Thursday, May 31, 2018

Feather Jackets

Bright Feather Jackets Take Flight

I belong to Cityhill Church in Hillcrest, and every year we host a large Women’s Conference called Flourish.  The theme this year is Aliferous  (Having Wings)  I was asked to create feather jackets to be used for the conference.
As with most creative projects in a totally new direction, it had its moments of delight and it’s moments of wondering what I had got myself into.   I feared the set of jackets may look less couture and more bedraggled chicken! My technique and completion time improved with each jacket – and in the end I was rather pleased with the result.
As part of the build up to the conference, We had a fun early morning photo and film shoot featuring the feather jackets for promotional material.  It was a privilege for the models (Melissa and I) to work with Justin Thomson from Fuel Design, Dan Chappe and Kevin Bender.  Huge thank you to Kevin for allowing me to share some of his magnificent shots from the shoot.
Here are some Hints of how I made the Feather Jackets:
  • I made up some simple jackets in light fabric as the base for attaching the feathers.    I cannot resist a recycling opportunity, so I used fabrics from stash of vintage saris.   The pattern for the jackets was based on a cropped jacket pattern download from Burda. (I made the neckline into a v-shape and extended the length of the jacket.)
  • I sourced packets of coloured feathers from party and stationery shops.
  • For the first jacket, I stitched the feathers onto strips and then stitched these onto the jacket.  But by the 2nd and 3rd feather jackets, I simply glued the feathers directly onto the fabric.
  • I applied a thin line of wood glue (PVA) on the base of the shaft of each feather, which was then attached to the fabric of the jacket. I started from the hem and worked upwards.  It is wise to insert plastic sheeting under the surface you are gluing.  I padded the arms of the jacket with a rolled towel covered in plastic in order to glue the feathers on.
  • Once the jacket was covered in feathers, I hung it up on a coat hanger, and filled in any gaps I could see with more feathers.
  • At the top of the jacket, I finished off the shoulder and neck edges with smaller feathers, and with larger feathers at 90 degrees to cover all the shaft ends of the feathers.
Read all about Flourish Aliferous on the Cityhill Website.  Tickets available online.  I’ll see you there!

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