I did them! They’re done! Sewing-wise, there’s probably a better and/or more efficient way of doing them than what I did, but I’m so not a seamstress. 😀
I started out with an idea of how I wanted them to look in my head and sort of worked from there. There was a lot of winging it. (See what I did there?) They weren’t very difficult to do. Getting the wire into the right shape and then making a pattern that made me happy were the trickiest bits, I think.
- fabric- I used a half a yard of each color. There’s enough left over from both colors that I could have made straps out of them, but I certainly wouldn’t want to get any less.
- wire coat hanger
- wire cutters
- hot glue gun
- paper for making the pattern on- I used construction paper
- stiff cardboard
First thing you want to do is make the armatures from the coat hanger. After I got the first one done, I briefly thought about just having the one armature and making the wing longer (which you could certainly do) but I liked the look of it with two better. Safety first with the wire cutters! No kids, no pets, wear goggles, all that good stuff.
I measured my daughter’s back, from shoulderblade to shoulderblade. I don’t have an exact number but it’s around 4″. I bent the hanger up on either side of her shoulderblades and then started shaping the top armature. I guesstimated the length I wanted and ended up cutting a little bit off of one end, and then used a tape measure to measure it and made the other side about that length. They’re around 10″.
I did the same for the bottom one, only I based it off of the armature I already had done and eyeballed the length. Just play with the wires until you get the general shape you want.
Then trace them onto your pattern paper. Draw the wing shape around the traced line, leaving enough room on top of the armature for a seam allowance.
The line about half an inch down from the top on each of them is the traced armature line. I made one side look the way I wanted to, cut it out, and traced around it for the other side so they would match.
Trace the wing shapes onto your fabric, you’ll want two of each shape, and cut them out.
Put the wrong sides of matching shapes together and then pin the ever-loving crap out of them.
Set your sewing machine to zig-zag and sew around the top edge of where the armature will go.
Feed your armature through the pinned fabric so that it’s at the top and sew a sleeve for it. I didn’t sew a sleeve for the entire length of the wire because by that point the shape of the wire no longer matched the top edge of my wing. I sewed at critical points so that it would stay in place and wouldn’t move around.
Then finish your zig-zag seam to sew the fabric together.
And repeat for the other wing shape.
Rev up your trusty glue gun. Decide which piece you want on top and how you want to match the colors (if you used different colors) and then glue the middle section of the wing shapes together.
Please note this is the back. Your wings will probably be pretty floppy at this point, so we need to reinforce the back. Break out your stiff cardboard and some sharp scissors. Cut a small rectangle to support each side.
Glue in place, repeat for other side. I covered mine first to match the wings, but you don’t have to. Then cut more rectangles, skinnier and longer, to brace the middle section. Glue one end to the middle section of the wing and the other to the cardboard support already glued on.
You may want to repeat it for the front of the wings, but I tested mine out and decided that they were fine just like this. I may change my mind later. 😉 After I did that, I wrapped the whole middle section of the wings with more matching fabric, just to make it look neater.
Edit from a couple of days later: I will be reinforcing the front. I want something less noticeable than a chunk of cardboard, so I’ll see what I can come up with.
Then, back to the sewing machine for straps. You might want to sew your straps at the same time you do all your other sewing. I probably would have if my son wasn’t in bed in the room with my sewing machine by the time I got all the sewing on the wings done.
Cut two lengths of fabric however long you want (I did selvage to selvage on a matching star-printed fabric because my daughter wanted stars)- make them each double the width+1/4″ of the finished width you want. Mine were about three inches wide.
Take one, fold it in half lengthwise, right side in, and sew a 1/4″ seam all the way along the length. You may wish to pin first, I didn’t. Leave one end open. Turn it right-side-out. Normally I would iron it properly and top-stitch just around the edges to finish it, but I had an impatient little girl who’s been waiting a couple of months for her wings, so I just wanted to get it done. So I just turned them inside out and called them good.
Take the straps back to your wings and glue onto the middle section of the wing. This picture is the front of the wings. I looped the straps around the back, glued them in place, and then crossed them over the front and glued there as well.
And then to finish, I made a few little flowers and glued them on the middle section of the wing to hide the straps and everything.
Here’s the happy fairy princess in her jammies!