Thursday, April 19, 2012

Cape Tutorial!

A little more then 2 years ago, Amalie told me that she wanted to be a Wonder Pet, and that she needed a cape, at the time I was still learning how to use the sewing machine that my mother-in-law gave me, but I gave it some thought and decided: "I could do that.". The cape turned out pretty good, I even made one for my friend's son; he is a huge fan of batman (but who isn't, really, that guy rocks). Unfortunately Amalie keeps growing and her cape is way too short, so I have to make a new one, so I'm taking this opportunity to show you guys how I did it.

These are the things you will need:
*2 one yard cuts of fabric (I let Amalie choose hers)
*A measuring tape
*A water pen, or you can use a pencil
*A straight edge of some kind
*And a sewing machine

First you need to measure your child from the base of their neck.... right above their ankle or about where you want the cape to go too (the longer you make it the longer they can wear it.)

Now find the natural divots in their shoulders and measure the distance between them. 

Now decide about how wide you want the cape to span on the bottom, I held my measuring tape at the length i liked and just wrote the number down. Now you want to add an inch to all your measurement to allow for seam allowance.

First you want to iron your two fabrics to make them easier to work with, then layer them with pretty sides facing each other, whichever of your fabrics are easier to see drawn lines on should be on top.

Now I took pictures of how to draw the cape shape on the fabric, but they didn't turn out well at all, after asking Chris's opinion, I decided to draw a smaller scale on a piece of paper just to show it better. 

First mark on your fabric how long you want your cape (make sure to add that extra inch). Just make two small dots (Mark 1 and Mark 2) like shown.

Now, by mark 1, make point A and B by measuring the distance of the shoulders, make sure that Mark 1 is in the center. Do the same by Mark 2 for the span of the cape making point C and D. Again make sure that Mark 2 is in the middle.

Now you need to connect points A and D, then connect points A and B, and lastly connect points B and C.

For the bottom, I like to freehand a curve from point D to C, but you can make this line straight if you want.

Now pin all around your cape shape inside the lines you have drawn.

Use your scissors to carefully cut your fabric on the lines you have drawn.

Once its cut out it will look kinda like this, and it will be ready to take straight to the sewing machine.

Delanie kept me company :)

Now sew around your cape at a half inch seam allowance, but make sure to leave an opening about 5 to 6 inches long to turn your cape in side out.

After you flip your cape you need to iron it, I always start by ironing the opening so the fabric folds in.

After the opening I just iron the rest flat.

Next, you need to top stitch around outside of the cape at a 1/8 inch seam. Again I would start with the opening, just to get it over with.

Now for the ribbon, for this cape I used 60 inches, I would cut the ribbon 45 inches to 60 inches (I know it seems really long, but I will explain why it is necessary.) I always sew the ends of ribbon, you can also heat seal it.

Now fold your ribbon in half and pinch it so you get a little fold at the center like this.

Try to get the fold in the middle of the top of the cape like this picture shows, then pin the ribbon to the cape.

Sew the ribbon at a 1/8 in seam all the way around. make sure to back stitch at the end.

It should look like this.

Here is the finished cape.

So now to explain why you need the long ribbon; my husband told me horror stories about how his dad was wearing an apron as a cape when his dad was a boy, and it got caught on a branch when he was jumping from a tree and almost hung himself, so we found a way to tie the cape so that wouldn't happen. First hold the cape at you child's neck like this.

pull the ribbon in front...

....and then under their arms like this.

Then throw the cape over their shoulder and have them hug it.

Then just tie a bow behind their back like this, the extra ribbon give them room to grow.

It's a bit narrower then I intended, but she loves it, so I don't mind either.

I hope your kids love this one as much as mine do.

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