25th August 2009: Wings Here’s the basic wing frame before I covered it. I used a more flexible wire to wrap round and connect the thicker wire, and also duct taped around it a lot, as you can see, which also protected any sharp ends.
I made newspaper patterns for the wing shapes, which let me test out the shape and size (ensuring the final wings would fit in my suitcase!) then I bent the wire to match the pattern pieces. The patterns were also helpful for getting both wings to match, and they also had the vein designs drawn on, which let me trace them on to the wings and have each wing end up identical. I used silver glitter glue for this.
The important bit is that U-shaped connector. That’s the bit that slots down the back of my dress (and bra) and stabilises the wings too. The band of my strapless bra is what’s supporting the wings and holding them up, but the black elastic strap in the picture also ties around my torso, and stops the wings shifting from side-to-side at all. I later covered that U shape in felt to pad it out and make sure it would be comfy against my skin.
To complete the wings, I got 2 pairs of sheer coloured tights, and stretched them over the wing frame. The disadvantage of this technique is that the tights limited the width I could make the wings, as they would only stretch so far.
Where the wings are narrower than the tights at the tips, I hand sewed a seam and chopped off the excess fabric (also sealing the edges with clear nail polish in case they ran) then turned the tights the other way out to leave the seam on the inside. With the seam resting along the wire, it’s not very obvious when viewing the wing from either side.
For my first wings, I tried using organza to cover them. I think with more patience and practice I could have got it neater, but when covering the large wing segment, it was very difficult to keep a piece of organza that size taunt, so it’s perhaps also that the nature of the wings made them more awkward to cover. I certainly didn’t have the same problem covering the small sections. The tights worked out nicely and were suitably idiot-proof for me, so I’m pleased with my new wings!