So, going along with that, this tutorial will not include a specific pattern but just a set of 'guidelines' to show you how you can go about cutting and piecing together your own capes for your kidos to enjoy! I hope you like them! Please let me know if any (or all) of this is confusing, missing steps or just odd. I've never done anything this in-depth and I hope it is relatively easy to understand. I appreciate any feedback you have for me and any comments (as long as they're not terribly rude) that you may have. All comments will be moderated, so if I don't like it; I won't post it! Blogger's prerogative! (But seriously, let me know I want to get better at this and make things people can use and understand!)
First thing first. I used flannel fabric for my capes. This was mainly because I wanted them to come out like blankets. I have a hope that if they kids really like them and want to sleep with them they will be like blankets and will be easy to wash and use over and over. I am all about comfort and the snuggle factor and I know my kids are too. All three of my babies are big snuggle kids and have blankets, stuffed animals, etc. that they sleep with so this was a major factor for me. You don't have to use flannel for your capes, I just prefer it and found it made a nice sturdy, solid cape that wasn't overly heavy.
What you will need:
|This is the fabric I used for one of the capes for my youngest nephew. He loves trains and I love dinosaurs. They don't particularly coordinate, but I like the way they go together.|
|Fabric for my niece's cape. These go so well together. The green of the frog fabric matches the bow on the Scottie perfectly!|
|The fabrics for one of my oldest nephew's capes. Both sides are a bit busy but things he loves. They don't have to look good together, just be things they will love to imagine and play with!|
- 1 yard each of 2 coordinating (or not) fabrics, flannel or cotton. The fabric MUST be washable.
- A plate or other round object for the pattern (optional)
- Whatever you like to use for cutting, piecing together, marking fabric, etc. I use a pencil, my clear quilters ruler, my cutting mat, good Fiskars Scissors, pins, and my rotary cutting tool.
- Your iron, ironing board and potentially spray starch and/or water.
- You will also need a large surface area to work on to do all of the patterning, cutting, pinning and piecing. (I like to work on the floor in my living room or kitchen on the hard wood as it gives me plenty of space but a good sized table would work great!)
Iron all your fabric. This is the most important thing to do throughout the process. Iron, iron, iron. I am a big fan of the impact that ironing can make on your work. It will flatten out your fabric to make sure you have a nice smooth surface to work with. When you have ironed out each yard, fold it in half right sides in (wrong sides facing out) and press out a nice seam at the middle. This will be the center of the cape and will help you when it comes time to make the pattern and cut out the pieces. Do this with both yards of the flannel or cotton. Place both pieces together, one on top of the other. This way you will draw your pattern out on the top pieces and cut both pieces at once.
Now we'll draw out the pattern. There are two sizes I used. Since Paul is 2.5 his capes were slightly smaller. Kayla & Nicholas are 7 and 6.5 so their capes needed to be a little bigger.
First we'll draw out the line for the neck piece.
|At the top of your fabric place your ruler/flat edge and draw in 5-6 inches for the neck. I used 5 inches for Paul and 6 for the older 2. With the fabric folded this will end up being 10 and 12 inches raw.|
Now we'll measure and draw out the bottom of the cape.
|At the mark indicated for the final length of the cape, line up your ruler. Draw out the bottom line of the cape. I chose to go the entire width of the fabric. The bigger, the better. But, you can make it smaller if you wish.|
|This is what your fabric will look like with the pattern when you are all done with the initial drawing.|
|Lay the plate on the fabric like this and simply trace around the right edge of the plate that lies in the pattern.|
|Here is the final drawn pattern. This is the small pattern for one of Paul's capes. Thus the large amount of extra fabric at the bottom.|
Now its time to Cut!
|Here are the fabrics, still folded all cut out.|
|Same fabrics, opened up, after cutting. Much bigger and exactly the same. Love it!|
Now we need to cut and make the tabs that will hold the capes on when they are worn. This is pretty simple and straightforward.
|You will need 2 pieces of each fabric in a 3 inch by 5 inch rectangle. Measure, draw and cut them out.|
|Here are my 4 pieces. Nothing fancy, just 4 rectangles. I use the same size regardless of the age/size of the child. These seem to be pretty functional for all ages.|
|Pin 1 of each type of fabric to its opposite right sides together. Pin at the corners.|
|Sew up three sides of the tabs. Turn out the fabric to the right side and press out the seams. I use 1/4 inch seams for all seams on my capes. Each tab will have one side of each type of fabric.|
Now we'll start pinning together and sewing the entire cape. Once its all said and done this part (if done right) goes relatively quick and will be done in a jiff!
So, now you sew! Sew around the edge of the cape, being sure to leave at least a 3 to 4 inch opening at the bottom to turn the fabrics right side out. We will close this up at the end.
Now its time to finish your piece. Unfortunately I forget to get pictures of this part. But, here's what you do. Once you have sew it up, turn the piece right side out. Press out the seams and press the seams under for the opening where you turned it right side out. Pin that area together. Be sure to iron around the seams of your entire piece. This helps to 'bond' the stitches and makes a better look for the entire piece. This is true for ANY sewing project!
|Finished Cape! This is one of the larger capes.|
|This is one of the smaller capes for my 2 year old nephew.|