crow sew-along week 2 : top secret trick for wing texture

Welcome to week 2 of the crow-along!

Your goal for this week is to make your wings and tail. That’s steps 33 – 54 in the pattern. Please read through those steps before you start, it helps a lot to see where you are headed before you begin.

week 1 of the sew-along is here

stitched crow wings with black feathery ruffles at the top

The wings and tail are easy and quick and I’ve got a couple tips to make them even more crowy.

Tip #1 – Stripes are your friend.

Stripes give your feathers a little extra bang for the buck. With 2 layers of fabric, right sides together, place the feather pattern piece on the  diagonal and cut, super simple. A variety of scale is nice too.

The pieces are tacked down with a little glue stick. You can hand or machine sew the lines (step – 47 in the pattern.

Tip #2 – My top secret method for making feathery texture with a light weight fabric


Please watch the video above (click here if you don’t see the video). And I’ll go over the basics below.

You need a strip of lightweight fabric. The strip should be about 16 inches (it’s more than you will use but you don’t want to run out) of un-gathered fabric per wing. It’s about 1 and ¼ inches wide.

Gather the strip by hand or machine. My stitch line is slightly off center. It’s super quick and easy to do on the machine by turning the tension to the highest setting and the stitch length to the largest setting. If you’re gathering by hand make a back stitch after every couple inches to keep it from all unbunching.

Fold the strip at the seam and press.

We start at the bottom. Place your strip and whip stitch along the edge. Fold the strip over and place it a little above the first row and whipstitch the edge. Repeat until you reach the top edge of the wing and whipstitch along the edge, clip the strip and tuck the edge under to finish.

The feathery part comes from the haircut. Hold your scissors at a slight angle to the texture and start clipping into it.  Scroll back up and check out the video to see exactly what I mean.

When you’re just about happy with the texture use the scissors to make your edges a little more pointy and feathery. So crowy! And pretty quick to do.

And the tail.  I’m still working on it… And I’ll add a photo here tomorrow.  I’m making it according to the directions in the pattern and also incorporating some stripes.

I want to talk for a minute about the community aspect of the sew-along. The crow group on FB is super fun and supportive. It’s my first fb group and I was surprised by the amount of interest and activity.  I get that if you’re not on facebook or Instagram you miss out on that. I won’t go on and on about it now but I am working on a non facebook community for stuff like sew-alongs, the scrap festival and miss thistle society. I’ll share more soon and you can let us know if that’s something you’d be interested in the comments.

Back to the crow-along – thanks to everybody who’s participating! And congratulations on getting the body finished, that’s the hard part! Your (and my) assignment for the week is to finish the wings and tail.  Are you ready? Let us know how you’re doing in the comments! And see you next Friday for beak and feet.

sew along links:  week one     week two     week three


  1. Judy Klem

    Love the idea of a non-Facebook community for sewing adventures! As always thank you for the inspiration!
    This crow sew-a-long has been great fun and I love how everyone is so supportive! That’s what it’s all about

  2. Heather Smith

    Oooo! This is one of my favorite tricks of yours. I’ve been planning to use this on my crow, but not on the wing…Thanks for the sew along, it’s been nice to connect with people and see all the ways they use your pattern.

    • Thanks so much! It’s such a fun trick – I’ve covered a couple entire creatures with it – takes a while but the effect is wild.

  3. Yay for a non FB community yes please ! I am loving this fabric sculpture

  4. Nancy Lallman

    I’ve purchased MANY of your patterns and the idea of Sew-alongs on your site is fantastic. You could call it “Ann-a-Gram”. You have a large and devoted group of followers out here. The support of people around the globe, encouraging each other, is an inspiring experience for me!! Thanks!!

    • Thanks Nancy! I think we could have so much fun in our own platform.

  5. I love learning this trick – thank you! I have four fine fellows waiting for their wings, and a several swanky stripes to choose from in the stash!

  6. Lynne Nicoletti

    Thank you very much, Ann, for all the time that you’ve taken to create this sew-along and to help us with our crows. Thanks also for looking into non-Facebook/Instagram delivery of future events (I’m really not a fan of either of those). Have a great weekend.

  7. While I am not making a crow with you all, I LOVE following you do it and I LOVE reading the comments—off Facebook and on your own platform—yay! And I’m inspired and want to hop in and start making a crow! Thank you for doing this. I wish more people with communities would go back to their blogs.

  8. I’m watching and getting my crow kit ready so I can sew it when I’m out in the country by myself (except for a dog and a sewing machine!) where there are plenty of crows. I’ll be there for a couple of weeks, time enough I hope to complete a couple of crows. Thanks for the videos and hints, I can hardly wait.

  9. Thanks, I would love to join a non Facebook community. I wish more creatives would do this. Love the wing feather texture idea- it would be perfect for a Raven.

  10. I would also love for there to be a non FB community. As others have said thanks for the crow sewalong. Such fun! Being a sewing teacher of children, I know how much work goes into making it accessible and successful for everyone. Thanks again!

  11. The wing-feather feathering idea would be perfect for the shaggy neck feathers of a raven, under the heftier beak.
    I won’t join facebook, so was keen on the non-FB community idea- but now I see it’s by app only, and iOS android etc only. Entirely my own self-sabotaging, I know, because I’m a desktop computer person, a dying breed no doubt. I do have access to Instagram though…

    I have recently completed a wonderful owl – finding the experience awe-inspiring, watching my hands get their own ideas, swift, dashing (dastardly) hand-eye (creative) co-ordination over-ruling the plodding thoughts-in-sentences that had put in so much ‘worried’ planning ahead of time. I was frequently laughing – thankyou so much for that!

    Such IMPRESSIVE teaching you impart. The main lesson learned is that “simply” does the trick.
    I thoroughly enjoyed pinning the available bits and pieces on, to see the effect. Unpinning so much less arduous than unpicking…

  12. Have just made my first crow! Great fun thank you. Where can I share a picture?

  13. This is so clever Also very generous to share with other crafters and artists, thank you ❤️

  14. When you said to clip it; I thought you were nuts.
    Then I continued to watch and was amazed! <3

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