Hi! I’m putting together Julian from the arcan’s masquerade outfit and I’m stumped on how to do the feathers for the lower portion of his coat.
There’s a few ways I can think of to go about this.
First, take a look at a search of the tutorials on our site for “feather,” since there are some good feather tutorials there.
There seem to be two major options here – one is to use real feathers, and one is to make faux feathers. I would personally go with a hybrid, but the decision is up to you.
If you go with real feathers, you will need to combine multiple feathers in order to get the length that you need. I would recommend taking turkey quill/wing feathers and, making sure you are matching up right to right and left to left, trim off the bottom portions of feathers and glue them to the tops of another feather until you have the elongated shape you desire. Many feathered wing tutorials use this method for large and unusually-shaped feathers. These newly-created long feathers can then be attached to the sides of the coat.
There are several methods for creating fake feathers. I have seen them cut from everything from foam (thin EVA foam/craft foam, packing foam, etc.) to fabric. I would personally go with a synthetic fabric that you melt the edges of to seal it (if you have hot cutting tools, even better) that has a stiffer material, such as foam or plastic, glued or sewn down the middle to give it the effect of a center shaft. If you go with fabric, the feathers will be lighter in weight, probably cheaper, and have more flow to them than real feathers, though they will take a bit more work to create.
Personally, I would do both. I would create faux feathers for the longest and largest of the feathers and then mix in some real feathers to create a more feathery effect and to vary the textures.
I would also recommend that no matter which method you use, you should attach the (faux) feathers to a separate piece of fabric that attaches to the coat with snaps, hooks, or magnets. This way, you can remove the delicate parts you don’t want to wash when it comes time to do laundry.
I hope that helps! Good luck :]