Monday, 16 June 2014

Feathered Hairband

My friend asked me if I would make her a feather and bead hair-band to wear to an upcoming wedding. Err crafting with feathers and beads? Definitely count me in!
As it was going to be a case of trial and error I thought I would document how I got on and perhaps it would help if you wanted to make one.

My friend sent me this photograph to show me the sort of thing she was after but she she wanted it with black beads....
I decided to use white goose feathers and a plain, silver coloured, metal hair-band (rather than wrapping it with ribbon as in the picture and my friend was happy with that). Also I decided to do it all by sewing rather than gluing, I have been let down by glue in the past (glue, how could you?) and just felt sewing would be more secure.
Firstly I trimmed and stripped the feathers to the size I wanted as they were quite big. I wanted them to be about 8cm long so cut the shaft and stripped the barbs from the end (here's a link to a diagram of the parts of the feather courtesy of Ducks and Clucks I also tried to curve the feather slightly with varying degrees of success. I did this by running my fingernail along the shaft on the underside of each feather, sort of like the way you can curl plastic ribbon with scissors. This also made some "rotate" a bit but once sewn in place this wasn't to much of a problem (it's not really visible in the photograph).
I cut white fleece material into 2 triangular shapes with rounded corners. Originally I wanted to use white felt but the only felt I had was 4mm thick and that was far too thick. I think a thin felt would be ideal.

Also, I planned to use a plain metal hair-band but I then found one with a small flower design on the side and thought this would help hold the feather section in place due to not wanting to use glue. To be honest I think maybe a plain one would have been easier in the long run as the flowers got in the way for the later sewing. If you decide to make one I suggest using a plain band and glue the top triangle to the top of the band then sewing over it. Anyway I sewed the top triangle to the hair-band- narrower end facing down, with the bottom approximately 2cm above the ear.
It was then a case of sewing the feathers on. I started in the top right corner and worked leftwards. I stitched each feather about four times by stitching over the shaft, I then covered the stitches with the barbs of the next feather and worked along like this.
With the last feather in the row I only did three stitches missing the stitch near the top so that the first feather on the row below would cover the stitches, this row worked left to right. I carried on in this fashion until all the triangle was covered with feathers, mine took approximately 40 feathers. Don't worry too much about the bottom corner being very neat as this will be covered with beads.
I used 2 different types of beads and just sewed them on randomly closely together, roughly in a triangle.
(I must admit that I did sew the tips of an extra feather to each side of the beads to make it fuller but didn't photograph this sorry.)
All that was left was to sew the second triangle to the first underneath the hair-band, I whip stitched them together.
I think is something that looks better in person than in a photograph but my friend was happy with it and that makes me happy!
They're not the best photographs as well sorry.
Let me know what you think. Until next time, craft in earnest! Craftin' Ernest x

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