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:
Feather trim (get enough yardage to do two layers for each row)
Wide trim for your belt
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.
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!