Saturday, October 15, 2011

Homemade Silky Fairy Wings -- Christmas Gift Idea

I've been having a bout of craft ADD lately. There have been so many projects that have popped up with higher priority while I've been in the middle of other projects, so I've had to stop one thing, change gears and complete another thing before going back to the first project. But I have been sewing up a storm lately and that feels good, plus I think they're all great projects so I'm extra excited about posting them all! (P.S. No offense intended to those who are affected by ADD for real.)

One of those urgent projects (well, two of them actually) were birthday presents for my son's friends who had a birthday today. They are twins, a boy and a girl. For a while I was feeling a little bad because our budget is tight and I wasn't sure what I was going to do for gifts. Then it dawned on me -- for the boy I would make a cape just like my son's Superman cape, and I would make wings for the girl. It was budget friendly and fairly simple to make... although for the wings I would have to make things up as I went along. Thankfully I figured it all out and now I can pass it on to you!

By the way, both these projects would work great for halloween costumes, dress ups or Christmas gifts.  I think I'm going to make some for my young relatives.  

For the cape I made one in the same way I made my son's Superman cape, except instead of Velcro tabs on the corners, I sewed on strips of fabric (mine were 27" x 3", with a 1/2" seam allowance on all sides) to make ties, and sewed them on like this:

This is the underside of the cape
Here's how it turned out (Seymour modeling):





The wings are a knock-off of a very awesome company -- I really hope they don't mind me saying this! -- Sarah's Silks. They make incredibly beautiful playsilks and silk dress-ups. They make real silk wings that are hand-dyed in gorgeous colors and patterns. If you have the money (they're $30) I would recommend buying them because they are well made by a great company. But I couldn't afford that much, or the shipping time, so I needed to make my own. Plus I thought the ribbon that had to be criss-crossed around and tied was a bit too much work from my experience with how often kids like to put things on and take them off again. I decided to use simple elastic as the way to keep them on the shoulders and wrists.

I started with about a yard of polyester chiffon. Since it was 60" wide I decided to cut it in half, as well as cut off the selvedges, so I ended up with a piece about 30" x 36". To "cut" the fabric and make sure there are right angles at the corners and it's not skewed in a funny way make a little cut at the right length, then rip it all the way down. There will be threads coming off, but just pull them off and you'll end up with a fairly clean, straight edge.



Chiffon tends to be fairly difficult to work with, whether polyester or silk, so when hemming all four edges to make clean finished seams I had to fold it over once, pin it, then fold it over again to make sure it wouldn't slip out.


Next I folded the shorter sides together so the longer side was divided in half, and marked -- with a water-soluble marker -- a line 5/8" away, parallel to the fold line. I went slow so it would soak through to the other side and I ended up with two lines 1 1/4" apart at the center of the rectangle of fabric.


Then I sewed a gathering stitch along both lines and set it aside. I cut a 25" long piece of 1 1/2" wide ribbon and sewed the ends with right sides together using a 1/2" seam allowance, then trimmed the corners of the seam allowance to make sure they don't stick out.



Also iron it so it is folded completely in half with the connecting seam at one end and a fold at the other. I slid the chiffon into the ribbon loop, evenly gathered the lines and sewed them into place on half of the ribbon. I left one half of the ribbon loose so I could stitch on the ribbon side and make it look nicer.


Next I cut a 32" piece of 1/4" elastic, overlapped the edges 1" and sewed it together (you can do this by hand or machine). I folded it into a loop and laid it on the back of the ribbon where I had sewed the chiffon, making sure the seam was within the edges of the ribbon. I stitched back and forth several times over the elastic.


I cut a 2" long piece of ribbon and pressed the raw edges under 1/2".


And sewed it into place over the top of the elastic, making sure not to sew into the loose side of the ribbon.


Then I sewed the loose side of the ribbon down.


For the wrists I cut a 3 1/2" piece of ribbon (one for each side), sewed a 1/2" seam, turned and pressed them.


I cut an 8 1/2" piece of 1/4" elastic, looped it through the ribbon, overlapped the edges 1" and sewed it together.


I moved the elastic so the seam was in between the ribbons and sewed them to the top corners of the wings.


After that Daisy had a great time modeling them for me.







I'll be linking up to these fabulous link parties:

 Monday -  Craft o Maniac Monday -- Craftastic Monday -- Amaze Me Monday -- Polly Want 2 Party  --  Tuesday -  Get Your Craft On -- Sew Cute Tuesday -- Upcycled Awesome -- Tip Me Tuesday -- Tuesday Talent Show --  Wednesday -  Seven Thrity Three -- Wallet-Friendly Wednesday -- Create and Share -- Whatever Goes Wednesday --  Linkin’ with Lil’ Luna -- Thursday -  Strut your Stuff Thursday -- Transformation Thursday -- Thrilling Thursday -- House of Hepworths -- Friday -  Remodelaholic Friday -- Flaunt it Friday -- Frugal Friday -- Weekend Wander -- Show and Share Day -- It's Fun to Craft! -- Tickled Pink Fridays -- Weekend Wrap-up Party -- Catch as Catch Can -- Friday Flair -- Feature Yourself Friday -- Simply Link {Party} -- Pity Party -- Design Dazzle --  Saturday - Saturday Spotlight --  Sunday -  The DIY Showoff Project  Parade --  Sunday Showcase Party -- Creative Bloggers Party -- I Heart Naptime -- Think Pink Sundays


  1. Wow... if only I had a creative bone in my body! If I don't have directions, I don't make it. Love the wings!

    Thanks for visiting me at A Season for All Things. I'm your newest follower and look forward to many more great project ideas. ~ Ellen

  2. Thanks for the lovely compliment and sharing of our web site! Your cape and wings are beautiful!
    Sarah, Sarah's Silks

  3. these are so cute! I am sure the birthday celebrants loved them! we are sharing it on the blog today. thanks for sharing, Catherine! have a lovely weekend!


  4. Wow. These are amazing wings. My just-turned-two-year-old would love them for sure! Kudos!!!

  5. I love the fairy wings- they look great. And I love your sons Superman costume (I need to get started on my own son's costume!) I'd love it if you'd stop by my blog and and check out the giveaway I'm having for a Dremel Multi Max!

  6. The votation for he final round starts today!

    ^^) TSWL Ladies

  7. Ok. I don't know if this is too soon.....

    But I love you. Ack! Those wings are so so so awesome. I'm planning on putting together a trunk of dress-up trunk for my girls for Christmas and now....well, they HAVE to have some of these. are The Best.

    Thanks for posting the tutorial! :)

  8. Wonderful, you saved my Christmas bacon, Everyone is getting capes this year. And spending less than $6 a kid, low cost plus high fun! Win! Win!


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