This past fall, alice + olivia had a tshirt with feathered epaulets that made me kind of swoon. There were only two problems: 1) the tshirt was almost $300 and 2) they don't make plus sizes. But it was one of those things I totally looked at and figured I could make myself; of course, I didn't get around to doing anything about that until this week. *grin*
My first pair was pretty simple:
That's a sewn felt base, with fringe and feathers. I glued the feathers on (Fabri-Fac, y'all) and then sewed them as well so they'd be extra secure. Nothing worse, when it comes to wearing feathers, than shedding them everywhere you go. I added a rhinestone finish at the end that goes under the collar. Here's a wider shot:
They match some of the colors in my hair - when I wore them to work, I spent half the day with coworkers touching my shoulders and the other half forgetting I had them on and being startled when I saw them out of the corner of my eye!
I used stiff felt and a bangle bracelet to make my epaulet bases:
I sewed two forms together (and the fringe can be sandwiched between the layers to hide the trim edge as well, and ran several lines of stitching down the length of the piece for stability:
I used feathers from the home dec/floral department rather than those in the regular craft department - you get better/bigger feathers for less fundage - you just have to take them off the stick. And floral stuff is often on sale, which is even better. The second set I made was yellow:
Again, I glued and screwed (to borrow a phrase from the woodworkers) for extra stability. The Fabri-Tac just needs to dry before you sew it. I was pleased with how they turned out:
Again, I put rhinestones on the collar edge to finish it - plus, I can't resist an opportunity for rhinestones:
I used strips of felt to attach safety pins to the back in two places (one at each end, basically) so that every epaulet could be moved from garment to garment:
Feathers are one of my favorite things but it seemed like a cool challenge to make a set that was just jeweled. I followed the same basic construction principles but made them with just a circle of felt (again, two layers for structure):
Making epaulets is kind of addictive. Which is why I wound up making yet another pair - a deluxe pair with twice as many feathers and a really kind of extravagant feel to them. They bring the drama:
If you've made it this far, thanks for hanging in there! I'm completely obsessed - and I've got a fairly sizable feather and rhinestone stash - so I know I'll be making more of these. Fortunately, my coworkers have come to expect this sort of thing from me. *grin* It's sort of amazing to me how these epaulets transform blazers and jackets I never ever wear (I keep trying to be one of those pulled-together women in a blazer and jeans and heels but I'm just not that minimalist) into jackets and blazers I want to wear every single day all the time ever.