April 08, 2012

My DIY peacock feather dress

My most recent completed big project:

Plain dress embellished with felt peacock feathers with yarn plumes.

This was the old dress I started with. The beading fell off the first time I wore it, and I just shoved it in a basket after that with the intention of re-beading it. That was a year and a half ago.

Recently, I was anxious to embellish another item in my closet, but I also like to keep some basics around so it was hard to pick what to use. Then I remembered the dress! I had to rip out the original beading, which took some time, but then it was perfect!

I made nine peacock feathers with this method.

I used a bunch of different colors of felt and mixed up the color combos. I think they all turned out very pretty. Also, I used beads that were originally on the dress to add detail to the feathers.

I sewed the feathers on with embroidery thread and made feather plumes with several colors of yarn using a backstitch.

The fabric had a lot of give, so it stretched pretty well to accommodate the yarn and large needle I was using. I also pulled the fabric taut every five stitches or so to make sure it wasn't bunching up and the stitches would have give when I move around. I wasn't sure how well the fabric would hold up, so I used a fray preventative around the holes on all the stitches. That part took a while, but I hope it helps the dress last longer.

*If you are going to try this, I would not recommend using yarn, but rather trying embroidery thread or something thinner. I expect that some of the parts I stitched through will eventually become holes that I will need to repair. Another thing you could try would be a fabric paint!

This project took quite a bit of time, but I love the dress and I'm so excited to wear it this spring and summer!