Here is a tutorial on how to make these wonderful and easy bird wings for your child's next costume party -- they would also make a great addition, and add a little variety, to your child's dress-up wardrobe!
Keep in mind, these wings can be transformed into any winged creature of your choice by changing the fabric colors: owl, duck, swan, toucan, flamingo, parrot, raven, dragon, to name a few....I could even see this being easily translated into a skirt to make a mermaid!
Here's what you will need:
Fabric, scissors or rotary cutter, tape measure, fabric pen or chalk, elastic and a sewing machine with thread.
Measure your child's 'wingspan'
Have your child stand with arms outstretched...if you have a wiggle worm, you can always use one of his/her long sleeved tshirts for your measurements. Measure from the middle of the back, down one arm to the middle of the back of the hand. This will be the top of the wing. Next, measure from the nape of the neck (where the collar of a tshirt would normally lay) down to the tailbone. This will be the length of the wing. My daughter wears a girls' size 5/6 and her measurements were 18" X 14".
Cut out the wings
Take your wing material, fold it wrong-sides together. Mark a length coordinating with the top of the wing measurement and then, creating a right angle, mark the length coordinating with the length of the wing measurement. Once those lengths are marked, draw a curve from the 'tailbone' to the 'hand' to finish the shape of the wing. Here is what mine looked like.
Hem the wings.
Make a 1/4" hem all the way around the edges of your wing (it doesn't need to be neat). Repeat for the second wing.
Cut out the feathers.
Now, we all know I am not the best follower of instruction, I think this also means that I am not the best giver of instruction...so bear with me here....take your feather fabrics and fold them into an accordion shape from selvage to selvage (as if you were going to cut out paper dolls...).
Sew feathers to the wing
Once you have cut around your feather shape, unfold the fabric to reveal a strip of feathers! Beginning, at the bottom of the wing, sew this strip to the wing material, following the shape of the wing. Trim any excess feathers and save for another row. Continue this way, cutting and sewing until your wing is covered in feathers. You will want to overlap each row enough to cover the previous row's stitching. Do the same for the next wing -- keep in mind that the second wing will be the mirror image of the first!! Why do I mention this? Because I made the mistake of sewing the feathers to the wrong side of the second wing....
Trim off these excess.
If you don't have a rotary cutter and mat, just use sissors to trim the feathers even with the wing. If you do have a rotary cutter, flip your wing over (wrong side up), line up a ruler along the wing's edge and swipe away! DO NOT Trim the feathers along the bottom, curved edge of the wing!
Top stitch the wings
After you have trimmed off the excess, you will then need to top stitch along the edges to keep the feathers laying nice and neat. No need to top stitch along the bottom, curved edge.
Stand back and admire your work!!
Attach elastic loops
Hold you finished wing against your munchkin and mark the spot where his/her wrist hits the wing. Next, measure your child's wrist and add an inch. Cut a piece of elastic with this measurement. Fold to create a loop and sew together to secure. Next, sew the elastic loop to the marked spot on the wing. Repeat for the other side. (sorry, I don't have pictures for this....)
Attach wings to your munchkin and watch them fly!
I ended up sewing the wings to the sleeves of an old tshirt so that now all my daughter has to do is slip on the shirt when she wants to play. But, if you would rather take a less permanent approach, you can simply safety pin the wings along your child's sleeves.