DIY: Ostrich Feather Skirt

Posted on 14 February 2013 by frugal-nomics

So…I picked up a copy of Instyle Magazine this month (for leisurely reading AND because I happen to be in this issue –insert squeals of delight — and I noticed that since Spring is right around the corner they predicted that a hot color this upcoming season would be pistachio.  I don’t know about you….but it’s sometimes hard to keep up with every NEW color of every season.  Well, that is unless you get a little box of dye and do what I did — give a whole new life to an item I already had.  I’ve been itching to make an ostrich feather skirt…and I thought this would be a perfect combo — flirty, fun, and fresh.






SUPPLIES: An old skirt, 1.5 inch wide ribbon, at least 8 yards of ostrich feather trim (Note: the amount of feathers you’ll need depends upon desired size and length of skirt. I used about 7 yards here for 2 layers on each of the 4 rows), 1 box of RIT dye, hair dryer, thread, straight pins, needles, Magna-Tac glue, scissors, gloves, and a pot (Note: your sink or a bucket will work too).

1. Follow directions on box to create dye mixture.  Dip whole lot of trim into the dye at all at once for even distribution of color (I advise wearing gloves).
2. Making sure to evenly coat feathers, remove them from solution after no more than 25 seconds (Note: though they turn pretty quickly, feathers appear darker when wet).
3. Rinse feathers in cold water to remove excess dye.
4. Dry feathers.
5. You can either make a skirt from fabric of a similar color, or you can do what I did and use a light colored thrifted skirt I already had. Dip this skirt in dye.
6. Rinse skirt in cold water to remove excess color, then repeat Step 4 for the skirt too (Note: sticking in dryer is quicker).
7. Eyeball where you’ll place each row before you begin — I made 4 main rows in all. Apply glue to trim, and adhere it 1.5 inches above the bottom of the skirt — each row 2 inches a part. Glue from one side seam to the other (Note: If towards top you’re finding that the rows aren’t as full as you’d like, feel free to glue a sub-row in between 2 main rows for added coverage).
8. Pin row in place and then continue it around the back.  Do this one more time around the whole skirt for a 2 total of 2 evolutions. (Note: for a really full skirt, do 3 layers).
9. My skirt had an invisible side zipper, so I glued back the raw edge that would lie right up against the zipper (sort of like a small hem). Here, instead of making a continuos counter clockwise evolution….I started at zipper, went counter clock wise, and when I reached zipper again, I went back clockwise up to zipper.
10. For added security hand stitch each row onto the skirt as you go.
11. Glue raw edge of ribbon down like you did with feather trim edge in Step 9.
12. For a polished look, glue ribbon around the waist band of skirt to conceal top of exposed feather trim.








:: Outfit ::
Blazer :: United Colors of Benetton
Sweater :: Banana Republic (Thrifted)
Skirt :: My Own Creation
Necklace :: Stella & Dot (Thanks Paige)
Watch :: Michael Kors
Rings :: Aldo
Shoes :: Rachel Roy

18 Comments For This Post

  1. Paige Says:

    Going to get InStyle Magaine today!!! That is fabulous that you are in it. LOVE LOVE LOVE the skirt. It looks amazing! …and you look BEAUTIFUL in that necklace!!! HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!! xo

  2. Amber Says:

    I am obsessed with this look but never wanted to shell out the cash for the upscale version!
    Now I can make my own!! thanks!!

  3. Gillian Says:

    I am deffinately looking forward to doing this! I also just love that color. Thank you for the idea!

  4. frugal-nomics Says:

    Me too Gillian! Such a stand out color

  5. frugal-nomics Says:

    Would love to see pics when you try it Amber!

  6. frugal-nomics Says:

    Thanks so much Paige…u are too sweet!

  7. K Says:

    I am so impressed that you made this skirt by yourself!!!! When I first saw it, I was looking to find where I can purchase one lol. Wow, you did an amazing job and the color looks great!

  8. Dawn Says:

    Another awesome creation!! Digging the whole look so very chic and stylish, looks like you spent a fortune! Great idea !!

  9. Whitney Says:

    That skirt is lovely! What a great DIY!!! I love how you styled it too!


  10. frugal-nomics Says:

    Thanks Whitney….looking forward to Spring ;)

  11. Sandy Says:

    Awesome DIY! I love that you chose such a great color too.

  12. frugal-nomics Says:

    Thanks….I bought some skinny jeans this color last season that I never got around to wearing….but can’t wait to pair this color with everything now!

  13. Tonia Says:

    Beautiful! It’s looks just a nice as some of the more expensive ones I’ve seen.

  14. frugal-nomics Says:

    Thanks Tonia, and this way you can make it ANY color you want!

  15. Divya Says:

    I love this! And it is definitely different than all the colors I’ve seen. I’m trying to make a blush pink feather skirt myself…do you know where I can get a blush pink dye? Or what color could I use to achieve that?

  16. frugal-nomics Says:

    For blush pink I would find lightest pink I could and leave it in dye for only like 20-30 seconds. Keep in mind, some of the dye will wash off in initial rinse, but to be sure….test a small patch of feathers before diving in. Hope this helps. Send a pic when you try it!

  17. Delfien - Operation DIY Says:

    B-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l :) Great job!

  18. c.walker Says:

    I remember you doing this….love the final product! I need the details on the necklace. :)

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Hey there, I'm Brandhyze and welcome to my frugal style and do-it-yourself blog.

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