Monday, September 19, 2011

Basic Children's Bat Wing Tutorial

Remember the wings I made for DS's halloween costume?
Well, I promised a tutorial. Here it is, in all it's picture-y glory, including my terrible MS Paint skills applied.

  • 2 wire coat hangers
  • wire cutters
  • pliers (2 pairs makes some things easier)
  • electrical tape
  • fabric of your choice (I chose a navy upholstery suede that I had lying around & no use for)
  • coordinating thread
  • tailor's chalk
  • scissors
  • straight pins
  • sewing machine
  • Elastic
1. Grab your wire cutters, and cut the hanging portion off your hangers at the bend. One of your hangers then needs to be cut into 4 (fairly) equal lengths. Here's an MS Paint mock-up:

2. Bend your hangers. For the first hanger, bend in half on the long (bottom) piece, then extend the angles until it resembles a wide "W" For the second hanger, try to straighten out any bends that are left behind. Another MS Paint diagram, with fancy arrows:
3. Wrap the ends of all your cut hanger pieces in electrical tape to cover any sharp ends & prevent them from poking your little one or coming out of the channels we will make later.
4. Place your fabric, right sides together on a flat surface (like my thread & lint-covered floor). Lie your "W" out upside down, and place your short pieces inside the points like boning in a bat's wing, like so:
5. Trace a wing shape around your wires , remove the wires, pin & cut out. Leave a 1/4" - 1/2" seam allowance.
6. With right sides still together, sew along the top of the wings. Clip the curves, trim any excess & turn right side out. Place the "W" inside the new seam, and pin in place securely. With the wire on the right of your machine, move your needle to the right. Sew a straight line along the length of the "W", creating a channel. Remember to close the ends of the channels so the wire doesn't pop/fall out.
7. Place your straight pieces, pin & sew channels, moving your needle from left to right as necessary, keeping it on the side closest to the wires. Remember to close the channels & encase the wire. Do this for all 4 pieces.
8. Measure the child's arms over the shoulder, & cut 2 pieces of elastic. Sew into loops & attach to the center back.
9. Put them on, wear them, love them, but remember to make scary faces!
If you find them a little floppy, you can throw a couple more stitches in the elastic at the top of the wings.

There are a few more steps to finish this set off to make it flow with his costume, but this should be easily altered & elaborated upon to suit your needs :)

Happy Halloween!

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