DIY No Sew Feather Dress

We have long lusted after feathered skirts and dresses, and after seeing Jenni’s skirt at the I Spy DIY book party the infatuation only got worse.
Since our J. Crew sequin skirt was this season’s big splurge, Gwyneth and I knew if we were going to add this to our closet, we’d have to DIY. So we did, and now we have our very own feathered dress! We’ve got our no sew steps below, so you can have one of your own!
We’ll point out that this was not one of our easiest DIYs. If you are a skilled sewer, you won’t have any trouble. But if you don’t know how to sew, or you don’t have a machine, you’ll be fine if you are patient and take your time. (This is usually the hardest part for us!)
We started out by shopping our closet for this dress we’d been hanging onto forever, but didn’t really love. If we weren’t hoarders, this probably would have been donated to Goodwill years ago. Another benefit of being a packrat.
The dress was the perfect candidate for this DIY since we were not attached to it, and it had horizontal lines that served as very useful guides.
Then we headed to Mood Fabrics for the rest of our supplies. You’ll need:
  1. Feather trim (get enough yardage to do two layers for each row)
  2. Wide trim for your belt
  3. Fabric glue
Note: Thread is pictured here, but you will not need it. We purchased it just in case we needed to do some dreaded hand sewing.
DIY No Sew Feather Dress Supplies
Now you’re ready to get started! Start from the bottom and glue one layer of feather trim, so the hem of your skirt or dress is covered.
Then add your second layer of feather trim.
Here’s what your dress will look like after one double layer.
Yes, we are hanging this from the light fixture in our kitchen! You will definitely want to have somewhere to work on your garment while it’s hanging at a few stages of this project. Since our closets are all packed to the max, we “made it work” with a light fixture.
Continue adding double layers of your feather trim from the bottom up. If you’re going the no-sew route like we did, you’ll notice that the glue gets messy. Don’t worry about it, because you’ll be covering it up with more feathers!
If your dress is fitted and stretchy like ours was, you’ll need to note the part of the dress that needs to give when you wear it. When you get to that part with the fringe, you don’t want to glue the fringe straight across. Instead, dot a few places with your fabric glue, and add the trim with a little extra space between each dot.
Once you’ve done one of these “stretchy layers” try it on to make sure it fits. Make sure you zip it all the way up when you’re trying it on, and be sure to make sure you can sit in it too!
Then use a tiny drop of glue wherever there is a gap between the fringe and the dress and pinch the fringe to close the gap, making a small pleat.
Keep repeating the layers until you’ve reached the waist of your dress (or top of your garment if you’re working on a skirt).
And this is where we ran out of trim and had to run out to get another yard! Once you’ve got all your layers done, add a thin line of fabric glue along the top of your top layer of fringe, and place your trim on top, face down.
Then flip it over, so it’s facing up.
You’re almost there! Tuck the top of your fringe underneath and secure with fabric glue.
That’s it! To my delight and to Gwyneth’s disappointment, our dress hasn’t molted – even on a windy rooftop!
xoxo,
mk & Gwynnie

Comments

  1. STFU!! this is hands down your best post to date!! you look insanely amazing and I would give my left leg for that dress. I have a pink feather skirt that I though I loved but now realized is a piece of S compared to this! Im copying!!!

    • You are so sweet! And there’s no need to lose your left leg – it’s here in NYC for you to borrow, and Gwyneth and I have decided we’re using it as an incentive for you to come see us!

      xoxo,
      mk & Gwynnie

  2. That is so adorable! What a great tutorial and what a fabulous feathered skirt …

    :)

    Linda

  3. OMGosh!!! I am in LOVE with this design… look how fairy like it is. Truly beautiful… you have done a really good job. Sexy n pretty.. my kinda style girl. I would love to make this for my friends little girl too.. can you imagine the cuteness?
    Please come back and link up to my craft blog — the Linky Tools are working again now.
    Jennie. x

  4. Totally adorable! Great job, my dear!!!

  5. cute! that turned out great.

  6. Oh my gosh this is seriously the coolest dress EVER! And you had me at No Sew. Love it. Great job Meredith!!

  7. Beautiful dress!

  8. Such creative girls! Love it.

  9. Oh my!!! It is so fabulous, love your photo, too! You two are crazy good at diys!

    • Thank you, Pam! I’m extra motivated by any “look for less” DIY, and Gwyneth’s very motivated for any DIY that looks like she will have a chance at eating it!

      Hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend!

      xoxo,
      mk & Gwynnie

  10. That’s pretty cool! Great tutorial.

  11. So very CuTe!!!! My daughter is a Meredith and she would love a skirt/dress like that! You’ve inspired me!!! Excited to find you girlies!

  12. Oh my gosh, I LOVE this! I need to give this one a try! Thanks for sharing! Stopping by from Funky Junk Interiors link party!

  13. LOVE this! Love even more that it’s no sew. Thank you for sharing on A Pinteresting Party. I am totally pinning this and hopefully making this soon.

  14. LOVE this! Love even more that it’s no sew. Thank you for sharing on A Pinteresting Party. I am totally pinning this and hopefully making this soon.

  15. GORGEOUS!!! seriously stunning! Great job!

  16. Love this idea! I am wondering approx how many yards of fringe did it take?

  17. Hey this is such a brilliant idea. I love DIY and you have inspired me to make one just like.
    Happy Blogging,
    Amena.
    Fashionopolis By Amena
    Connect On Facebook

  18. Fantastic idea & outcome! Really deserves to be part of Links a la Mode.

    Best, Jenny

    http://www.dresscodehighfashion.com/

  19. Congratulations on your links a la mode! Well worth it!

  20. Wow! Love this, such a good idea. Congrats on making Links a la Mode!

    Daniel x
    http://votregarcon.blogspot.co.uk/

  21. Wow that skirt is so cute! and so impressive that you can make that! Great blog and congrats on links a la mode!

    xoxo Mollie

    http://www.pinkpineapple8.blogspot.com

  22. Gorgeous dress! (You look stunning in it.)

  23. Found you on Miss Charming’s blog (above me) and since she had you featured I had to pop over here and see how you did that.

    Girl, you really are a rock star!! That dress is major fabulous!! It looks terrific on you as well. I am becoming a follower – I don’t sew either ..not even a button (unless it is something that I dearly love ) Oh, I am a hoarder of clothing as well..lol..I am always afraid I wont have something to wear!

    Take care

    • Thank you so much for stopping by, Roxanne! We just love Miss Charming’s blog and are so honored to have been featured! And we love hearing that we’re not the only ones hoarding clothing! Hope you are having a wonderful long weekend!

      xoxo,
      mk & G

  24. This is such a great idea! I’d love to give it a try! I especially like the embellishment you put around the waist, trés chic!

  25. Anonymous says:

    Where did you buy the feather trim? I looked at joanne fabrics and michaels.. Butttttt I can’t find any! :( helppp!

  26. This is great and I’ve been meaning to do a similar project, just wondering how much yardage you ended up using. If I’m planning on doing five layers (and doubling the trim to make it thick on each layer) how many yards would you suggest?

    Ostrich trim is a little more expensive than I thought so I don’t want to order a ton and then use it.

    Thanks!

    • Meredith & Gwyneth says:

      Hi Heidi!

      We ended up using 10 yards total. We doubled up too!
      I’d suggest bringing your dress to the store where you buy your fabric. That’s what we did. This way you can see how much spacing you need between each layer and buy just the right amount. This stuff is expensive! Good luck, and please let us know if you have any more questions as you work on this! We hope you’ll send us a photo of your finished dress, so we can share on the “Reader DIY” album on our Facebook Fan Page!

      xoxo,
      mk & Gwynnie

  27. Wow, that is amazing! I was coveting a similar Kate Spade feather skirt! You look great!

    Nora
    http://www.penchantforpretty.com

    • Meredith & Gwyneth says:

      Hi Nora! We know exactly which skirt you are talking about – we love it!
      Thank you so much!

      xoxo,
      mk & G

  28. giiiiiirrrrrrlllllllllll!!!!!!! YESSSSS!!!!!!! Love this, you are giving me life!! I want this look ASAP!!

  29. Where did you find your feather trim? I can’t find it anywhere!!

    • Meredith & Gwyneth says:

      Hi Meegan! We got it at Mood in NYC, but you can order from their website if you aren’t in the city!
      Please let us know if you make one for yourself!

      xoxo,
      mk & Gwynnie

  30. HOLY COW!!! I just stumbled across this blog on one of my many late night blog crawls and I’m totally in love. This dress is superdopeawesome (high praise for those that don’t speak Cheryl). I know it’s totally weird that I wanna come to your house for cocktails (shrimp & alcohol, teehee) and gab about what dumpsters you dive in, but I do. You’re stuff is great.

    • Meredith & Gwyneth says:

      Wow, hi Cheryl! Thank you so much for making our day! So glad you found us! Gwyneth and I hope you’ll stay! And we definitely speak Cheryl because we totally knew what you meant by superdopeawesome! And you can come over and talk Dumpster Diving with us anytime!

      xoxo,
      mk & Gwynnie

  31. I was just searching for a project that I wanted to start using feathers and viole’…your website appeared! Not only with the feathers, but showing how to apply them to a ready-made garment. I’m happy, happy, happy now because I don’t have to go through a lot of channels to get help. You both are truly a blessing. Thank you so much.

    • Meredith & Gwyneth says:

      Hi Mary! So glad you found us and thrilled that the tutorial here can help you out with your next project! Psyched you’re reading and hope you will please email us a photo of your finished DIY when you’re done! We’d love to share it on our Facebook page!

      xoxo,
      mk & Gwynnie

  32. Hello,

    We’re happy to have featured this DIY on our website, fashionodds.com. Come check out and share it with your friends and family!

    http://www.fashionodds.com/fall-feather-party-dress-no-sewing/

    Fashion Odds is an online fashion and entertainment magazine and brings intriguingly inspiring fashion and entertainment the young and bold ones.

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  1. [...] Meredith & Gwyneth, the new yorkie: DIY No Sew Feather Dress [...]

  2. […] this.  NEED this.   I own the dress that this DIY starts with,  however mine is pink.   Let’s break out some […]

  3. […] Meredith & Gwyneth, the new yorkie: DIY No Sew Feather Dress […]

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