Wings Sew-Along - Materials

Hello and welcome to the Twig + Tale Wings Sew-Along! 

My goodness, it has been a journey to get here - these wings have been designed, re-designed, tested, tweaked, re-tested...  But now that they are finished, we are incredibly pleased with the results.  Seeing the images of wings popping up on social media has been so gratifying, and we are amazed by just how different and beautiful each pair looks - they are truly an expression of individual creativity!  

There are no advanced sewing skills in the Wings sewing patterns, but there are a fair number of steps in the process of creating these magical wings.  And so, we thought that this might be the perfect opportunity to host a sew-along - let's provide each other with a bit of motivation and support as we virtually gather to sew wings together.  

Main wing fabric and appliqué

This is a fun part - selecting wing fabric!  Wings are such a wonderful canvas for playing with colour, pattern, and texture.  Nature has provided some amazing inspiration in the beautiful array of moth and butterfly wings - how will you interpret them?  Bright colours, or muted?  Solid-coloured fabrics, or patterned?  Remember that you can use a different fabric for the front and back of the wings as well. 

Now for some practical considerations... For the main wing fabric, we don’t recommend using anything heavier than a quilting cotton.  Heavier-weight fabrics may prove problematic when it comes to turning and top-stitching the wings since there will be too many thick layers to sew through.  Look for stable, woven fabrics (avoid anything with stretch - it will make sewing around all those curves very challenging).  Cotton, linen, satin, lawn, viscose rayon, lightweight chambray, and silk are all suitable. 

The appliqué on the wings provides the perfect opportunity for using special little scraps of fabric that tend to pile up, but are too pretty to part with.

Consider upcycling fabric for your wings - this project is a lovely way to give pre-loved textiles a new life.  Dresses, skirts, curtains, and linens such as tablecloths would all yield plenty of fabric for a pair of wings.  

A word or two about interfacing…

One of the key elements for the success of the wings is interfacing.  The interfacing that one normally uses for apparel projects does not have enough rigidity for making wings.  Instead, we will be using a heavy-weight interfacing suitable for crafts - think hat brims, structured bags and the like.  If your fabric store doesn't have the recommended interfacing, ask for a heavy-weight, single-sided, fusible craft interfacing.

The world of interfacing can be cryptic: since brands vary from one country to another and bolts of interfacing often lack any sort of identification, it is a bit difficult to come up with a comprehensive list of recommended types.  If you happen to find a type of interfacing that works very well for wings, please let us know and we will add it to the list!

We will be using two different types of interfacing: heavy-weight fusible interfacing, as well a layer of heavy-weight sew-in interfacing.  The sew-in interfacing should be roughy the same weight as the fusible, and transparent enough to trace the lines from the wing template.  

Australia/NZ North America Europe
Fusible Interfacing Formfuse 1600f Pellon 809 Decor Bond Vlieseline S320 or S520

 

Batting 

The layer of batting plays a role in adding some extra structure and thickness to the wings, but also provides depth to the quilting lines, accentuating all the beautiful shapes in the wings.  Anything from 5-20mm batting is appropriate.  If you have thin batting, it is always possible to double up for a bit more depth.  

I'm looking forward to sewing along with all of you - I'll be making a pair of size medium Gum Emperor wings.  I shopped my stash and found a metallic linen for the main wing fabric, and selected a variety of quilting cotton, velvet, linen, and silk in my scrap bin for appliqué, straps, and the body.  

Start playing with fabric combinations, and gather your supplies - we'll be back in a couple of days with Part 1! 

We would love you to post images of your wing fabric choices with the hashtag #twigandtalewingssewalong

If you have any questions about materials, please feel free to comment on this post, or check in with the Twig + Tale Chat Facebook group - we will be happy to answer questions, and would love to see what fabrics you have selected.  

Here are links to all the posts in the Twig + Tale Wings Sew-Along series: