For my production of Once On This Island I had 4 tiny little girls to dress as tropical birds. The problem I always find with bird costumes is that they’re usually out of our budget or just not cute at all. This year was no different. I really needed something they could throw on and take off quickly since the girls were normal ensemble members in the scenes before and after their bird scene. So I decided to order some felt and experiment.
I ordered a yard each of 72″ red, green, yellow and blue felt from Fabric.com. First I cut 4 large circles out of the red, making sure I would have enough room to cut out another small circle that would fit around the little girls necks (I completely guessed on this and ended up using a large garden basket as my circle template).
I then cut out feather-looking shapes into the circle and cut feathers out of all the remaining fabric to divide among the 4 pairs of wing capes. After that, I plugged in the hot glue gun, got comfortable on my kitchen floor and started gluing away in a big circle.
Here’s the final (rough) count of feathers in each color:
- Red collar piece – 8
- Red additional row – 10
- Yellow – 25
- Green – 26
- Blue – 31
For the closure I did end up sewing two pieces of red grosgrain ribbon to the top of the red collar since I really needed the wings to be quick on and off as well as survive all of our shows. You could definitely just use a safety pin and hide it under the feathers up top and not have to sew at all. Thank goodness for glue guns!
If you watch my Once on This Island promo video, you can get a glimpse of these babies in action in the group shot at 0:14 and flitting across the stage at 0:27 🙂