Inspired by Weetzie Bat and her penchant for wearing feathery accessories, this fluffy feather collar is totally essential for those days when you want to emit major punk-pixie vibes.
• Feathers (of course!)—two packages should do the trick (or more if you want an extra-fluffy collar).
• One-inch-wide double-fold bias tape. Bias tape (also known as bias binding) isn’t actually tape at all, but a fabric ribbon that comes folded in half with two additional folds on either side (these are the seam allowances). It’s typically used for finishing hems or adding a decorative trim to sewing projects. This time around we’ll be using it as a neckline for our collar!
• A sewing machine.
• Thread to match the bias tape.
• Sewing pins.
• A hook and an eye (unless you want your collar to tie in the front).
• Extra-sticky double-stick tape.
First, take your bias tape and drape it around your neck, keeping the ends even in front of you. Mark the points on both sides where the tape hits your collarbone with sewing pins or chalk.
Next, lay out your bias tape out wrong side up and lay a strip of double-stick tape from one of the collarbone marks to the other up on top. In between these two marks is where we’ll be sticking all of the feathers later.
Prepping the feathers:
Add a curve to each of the the feathers you plan to use for your collar. This step is necessary to make the feathers sit right on your neck/shoulders area and not splay out all awkwardly when you attach them to the bias-tape neckline.
Start off with a stick-straight feather.
Use your forefingers and thumbs to gently curve the middle stem of the feather. Once you’ve done this a couple times the feather will hold its shape.
And that’s really all there is to it! Repeat this X amount of times for each feather you want to use—however many repetitions it takes for them to stay curved.
Cut off at least one inch from the bottom of each feather (or more if you come across any extra-long feathers). This is so the end of the feather doesn’t get in the way or make the feather pop out of the neckline. It also makes a flatter, more even surface to work with.
Adding the feathers and sewing it all up:
After you’ve prepped your feathers, you can start attaching them to the bias-tape neckline. Place each feather, curved side down, on one side of the bias tape (FYI: a strip of bias tape has *two* sides and a fold down the middle), overlapping each one slightly over the previous one as you go. Try to keep the ends of the feathers right above the center fold of the bias tape—otherwise you’ll mess with the flow of the tape and it won’t fold in half properly in the next step!
Once you have all your feathers in place and secured on the double-stick tape, fold the other side of the bias tape over the top of the feather ends *lengthwise* (following the center line fold), sandwiching the feathers between the two sides of the bias tape. Pin the entire length of it shut, like so:
When pinning the bias tape and feathers together, be sure to place the pins very close together to ensure that no feathers will come loose or fall out!
After pinning the entire length of bias tape and feathers together, slowly run the tape through your sewing machine’s straight stitch. This line of stitching should run from one end of the bias tape to the other on the open side, the side the feathers are sticking out of. Be sure to keep an eye on the feathers; you might need to pop some back into the tape or reposition them as you sew.
Here is what it looks like all stitched up. I used white thread on the underside so you can see how it should look. After sewing up the neckline you’ll need to re-fluff the feathers and reposition any that might be bending off at a weird angle. But aside from all that, you’re finally finished!