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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Choke-less Super Hero Cape

 If your kids are like mine, they love superhero capes but they only last about 5 minutes before they are being choked.  I've tried several things to keep it comfortable around the neck, but that tie just gets in the way.  Until I saw a pattern at a store that seemed perfect.  I took what I remember of that pattern and made my own

Choke-less Super Hero Cape

Now, the directions I'm going to show you fit a child about size 3-4.  So if your child is smaller or bigger, you'll have to adjust some.  But the idea is pretty simple.  It really only took me a couple hours start to finish which is saying a lot since I am a slow sewer.

What you need
two yards of fabric for cape (one yard of each color if you want a two colored cape)
1/4 yard fabric for the top
1/4 yard fabric for the straps
felt scrap for the letter
matching thread

Let's start with the cape.  Fold the material in half so the selvages meet.  Cut the material at 26 inches.  With material still folded, round the bottom corner (unfolded edge) and cut up at an angle so that it ends about 5 inches in.

Using a template (I used a bowl), trim a curved neck line and the top folded corner.  Trace the cape onto the opposite fabric so you have two cape layers.
With right sides together, sew around the entire cape with a 1/4 inch seam, leaving a gap of a couple inches for turning.  Clip the corners and turn.  Iron flat and topstitch around the entire cape.

Next we'll move onto the top.  You'll need to make a quick pattern.  I used a shirt to help guide me.  I started with a piece of computer paper and placed it just under the neck line.  Then a trimmed it 3 inches from the bottom of the guide shirt.  The belt lays just below this and I wanted it on the waist.

Cut a strip 1.5 inches wide.  place it 2 inches onto the pattern front.  Cut the top at the angle of the shirt.  Do the same with the other side.

For the back, make the main piece 2 inches longer and cut the straps even with the top.
Fold fabric in half and cut two piece of each pattern.  Cut with a 1/2 in allowance around the pattern. For the belt, measure the width of the guide shirt, double it and then take 6 inches away.  Cut two of those with a 1/2 inch allowance.

Cut out the child's first initial from the felt.  Mine was a bout 4 inches tall.  Cut two pieces of velcro.  One piece at 1.5 inches, another at 2 inches.

Sew the velcro on as shown.  The short one goes on the front and on one longer strap, the long velcro piece goes on the back and one end of the belt.  All velcro is about 3/4 inch from the edge.  Note: if you want you belt and strap to fasten on the same side, put the velcro on the opposite side of either the front or the back then I did here.  A mistake I didn't realize until it was done but it's not a huge problem.

With right sides together, place the belt strip without the velcro  along the bottom of the front panel with the letter and velcro.  Sew together with a 1/4 inch seam.  Fold belt down and iron with seams facing the front panel.  Topstitch it down.

Do the same with the blank front panel and the belt with the velcro.  Place the velcro side towards the front panel.  Sew, iron up and topstitch like you did with the first.

With right sides together, sew the  panels together with a 1/4 inch seam.  Leave a couple inches gap for turning.  Turn and clip corners, especially where the belt meets the front panel.  Iron flat and topstitch around the entire front.

Sew the two longer straps together with a 1/4 inch seam.  Leave the slanted edge open.  Clip the corners turn.  Iron flat and topstitch all around except the slanted edge.

With right sides together, sew the shorter straps to the back panel with the velcro.  Make sure the velcro is on the inside and the slanted strap edges are pointed in.  Sew with 1/4 inch seam.  Turn straps up so seams are towards the straps.  Topstitch down.  Repeat with  the blank back panel and remaining strap pieces.

With right sides together, sew the back panels together.  Leave the slanted strap edges open and leave a couple inches gap for turning.  Clip the corners and turn.  Iron flat and topstitch all around except slanted edges.

Now to attach the cape.  Layer your pieces like so: back panel strap (Velcro up), cape just outside the neck (back side up), front strap (velcro up if on that piece).  Your slanted edges should be pointed towards the neck and even with each other and the cape edge.  Sew together and zig zag or serge the seams. Turn seams towards the straps and stitch down meeting the topstitching on the cape.

Almost done!  Place front and back panel together.  Fold the front strap without the velcro over the front panel 2 inches in near the edge.  Stitch down following the topstitching line on the strap.  Fold the belt side without the velcro to the back panel, leaving about a 4 inch gap between straps.  Sew down along that topstitch line.  And you're done!

Now your child has a comfortable cape they can save the world in.  It also has some growing room as well!  


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