Creating a trio of Feather Jackets.  That was a creative challenge I could not refuse!

I belong to Cityhill Church in Hillcrest, and every year we host a large Women’s Conference called Flourish.  The theme for this year’s conference on the 7th and 8th September is Aliferous  (Having Wings).  I was asked to create feather jackets to be used for the conference.

As with most creative projects in a totally new direction, it had its moments of delight and it’s moments of wondering what I had got myself into.   Consequently I had moments of fear – the set of jackets may look less couture and more bedraggled chicken! Fortunately my technique and completion time improved with each jacket – and in the end I was rather pleased with the result.

We had a fun early morning photo and film shoot featuring the feather jackets.  It was a privilege for the models (Melissa and I) to work with some very creative people – Justin Thomson from Fuel Design, Dan Chappe and Kevin Bender.  Huge thank you to Kevin for allowing me to share some of his magnificent shots from the shoot.

Creating The Feather Jackets:

Here are some Hints of how I made the Feather Jackets:

  • I made up simple jackets in soft fabric as the base for attaching the feathers.   Predictably, I cannot resist a recycling opportunity, so I used fabrics from stash of vintage saris.   The pattern for the jackets was based on a cropped jacket pattern download from Burda. (I made the neckline into a v-shape and extended the length of the jacket.)
  • I sourced packets of coloured feathers from party and stationery shops.
  • For the first jacket, I stitched the feathers onto strips and then stitched these onto the jacket.  But by the 2nd and 3rd feather jackets, I simply glued the feathers directly onto the fabric.
  • I applied a thin line of wood glue (PVA) on the base of the shaft of each feather.  This was then attached to the fabric of the jacket. I started from the hem and worked upwards.  It is understandably wise to insert plastic sheeting under the area where you are gluing.  I padded the arms of the jacket with a rolled towel covered in plastic in order to glue the feathers on.
  • Once covered in feathers, I hung the jacket up and filled in any gaps I could see with more feathers.
  • At the top of the jacket, I finished off the shoulder and neck edges.  I used a combination of smaller feathers and larger feathers to cover the shaft ends of the feathers.

The Flourish Conference

“Join us as we gather as women from different backgrounds, cultures and ages believing that together we can change the world! It’s going to be an incredible time, jam-packed with all kinds of delightful surprises, speakers that will challenge and inspire us to live life to the full and beautiful moments that will refresh heart and soul.
We are already counting the sleeps!

Love The Flourish Team”

Find out all about Flourish Aliferous on the Cityhill Website.  Tickets available online.  I’ll see you there!