ruffle some-well, you know.

As long as Marilyn isn't in the picture, I don't care what she wears

Feathers have been a huge thing lately. I admit I kinda thought they’s go away, but they haven’t. Feather skirts! Feather hats! Feather dresses! CAW-CAW! Sorry. As much as I love this trend, (I was stealing my dad’s fly-tying stuff to make headbands LONG before this whole thing started), I don’t see myself rockin’ a feather-covered frock any time soon. (Especially since the one in the pic, worn by Evan Rachel Wood, is designed by Gucci and probably costs as much as small island.)

I designed a more subtle way to wear this trend, although the potential for eye-catching glam is still there (if you’re braver than me.) What can I say? I can’t escape earth tones lately. Anyway: if you have basic hand-sewing skills and enough gas to get to the craft store (and back), you can make an awesome feather necklace for a lot less than you’d think.

My version uses a strip of pleather backing for the base. I would suggest something sturdy like this, because it holds it’s shape a lot better than fabric does. Measure your neck, add a little wiggle room, and cut your strip of backing about 1/2 thick, or bigger if you’re using really large feathers. Mine are very wispy and fine-quilled, about 3 inches long.

Easier than it looks, I promise!

Sew the feathers onto the strip by stitching over the quill several times. Anchor by stitching once or twice across the quill where the barbs begin, this will ensure that they don’t shift. Repeat until your strip is filled. (This takes a while, not gonna lie. I live in Oregon. I spend a lot of time inside. I have to do something to keep from going insane.) Be patient, young grasshopper. It will be worth it in the end. I also suggest using a thick thread, such as the ones used for upholstery. You can find feathers on Etsy, at craft stores, or if you wanna be a smartass, go to the the fishing store and say ya need ’em for lures.

A helpful lesson in anatomy

After I finished this step, I sewed vintage buttons on top of the quills to hide my stitches. You could use sequins, beads, or, if you don’t feel like sewing more, glue a strip of cool ribbon on top. When you’ve completed the body of the necklace, it’s time to sew on your clasp. A bigger clasp is better for this, and use a clasp that snaps or screws shut, not a toggle-style one. Buttons a loop of ribbon can look great to. Make sure you add the width of the clasp to the necklace so it still fits correctly.

Elementary, my dear Watson!

Look what you just made! Your friends are gonna be MAD jealous of your rad neckwear, and honey, THEY SHOULD BE.


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