04 Jun Free Faux Feather Collar pattern for Canary Craftivists
Learn three easy ways to make fabric feathers that you can incorporate into your own canary crafting ideas to join in our summer climate project, or use them to make a hand-stitched couture collar like this one designed by Colour Expert Momtaz Begum-Hossain to wear alongside a small flock of craftivists in Hamstead Heath as a gentle protest encouraging the UK Government to act more and faster to tackle global warming on a national level and global level in the lead up to their role as hosts of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) this November in Glasgow.
If you are crafty with your hands, are concerned about the health of our planet and are not already part of a climate campaign group then we would love you to join Momtaz and the Craftivist Collective for this project to show show politicians and the media that it’s not just a minority of climate activists who want the UK Government to act more and faster to address global warming. Us quiet crafty types are showing we are worried too and are holding the government to account for their actions and inactions in our encouraging, attractive and quiet ways. All information on the project here:
- Template to be printed (pdf download)
- Yellow felt
- Yellow cotton
- Yellow tulle (net)
- Yellow buttons
- Yellow seed beads
- Yellow ribbon or bias binding
- Yellow thread
- Dressmaker’s pins
Preparing your collar
- Print off the template and cut it out.
- Fold your felt in half. Pin your template to the felt on the fold.
- Cut out one collar shape; this is the front piece.
- Do the same for the back piece but this time, leave a 1cm seam allowance all the way around so that your back section is a bit larger than the front section.
How to make faux feathers
- Cut out an oval feather shape from your yellow cotton fabric.
- Then cut thin slits at a slight angle all the way up one side.
- Repeat on the opposite side.
- Make a batch of them.
- Cut out a long oval type shape.
- Make small cuts at intervals along the sides.
- Cut six rectangles of tulle, all the same size and layer them up on top of each other. Cut two thin strips of felt. Sandwich your tulle pieces between them. Thread up your needle and stitch through the felt so they join together with the tulle caught in the middle.
- Cut out an oval shape.
- Make slits, as shown, up both sides.
- Use your fingers to tease out all the layers of tulle to create a feathery effect.
Assembling your collar
- Layer up the feathers on the front piece of the collar, varying their position so they’re at different heights and overlap one another. Pin them in place. Stitch on each of your feathers by hand. On the tulle feathers you can add additional texture by stitching seed beads down the felt centres. You can also stitch on buttons, or incorporate other ideas. For this collar some additional fringe detail was added along the bottom made from yellow faux leather.
- Pin the back piece of felt on. It makes the matching up easier to have this side slightly bigger than the front, then when you’re happy with the joins you can trim off any access. Hand-stitch on to the back.
- Finally, to wear your collar either stitch ribbon or bias binding all along the top, leaving enough at each end so that you can tie it up.
- Your collar is now ready to wear to show you care! Team it with a yellow outfit, or other handmade canary accessories of your choice.
Now for some space for your Crafter-Thoughts.
At Craftivist Collective, craftivism is more than just the making and the final creation; it’s about the thought behind the action. The mindful activism that connects our hands and hearts with our heads gives us the courage to grapple with big issues through deep contemplation. We’ve got an affectionate term for the thoughts that influence our craftivism at every stage. These ‘crafter-thoughts’ are vital little things. They’re seeds from which our learning and understanding of the world grows. Each one we jot down empowers us to be more effective in all that we do. Why not help make the world a better place one stitch at a time by using craft as a way to engage people in global issues to think, act and be the change they wish to see in the world.
Use the slow stitch-by-stitch nature of craft to help you consider the complexities of injustices. The crafter-thoughts linked to our #CanaryCraftivists campaign are listed below. More about them in our campaign page here
1. What do you enjoy about your favourite green space in your area?
2. Where do you think you might be able to reduce your own carbon emissions to protect our world?
3. Imagine you are a politician: how would you feel about receiving a beautiful, handmade yellow canary from a constituent?
Gather a flock in your local area
Mobilise a small group (2 to 12) of quiet crafty people who are not already part of a climate activism group and sit near a local landmark that is recognisable and loved by your community. Wear yellow capes, beaks or just yellow clothes and gather for a few minutes having a picnic or a few hours having a crafternoon making life-sized yellow canaries to give as gifts to your MPs. Take a photograph of your in situ to send to your local newspaper with our filled out local press release here and share on social media with #CanaryCraftivists and tag @Craftivists for us to share too. Share your actions with me Sarah so that we can help spotlight your small and beautiful action to have have big impact in this national campaign.
- Steps by Momtaz Begum-Hossain.
- Portraits by Liz Seabrook/Craftivist Collective
All information needed for the project is here