Wings Sew-Along - Materials

Hello and welcome to the Twig + Tale Wings Sewalong - we are so pleased that you're joining us!  We're going to start with a bit of extra information about the materials required to sew a pair of wings.  

At Twig + Tale, the Wings Collection holds a special place in our hearts.  These patterns represent so much of what we hold dear - the magic of childhood, imagination, and nature-inspired design.  Putting the time and love into creating heirloom-quality pieces, and approaching sewing with an adventurous spirit. 

Something that we commonly hear from those who are sewing wings for the first time is "I was nervous to try sewing wings, but I was able to do it and the results were magical".  We're confident that you can do it too!  

There are no advanced sewing skills in the Wings sewing patterns, but there are a fair number of steps in the process of creating them.  And so, 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 commonly used 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.  

 

Sewing Machine Needles

As the wings come together, we'll be sewing through several layers of fabric, interfacing, and batting, so heavy-duty sewing machine needles are a must.  A heavy-weight jeans needle is a good choice - they are sturdy and have a good, sharp point to punch through the layers.  Look for size 100/16 or similar.  

I shopped my stash to make a pair of Gum Emperor WIngs 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 week 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 leave a comment on the Twig + Tale Chat Facebook group, and we'll start a materials thread on the Twig + Tale Sewalong Facebook group.  We will be happy to answer questions, and would love to see what fabrics you have selected.