Clever Charlotte

The Collar Project: A Feathered Friend

Inspiration, Peridot Blouse & PantsErinComment
Clever Charlotte's The Collar Project
Clever Charlotte's The Collar Project

It may be an understatement to call our next Collar Project guest one of our biggest fans, & we are certainly a fan of hers. Nicole of Five & Counting sews all (or nearly so) the clothes for her 5 children, in between running a demanding Australian sheep farm & blogging into the wee hours of the morning. (She was actually delivering a litter of kittens as she was finishing up this post!)

I am just a little jealous of Nicole's good-natured, spunky children, whose model-like looks frequently adorn the pages of our Flickr group, and I am more than a little jealous of Nicole's detailed and precise tailoring. I often guide people to her blog if they want a complete, step by step tutorial of any of our patterns. 

In this post, Nicole brings us a stunning collar variation in the most unexpected sewing medium--feathers! I may have to try this out for me ;)

*  *   *  *  *

I adore Clever Charlotte patterns and was delighted albeit nervous to accept the offer of a guest blog post.

The removable collar on the Peridot blouse was one of the first things I noticed and admired about this pattern. I have already made the blouse and two collars for my daughter, Lidia. One self fabric and another in a spotty white voile with contrasting ribbon ties--

Nicole - Five and Counting
Nicole - Five and Counting

So I was ready to try something different.

A FEATHERY PERIDOT COLLAR

Feather001
Feather001

I gathered the feathers from my own chooks but you may purchase them. {Ed. note, here's a great online resource for feathers of all kinds}

Feather2
Feather2

Either way, I recommend washing them in warm water and a little shampoo to remove any nasties.

Collect your notions. I used a thick woollen felt for my under collar as it won't fray and I really like the texture.

You may bind the neck but I used grosgrain ribbon and found it flexible enough.

Feather3 - Copy
Feather3 - Copy

Cut out the collar and start arranging the feathers evenly around the edge.

NB, in retrospect I wish I had used a narrower sticky tape to hold the feathers in place as it was a little fiddly to remove when the collar was completed.

Feather4 - Copy
Feather4 - Copy

Continue with the feathers until you are happy with the placement.

Feather5
Feather5

Baste the feathers in place taking care to catch the ends.

Feather6
Feather6

Trim the quills back to the collar edge.

Feather7
Feather7

Cut two narrow ribbons for the ties,I cut the end with a heated butter knife to stop fraying.

Measure the inside curve of the neck and cut a wider piece of ribbon for that. Press the ends in and then press the ribbon so that one side is slightly wider. This will make it easier to attach and catch both sides of the ribbon when sewing.

Feather8
Feather8

Tuck the inner collar edge into the neck binding. The wider side of the binding should be on the underside of the collar. Tuck one ribbon tie into the end of the neck binding.

Feather9
Feather9

Continue pinning the ribbon binding along the curve.

Feather10
Feather10

Tuck the second ribbon in at the other edge of the collar and pin in place as before.

Feather11
Feather11

Stitch the neck binding in place with a small stitch length to make sure the feathers are caught in place.

I stitched this twice.  The ends are sewn at this time too so the ribbon ties are held in place.

Feather12
Feather12

Flipping the collar over you can see the under binding is caught by the top stitching.

Feather13
Feather13

Carefully remove the sticky tape (this step will probably take the most time).  

Feather1
Feather1

The wool felt holds the collar nicely in place.

Feather14
Feather14

An elegant addition to a simple cardigan.

Feather15
Feather15

Have some fun with some feathers!

Feather16
Feather16

~ Nicole