Hello! I'm planning to make yurio's agape costume from YOI and was wondering on what you would recommend to make the shoulder/wrist things from? I'm an intermediate sewer, but a very beginner crafter and I wasn't sure what material would be best. I'm planning on making them detachable using snap clip things, so it doesn't need to be made from fabric. Thanks so much for your help!
There’s two major ways to go about this project: using fabric, or using real feathers.
If you went with fabric, you would either find something that wouldn’t fray when cut or something that is easy to seal the edges of (by doing a rolled hem or by melting the edges with heat – you would need a 100% synthetic to melt the edges). I would recommend a chiffon or similar material for this, as it would get the floaty, ethereal look. You would make a bunch of long feather-shaped pieces and seal the edges, then sew them all overlapping and generally in a line, so that they hang down all in one direction. I would use a more stable fabric as a backing and sew them all into a long strip, perhaps with an edge bound in bias tape or similar binding to keep the raw edges contained. Take this long strip and loop it into a U shape, with the bend of the U at the outer edge of the shoulder. Overlap a few layers of this material if you want a fluffier look. Sew this all in place and put the decoration (cut out of finished-edge fabric) and a few individual “feathers” on top to hide the center. These can be attached in place with snaps. For the hand pieces, you’ll need to stiffen pieces. I’d use starch, but you can also try adding a bit of stabilizer behind it.
The other method would be to use real feathers. This is what I did when I did a femme version of this costume. I bought goose feather trim, which consists of feathers glued and sewn into a piece of satin binding, and hand sewed the pieces into shape. For each shoulder piece, I used three pieces of the trim: two pieces as long as my shoulder, arranged so that one pointed towards my front and the other towards my back, and one piece about as long as my shoulder is wide (so a few inches in length), placed all the way up at the neck end of my shoulder and sewn so that the feathers were pointing outward, towards the tip of my shoulder (I would recommend doing these first and then doing the fabric applique on top, though the applique would just need to be tacked down in a few spots to keep it in place). This hid the satin binding tape holding the other feathers together. This whole assembly is hand sewn together and attaches with snaps to the shoulder of my leotard. The hand piece are again feathers, this time consisting of two pieces (each, four pieces total) of just enough length of trim to contain two feathers. The two pieces were arranged so that the satin binding is at a 90° angle, forming a square, and sewn together. These attach with two sets of snaps per piece, with the second snap there to prevent it from spinning around on a single snap. I opted to not have the two-tone feathers (time constraints mostly), though an extra feather can be added on top for the grey middle section. This can be purchased, or you can dye one of your feathers with acid dye or alcohol ink (I’d just carefully color one with a grey alcohol-based marker honestly).
Feather trim can be difficult to sew through, since it is thick and has glue. I’d keep something to wipe your needle on handy, and use a thick needle to be able to pierce the material if you go the feather route.
When shopping for feathers, look for ones that have the same type of look as the piece in the show. Marabou is probably the wrong choice, but the trim that I used or ostrich feathers or similar would be fine.
I suppose these can also be glued together if using feathers, but sewing by hand will be more stable.
I hope that helps! Good luck :]