This past weekend was my cousin’s wedding, and my niece was one of the flower girls. Her first debut as a flower girl… can you imagine the excitement she felt? Better yet, can you imagine the excitement I felt when my sister asked me to help her with the dress? Hey, I think I was more excited than the flower girl! The theme for the flower girl dresses was feathers. Feathers! I’ve never had to work with feathers, but there’s a first for everything. Just as I did for Suraya’s flower girl dress, I started out with an already made dress for my niece. I had my sister purchase a plain flower girl dress. She found a simple but yet elegant plum (one of the colors of the wedding) colored dress at David’s Bridal and mailed it to me. Now the rest was up to me… eek!
Whimsical was the direction I was taking. There are all sorts of flower girl dresses made out of feathers, but it was the feather apron dresses that caught my attention. They are so stickin’ cute and screamed whimsy… so here was my chance to make one!
I started out with good old google for how to’s, inspiration, what feathers to use, and where to buy. I didn’t have much luck in the how to make a feather apron department which was quite surprising. However, I found tons of inspiration with my favorites being…
Found via It’s a Girl Thing
Found via Reverie Events
Found via Sharp Scissors
I also learned a lot about different types of feathers through just simple research, samples that were sent to me, and just asking the feather vendors questions. The feather vendors were a great help!
My original plan was to go in the same direction as the third dress above, however I was unable to find ostrich feather in plum anywhere so in the end I went the turkey chandelle boa route… which is a great look anyway!
Interested in knowing how I made the apron? Well, I’m happy to share! Just be warned… it’ll be raining feathers in your home! ;)
These are the supplies I used for the apron: 1 yard fabric lining for the apron, 3/4 yards fabric for the sash, about 4-5 medium weight boas (60g), 1/4 inch elastic, and snap on buttons. For the flower embellishment: flower, feather pads, pin backs, and hot glue gun.
I made the apron detachable from the sash so to give my sister the option to use the dress again with/without the apron and with/without the sash. Of course, the apron can be sewn directly to the sash if preferred… as well as directly to the dress.
Now let’s begin!
First I cut out the lining for which the boas will be sewed onto. I cut the lining down to 23″ long x 35″ wide. Of course this measurement will vary depending on the child and dress. I took the faster route of serging the four sides of the fabric, but of course you can always sew a hem on each side and bottom end of the apron.
Then I created a casing for the elastic on the waist end of the fabric. I used 1/4 inch elastic, so my casing was 3/4 inches wide with an 1/8 inch top stitch on the top and bottom ends of the casing. With a safety pin, I inserted the elastic through the casing. At this point I kept the long ends of the elastic sticking out rather sew to secure them and cut the access… this allowed me to adjust the apron in the back and to tie the apron onto the dress to help keep it up. I came up with this idea after reading an Etsy review for a feather apron. A customer stated that the apron did not stay up so she had to sew hooks onto her daughter’s dress. Since I wanted my sister to have the option to reuse the dress with or without the sash, hook attachment was not a good option for me but it may be for you.
Next I sewed the feather boas on. This part wasn’t difficult, but can be tricky since you can’t see where you are sewing. I sewed from the back side of the lining and felt my way through. Using a running stitch, I sewed my boas on vertically and sewed straight down through the cord that held the feathers.
Once I finished sewing on the feathers, I made the sash. I did want the ends of the sash to hang almost as long as the dress. To make it that long, my sash consisted of three pieces: one 4″ x 22″ and two 4″ x 38″. Using 1/4″ seam I sewed the two longer pieces on each short end of the shorter piece, right sides together. After all three pieces were sewn together to create one long piece, I folded the long piece lengthwise, right sides together and sewed along one end and down the long side using a 1/4″ seam. Keep the other end open for turning the sash right side out. Once turned right side out, press the sash flat and turn the open end inwards about 1/2″; press and sew closed by using an 1/8″ top stitch just on that end.
As I said before, I wanted my sister to have the option of using the dress without the apron but still be able to use the sash (or no sash), so instead of sewing the sash and the apron together, I used snap buttons to attach them to each other. This allows the sash to stay put rather worry about it riding up. Tip: be careful not to sew through the elastic; just the top layer of the casing. This allows the elastic to still stretch.
Now for the last element of the apron… the flower!
I took three feather pads and glued them to each other fanned out…glue them well because the flower can weigh them down and the feather pads can come apart once on the apron. Next I removed the flower from the stem and glued it onto the feather pads. Make sure to glue the flower well too so it doesn’t fall off. I did want the flower to be detachable from the apron as well, so I used pin backs for attaching it to the apron. If you don’t need it to be detachable, you can sew the feather pads directly onto the sash, but you will still need to glue on the flower.
Apron is done! Not much to it really… just the time to hand sew. Oh… and all the fallen feathers you will need to clean up. Nothing a vacuum can’t fix! ;)
I can’t wait to show you the finished look of the dress, but first the hair accessory! So be sure to come back!
Before you go, let me know what you think or if you have any suggestions for a better way to go about the feather apron.