Monday, December 9, 2013

How to sew easy superhero capes for kids


How to sew easy superhero capes for kids == Hobo Mama

Hobo Mama wants you to know she's a professional blogger! Look at how professional she's being!

I've got a super-fast project you can whip right up for a holiday gift! Your kiddo will love opening up and flying away in a handmade reversible superhero cape for Christmas, so grab some shiny fabric, and let's get sewing.

This is seriously SO EASY you're going to laugh at me for making a blog post about it. Stuff you could figure out on your own is my crafty specialty, yo.

Materials:

How to sew easy superhero capes for kids == Hobo Mama
  • Superhero-worthy fabric: I followed Mikko's lead and headed straight to the gymnast/ice-skating costume section of Jo-Ann's, where we picked out (on sale, woo!) some sort of shimmery spandex stretch fabulousness. We made sure to get two contrasting colors for each cape so they can be reversible plus have an intriguing lining. Other fabrics that would work well would be satin, silk, or, for a floatier sort of fairy cape, perhaps something like organza. If you were going for something more Middle-Earthly, you could do a light wool, or an opaque costume fabric for a vampiric tot. Unless you're going for a floaty look, lean toward drapey fabrics.
  • Thread to match — any regular sort will do, and the color match doesn't have to be perfect, just subtle.
  • Some form of closure — I used and am quite happy with Velcro Soft & Flexible Sew-On Tape — it comes in white, black, and beige, so choose the one that coordinates best.

A Jo-Ann tip for you: They now have a free mobile app that will give you scannable coupons on your phone. Since I always forget to bring my mailed coupons, this has been a serious money-saver. If you don't want to wait for specialty fabrics to go on sale, there's almost always a coupon for 50% or at least 40% off one regular-price item, which includes one cut of fabric. No, Jo-Ann isn't paying me to say this — just some advice that's helped me out recently!

Instructions:


How to sew easy superhero capes for kids == Hobo Mama
Measure out how much fabric you'll need in length by measuring from your child's neck to where you want the cape to fall. (I can hear you saying "Uh-duh.") I found the width of my fabric sufficient to wrap around my kids' little necks with room to spare. I erred on the long side with their capes, particularly for wee Alrik, since I figure they'll last longer that way.

How to sew easy superhero capes for kids == Hobo Mama
Cut out both of your pieces of fabric to the same length (which might have been done for you at the store — I had to make two boys two capes each, so I did additional cutting at home) and match up the seams, shiny sides together so you're looking at the dull underside of both pieces. Pin around the edges. If your pieces are uneven, as mine were, start with one corner with both layers matched perfectly together and pin, then work from there, smoothing the fabric as you go so you keep the layers from puckering.

How to sew easy superhero capes for kids == Hobo Mama
While you're pinning, your kids will be hard at work doing the same with the scraps (one can only assume).

How to sew easy superhero capes for kids == Hobo Mama
Sew along the edges, with a straight and fairly tight stitch. If your edges are uneven, just make sure you catch them all. I used a wide seam allowance to make sure it would be durable. You're making a giant pillowcase, basically. I know, I know — you and I will be sewing geniuses! No one's ever sewn a straight seam around two pieces of fabric before! We will be pioneers together!

How to sew easy superhero capes for kids == Hobo Mama
But here — here is where I truly show off my sewing prowess.

How to sew easy superhero capes for kids == Hobo Mama
I never, ever, ever get to push my own sewing machine pedal. Nope, I just have to let little ones take turns stepping on it with their pudgy foot while I direct, "Go. Go. Go! Keep going! Stop. No, stop stop stop!"

How to sew easy superhero capes for kids == Hobo Mama
Make sure you leave a hole unsewn. Note to the wise: Leave it bigger than this one shown, for turning ease.

How to sew easy superhero capes for kids == Hobo Mama
Now turn your cape right sides out and admire the shininess.

How to sew easy superhero capes for kids == Hobo Mama
Then back to work. Fold under the raw edges of your turning hole (that sounds kinda dirty, but I don't know why) and pin.

How to sew easy superhero capes for kids == Hobo Mama
Make sure your two-year-old has some fuzzy fabric to jab sharp pins into. For he will want to.

How to sew easy superhero capes for kids == Hobo Mama
Sew 'er up. To be perfectly perfect, you could do this bit by hand with an invisible stitch. It's almost Christmas. We ain't got time for such daintiness. Just top stitch it neatly in a matching-enough thread and call it good.

How to sew easy superhero capes for kids == Hobo Mama
Figure out your Velcro placement. I've been happy with this: two long strips, one on one of the fabrics, the other on the other fabric, facing each other. Pin and sew, either by hand or topstitching on the machine again (recommended for speed and durability). If you have radically different fabric colors, you might want to use two different shades of the Velcro if you care about such things, but it will be hidden once the cape's fastened, so you don't have to care too much.

How to sew easy superhero capes for kids == Hobo Mama
As you're dusting (ahem) your bobbin case, be sure to "appreciate" any "unnecessary" quotation marks.

How to sew easy superhero capes for kids == Hobo Mama
Here's what the cape looks like closed. (Don't you adore Alrik's superhero arm position?) You can fasten the Velcro straight across or down like this and adjust for the size of the child, and I find it's a really sturdy but easy fastening. Plus, I think it looks really smart and gives a lovely drape!

How to sew easy superhero capes for kids == Hobo Mama
It is apparently hard to get two excited boys to pose in superhero capes. Whoda thunk?

How to sew easy superhero capes for kids == Hobo Mama
They tried, bless their crime-fighting hearts.

How to sew easy superhero capes for kids == Hobo Mama
It's just so hard not to fly when you've got your cape on.

How to sew easy superhero capes for kids == Hobo Mama
Alrik's cape is purple and gold. Mikko's is light and dark gold, but I have red and purple on reserve — I was going to mix up the colors with the metallics for both boys, but he insisted on the golds together, so I obeyed.

How to sew easy superhero capes for kids == Hobo Mama

How to sew easy superhero capes for kids == Hobo Mama
I love that you can tell how bored Alrik was getting and yet he was still so obediently posing for me. What a good blogger's son!

How to sew easy superhero capes for kids == Hobo Mama
And … he's off!

6 comments:

Seonaid said...

That is most excellent! I am a sewer from way back ( made my own prom dress), so I always overcomplicate things. Thanks for the pillowcase superhero cape reminder. And the shiny fabrics are gorgeous! I want one also... only grownup sized. Just think how much better grocery shopping would be if we all wrote such exciting garments. :)

Lauren Wayne said...

@Seonaid: Do it, do it!! And take pictures. :)

sustainablemum said...

Weirdly I made two of these at the weekend for my children for Christmas! I cut a three quarters of a circle shape or to put it another way a circle with a quadrant missing and sewed ribbon into the straight seams. One was light and dark blue the other purple and gold a very close match to Alrik's. There must be superhero cape vibes in the atmosphere. I too want one for myself, you never know.......

Inder-ific said...

I love this! I especially love your "helpers" - I get a lot of "help" sewing from my kids too, but not usually with the sewing machine pedals! (That sounds like an excellent way to get a needle through your finger!) But they like to help me pin, and put the pins back in the pincushion, and sit on my lap while I sew a lot. I've promised Joe that I will teach him to sew as soon as he's tall enough to reach the pedal himself.

Lauren Wayne said...

@sustainablemum: Cool idea with the circle & ribbon!

Yes, let's start a Superhero Mums Club… :)

Lauren Wayne said...

@Inder-ific: Yep, I've worried about the possibilities of drawing blood. So far they're pretty careful, but I admit to being excited when I can snag the machine to myself for a span! Mikko's sewed some dust rags with me from an old sheet, but he prefers doing his own freeform projects. I anticipate many future sewing hours together making all sorts of nonsense.

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