Fabric Feather Tutorial

on March 19 | in Products, Sewing Tutorials + Patterns | by | with 60 Comments

This giveaway is now closed. Thanks!

Kelly Lee-Creel and Rebecca Söder show you how to add handmade elements to make your celebrations extra-special in Handmade Hostess: 12 Imaginative Party Ideas for Unforgettable Entertaining.

The book includes 36 sewing and craft projects plus lots of desserts (and tons of inspiration!). The parties are organized by season (Summer Fourth of July Picnic, Spring Japanese Garden Party, etc.) and the book includes helpful advice about how to prepare for your next hosting opportunity, minus the stress!

Kelly Lee-Creel joins us today with a project inspired by one of the designs in Handmade Hostess. Kelly shows you how to use an interfacing technique– used in the book to make fabric flowers– to make fun fabric feathers! Kelly is a fabric and craft designer living in Seattle and the co-author of Handmade Hostess. Her debut line of fabrics, Storybook Lane, is available through Andover Fabrics. (We have just a little left in the shop on sale!) You can learn more about Kelly’s crafting and designing adventures on her www.everkelly.com blog.

You can also win a copy of Handmade Hostess today with your comment below! (This prize is OPEN to all domestic and international winners.) Tell us about the latest party you planned. Or tell us what’s next on your hosting schedule… Spring baby showers? Birthday fun? Passover Seder? Easter Brunch? What special elements do you add to a celebration when you host?

Fabric Feather Tutorial by Kelly Lee-Creel

In my new book, Handmade Hostess, I wanted to sew some fun, whimsical decorations for holidays and special occasions– things like Santa’s sleigh, a laundry line of leprechaun clothes, and large-scale fabric flowers.

However, seam allowances can be tricky when you are sewing something with an unusual shape. One of the techniques I use in the book is sewing without seam allowances. I cut my shape from fusible interfacing and rather than fuss over cutting out and lining up complicated pieces, I use the interfacing as a template when I sew.

Today I made up a new shape– a fabric feather– so we can practice together. You could use these feathers as a keychain or a present topper or even hang them from a mobile!

What you need:

  • Scrap piece of medium or heavy-weight interfacing (I like Pellon Décor Bond for this project)
  • Fabric: 2 pieces measuring 3” x 6” and 1 strip measuring (1 ¾” x 3”)
  • Feather template
  • Chopstick or fabric turner (optional)
  • Hand sewing needle and thread

1. Trace the Feather template (small or large) onto the interfacing and cut it out. Fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric using the manufacturer’s instructions.

2. Place the fabric with the interfacing on it right side down on top of a second piece of fabric, and pin around the outside edge of the feather.

3. Stitch around the feather shape leaving the bottom open as indicated. Do not worry about being precise at the indents. Feathers are organic shapes. No two are alike!

Tip: Decreasing your sewing machine’s stitch length to 1.0mm or 1.5mm when you reach the point at the top will make it easier to turn your work.

4. Cut the excess fabric away 1/4” to 1/8” from the edge. Cut across the corner at the top and remove excess fabric from the indents, but do not worry about clipping curves.

5. Fold the 1 ¾” x 3” strip of fabric in half lengthwise and press. Open up the fabric and fold the long edges in towards the center, and press again. Fold the fabric in half and top-stitch to create the feather’s stem.

6. Turn the feather inside out using a chopstick or other fabric turning tool to smooth open the seams. Press well.

7. Embellish with stitching to decorate as shown on the template.

8. Tuck in loose ends at the bottom of the feather. Fold the feather’s stem in half and insert the raw edges into the opening. Top-stitch across.

9. Pinch end of feather in half, and using a hand-sewing needle and matching thread, whipstitch the ends together.

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60 Responses to Fabric Feather Tutorial

  1. Danijela says:

    This looks interesting and so needed.My daughter turning 7 in May so that is next for me.

  2. Aileen Prather says:

    It is a ways off, but we are having a family reunion at our home for Thanksgiving this year. My husband’s mother’s side of the family. These feathers may find their way into the decorations!

  3. Courtney says:

    My daughter’s 1st birthday is coming up & I can’t wait to whip up some fun & tasty desserts, (my specialty is baking!)

  4. Sophia says:

    Last party I planned was a birthday party for my niece. It was a Sesame Street theme! We had so much fun making Cookie Monster cookies! I always try to have fabulous decor too!

  5. Lisa says:

    I love these feathers! Your book would be so helpful and I’m sure lots of fun! My next party is just a short week away. A large gathering in celebration of Easter.

  6. Prachi says:

    We are hosting a house-warming for our new condo very soon and we are currently working on the invitations (handmade)!

  7. Taysha Riggs says:

    I planned a friend’s baby shower for her and her twins!! 2 of everything!!! But lots of fun

  8. Nina says:

    nice tutorial, thank you! last party what we did was my son birthday! it was much fun)

  9. katrina h says:

    love! love! love! i just threw a 40th birthday party for my husband. i like to make sure everyone is included by creating a special cocktail & mocktail for the occasion. also handmade decorations are always nice!

  10. Kim T. says:

    my daughters like to hold tea parties for the neighbor ladies.

  11. Debbie Smith says:

    Cute and easy feather idea. I could see using it as an idea to make leaves too. I would love to win a copy of the book. Thanks for sharing the feather pattern.

  12. I’m in the process of planning a mock sleepover birthday party for my 6 year old daughter and two of her friends. I’m making flannel pillow cases as “goodies” for the kids. The moms will also be here for the party and while the kids have cocoa, watch movies and eat popcorn, we’ll nosh on grown up goodies and sip wine!

  13. Marjorie Paul says:

    I have a niece who is very good at this sort of hand made party items. She would love this book. I usually buy books thru Amazon. Will have to see about this for her. And she can be the one to make stuff for our next party! Very nice book.

  14. Kay Mc says:

    I am planning a 60th birthday party for my husband this coming Sunday. I asked people to where 1960’s clothes & am decorating with old records & peace posters.

  15. Patricia Crowley says:

    The last party I planned was a baby shower for my sister! Her colors were pink and gray! Fun!

  16. Thanks for the chance to win! I’m planning to host a “Rose Garden Party” and always love to incorporate vintage or vintage inspired dishes, linens and decor. I especially love to add fresh flowers, tea cups of actual growing grass (planted in soil in the cups). I’m a quilter and crafter and would love to get my hands on a copy of this wonderful book! Thanks again!

  17. I love, love, love the Handmade Hostess book! Thank you for the chance to win!

  18. Lindsay H says:

    I’m planning a family get-together after my son’s baptism!

  19. Andy says:

    The next party I’m gonna throw up is baby shower.. Whose? Mine 🙂 This time around, I am planning for fabric ear rings for the women and fabric cuff links for the men.. Still need to buy the stuff and get started..

  20. Winnie says:

    My next party will be my solemnisation party. There will be lots of DIY stuff, the most important one right now is my dress, i’ll be sewing it myself. my fiance and i are quite hands on, so we are going to get flowers and fabric for the table runners and for hanging decoration on the ceiling. We have initials made into quite big letters that will be standing near the reception. Pinterest is a big source of inspiration for us, from the invitations to the photobooth. On that day we will take polaroids of everyone for keepsake.

  21. Glenys says:

    I like the leaves. They are so pretty!

  22. bonnie says:

    last party was a Bat Mitzvah for my grand daughter, her theme was Allison in Wonderland… Teacups with flowers were the centerpieces, colorful fabric mushrooms held a surprize Beanie baby inside… the cards were there painting the rose trees, couldn’t find the mad hatter but he left his hat.. and the White rabbits tree trunk with door held cards… next theme will be soda shop..

  23. Kelly Wilbur says:

    Next up, Easter! Trying to think of some fun ideas to share at our annual family dinner.

  24. Beth says:

    The last party I planned was my son’s first birthday and it was a hit! I would love this book!

  25. melissa says:

    We need to get some remodeling done before we can have anyone over. 🙁

  26. Samantha says:

    The next thing I’ll be planning is an Easter dinner party. Looks like a beautiful book!

  27. angela says:

    great book idea!!a

  28. Jackie says:

    I am planning for my next entertaining party, which will be at Easter. I will be having my children, along with their spouses and of course the grandchildren! Yeah! I would love to win this book to give me new ideas for Easter and surprise everybody.
    Please add my name to your list.

  29. Chris says:

    The feathers are fabulous!

  30. What a great book!
    Thank you for the give-away!

    The last party I planned was a kid’s pirate-themed birthday party.
    It was a lot of work, but so worth it!

  31. Sewing Mom says:

    Too funny, I wish I had this tutorial sooner…I’m planning a Robin Hood party for this weekend! The feathers would look great in my felt hats. Thanks for a chance to win that book.

  32. Crystal says:

    My husband and I have just moved into house after 3 years of living in an apartment. I am trying to plan a large outdoor bash as a house warming and as a symbol of our return to hosting parties. This book looks like it has some truly wonderful ideas.

  33. Anna says:

    Last party was 2nd birthday of my oldest daughter! I made a crown off felt and a banner with name and age! We ate a beautifull cake and did have a nice day!

  34. Julie says:

    My last party was a disaster. I was in bed sick the entire week before.

  35. ClaireE says:

    Oooh, this looks good. I’m having friends over at the weekend, for no other reason than it is the weekend!

  36. Jen says:

    Next on my list is a third birthday. I think I will do my little pony theme 🙂

  37. Caroline B says:

    This looks like a great book.

  38. crystal moyer says:

    cute feathers!!! would make some cute indian headdresses for the kids

  39. Teresa says:

    I’m intrigued by this “no seam allowance” sewing method. It opens up a whole load of new shape opportunities. Thank you for sharing it!

  40. L. Park says:

    I am always looking for fun, original, and unique ways to use scraps of fabric and to embellish and accessorize items that I sew. This looks like a perfect project for that! I love the example of using the fabric feathers as a pendant! So cute!

  41. Fawn says:

    next on the hosting agenda will be Easter dinner. We last hosted an Easter meal back in 2010 before we had our son so this should be interesting!

  42. rikki says:

    coming up – baby’s 2nd birthday! what are we doing? fish all around! the little one is obsessed, so we’ve got a small fish-themed party coming together.

  43. Kay says:

    The last event I planned was a small party for my husband’s 50th birthday. There will be a large Easter family lunch coming up soon too that I really should think about. Thank you for the giveaway and tutorial.

  44. Megan says:

    I’ve got two boys birthdays coming up. We haven’t picked themes yet.

  45. Anta says:

    This looks like such a fun and useful book. I would love to add a copy to my crafting library.

  46. Katy says:

    Next on my party planning list is planning two baby showers!

  47. Jocelyn says:

    Wow! This is so creative! We recently hosted a dinner for some friends. You know how people always say 1/3 of the guests will not come? Well, ALL of our invited guests came and we had a house full 🙂 What a fun time!

  48. Lorrie says:

    I love feathers! This looks like a fun project – and a fun book.

  49. Alyssa H says:

    I am working on hosting a community party in my neighborhood. Games, activities to share with others in the guest’s area, planning a garden with the kids. This would be so helpful!

  50. Savannagal says:

    What a cute idea. I’d like to make a bunch of leaves like this to put in a basket with fruit on my table.

  51. Monica says:

    Between May and October I am hosting a college graduation party for my sister in law, a 60th birthday party for my mother in law, a 40th Anniversary party for my parents, and a 1st birthday party for my daughter. Looking for lots of fun and creative ideas I can use to prepare for all these events!

  52. Stacy Alfano says:

    I’m planning my daughters sixth birthday party!

  53. Morgan says:

    We hosted a cook-off here a few weeks ago – I mostly used blue fabric scraps and Mason jars for my decorating. Lots of small children so it had to be pretty simple!

  54. cliodana says:

    wow beautiful book! My next big event will be my triplets boys 4th birthday, pirate theme! will be fun to plan! thank’s for the chance to win

  55. Brie says:

    Just had a going away party for a friend! Lots of fun!

  56. Christy Dixon says:

    My next party to-do is my granddon’s birthday. An “army party.” I have so many camoflauge ideas running around in my head, I’m dreaming in green and brown! I’m looking forward to my granddaughter’s birthday tea party in 2 months! This book would be SO helpful! And these feathers are awesome! I’m picturing pink feather centerpieces!

  57. Southern Gal says:

    Easter lunch is next on the list. I always use the Battenburg Lace tablecloth and napkins my parents brought to me from Australia years ago. It’s the perfect background for any table.

    Love the feathers! Thanks for the chance.

  58. Jane says:


  59. Joy says:

    The next party will be my sons sixth birthday.

  60. Mel Nowlan says:

    I have my daughter’s 18th this year & it must have velvet cake. Perhaps “high tea” style with swirly dresses, canapes and champagne – on a warm Sunday afternoon 🙂

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