cape:


The headpiece - Again I've used scraps of various old clothes and a lot of old jewellery. The beak is made from real leather.





Me modelling the head piece:


The gloves are made from a lace blouse and decorated with feathers. I don't have a good photo of them or the leggings. Here's a photo of the costume laid out on a table for hand in (minus the head piece):



I'm super-happy with it, what do you think? I'll post a photo of the complete costume on a model as soon as I get it.


FEATHER-MAKING TUTORIAL

First of all, it's important to choose the right fabrics. The fabrics needs to fray easily, so satin and other fabrics with a more complicated weave, are not appropriate to use. I did use one satin fabric, but had to slash into it, cause it wouldn't fray.

Select the fabrics you want in you feather. Different colours and patterns can give a very interesting result. Cut out rectangles of each fabric (the length and width of your feather). You can also cut out strips in one fabric to sit over rectangles in other fabric to get a stripy effect. It's not important for all the pieces are the same size, but layer them up as aligned as possible..




Now set your sewing machine to a zig zag (not too wide and not too open). Zig zag down the centre of the rectangle, down the length of it. Try to keep the seam on the straight grain.



Now you can cut out the feather shape as you want it. This was my first try and it took me a while and a few feathers before I managed to get a decent shape, so please don't judge..



Now starts the fraying. I recommend fraying one layer at the time. You can use a steel brush (recommended for larger feathers) or your finger nails if they're long enough. Fray all the layers down to the zig zag, but try to avoid pulling out the threads running along the width of the feather. Although, if you have different colours, you can reveal the colours underneath by pulling out some of the top colour threads.




Once you're happy with the feather you need to stiffen it up, cause it's very floppy. I used rigiline boning and pulled out the seperate plastic threads inside. I cut them to the length of the feathers and then melted the edges, so they're not sharp or scratchy. I then placed them over the zig zag on the wrong side of the feather and zig zagged it on over the first zig zag. This can easily be done before fraying the feather, but I only realised the flopping-problem afterwards...

This is how my cape looked before I added "real" fake feathers:




Please let me know if anything in the tutorial is unclear Smiley
« Last Edit: April 11, 2011 03:14:57 PM by Donella » THIS ROCKS   Logged

So much creativity..
So little time...

I have an Epla-shop for my paper bead earrings (it's like Etsy, but in Norwegian):
http://epla.no/shops/lindaspapirpynt/
FoxyMama
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« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2010 02:55:06 PM »

WOW. 

I'm speechless . . . 

This is so awesome and I love that so much of it i made from reclaimed/repurposed fabrics.  Those handmade feathers are wonderful! This is just a stunning costume all the way around!

This rocks!!!!

~Martha
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« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2010 02:58:59 PM »

I think it looks beautiful! I love the texture and the colours, and the way you've made the feathers is brilliant!
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BonEsInspired
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« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2010 03:46:14 PM »

Amazing! I'd love to wear this to a festival!
Fantastic work!
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solar_jazz
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2010 04:51:00 PM »

ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC!!! It is truly incredible, and such detail and texture! I am just in awe of the fabric feathers  Shocked awesome job!
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« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2010 06:14:06 PM »

I'll have to agree with everyone else about the fabric feathers. I'm not sure you realize how brilliant they are! I've been working in theatre production for 25 years and I've seen any as good. The whole costume is fabulous - I hope you got top marks for it!

Wulf
« Last Edit: November 13, 2010 06:15:54 PM by Wulf » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2010 06:26:58 PM »

I think it's lovely! Beautiful work!
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« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2010 08:44:38 PM »

WOWEE!WOW!WOW!....THIS IS SOOO COOL!! I LOVE the whole thing! but those feathers are amazing and the headpiece and the cape and the corset...ok, it's ALL amazing!!!
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raennn
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2010 10:24:19 PM »

That is one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. Reminds me of the amazing costumes in the Houston ballet, only I don't recall anything quite so fantastic. Love it.
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Donella
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2010 01:43:57 AM »

Wow, I'm so overwhelmed by the responses Smiley you all make me so happy Cheesy:D Thank you so much for all the great comments! I have to admit that I was sad to give the costume away, cause it is the best work I've ever produced.

Amazing! I'd love to wear this to a festival!
Fantastic work!

It's funny you wrote that, cause the costume was actually made to be worn at summer festivals Smiley My client is the leader of an entertainment group that goes to night clubs, festivals etc. and put on sideshowes and arranges flash-mobs Smiley

I'll have to agree with everyone else about the fabric feathers. I'm not sure you realize how brilliant they are! I've been working in theatre production for 25 years and I've seen any as good. The whole costume is fabulous - I hope you got top marks for it!

Wulf

It's such a major compliment to get such a great comment from someone who's worked in the industry for so many years. Thank you so much!!
THIS ROCKS   Logged

So much creativity..
So little time...

I have an Epla-shop for my paper bead earrings (it's like Etsy, but in Norwegian):
http://epla.no/shops/lindaspapirpynt/
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