Wednesday, June 2, 2010

cape tutorial

Here's a tutorial for how to sew a costume cape. 
It can be adjusted to fit children or adults of any size 
and features a velcro neck closure for safety.   

Step 1: Select Fabric
If you're going for the superhero look,
you'll want something shiny like satin.
Anything else would do, though!
Measure from shoulder to floor to 
determine length of cape fabric.
Round up to the nearest 1/4 yard
and add 1/3 yard for cutting yardage.
This will allow enough fabric for squaring
the edges and creating a neck band.

Step 2: Measure Neck
Add 5 inches for seam allowances
and closure attachments.
This will be the length of the neck band.

Step 3: Cut Cape Rectangle
Use the selvedges as the side edges of the cape.
Cut a strip the length of the measurement (step 1) from 
neck to floor. For this example, I used 34 inches.

Step 4: Cut Neck Band
Cut a strip of fabric 3 inches wide by the number
of inches calculated in step 2.

Step 5: Cut Interfacing
Cut a strip of interfacing roughly the same size
as the neck band.

Step 6: Iron Interfacing to Neck Band
Make sure to iron the interfacing to the 
Wrong Side of the neck band. 
On satins, this will be the less shiny side.
Set neck band aside.

Step 7: Iron Sides (selvedges) Under 1/4"
Take care when ironing. The iron should be 
set to "synthetics" if satin is in use so as not
to scorch the material. Mine, however, changed color
when hot and then returned to normal on cooling.

Step 8: Roll and Sew
Turn the ironed edge under once more
and hold in place while sewing down this
hem. Use a scant 1/4" seam.

Step 9: Sew Under Bottom Hem
Follow steps 7 & 8 to iron and sew
the hem at the bottom of the cape.
Fold the ends under at an angle 
for mitered corners.
Step 10: Gather Top Edge 
Choosing a long stitch, baste across the raw
fabric along the top, about 3/8" from edge.
Leave threads long on both ends.

Grasp the front thread on one end and 
gently pull on it while pushing fabric 
toward the center of the cape. This will 
gather fabric to fit the neck band. Repeat
with the front thread on the other end.

Step 11: Arrange Gathered Edge
Spread gather evenly across top edge. 
Adjust to fit across center of neck band.

Step 12: Pin Cape to Neck Band
Align top edge of cape with a long edge
of the neck band, Right Sides Together.
Gathered edge of cape should be 3-4 inches
in from ends of neck band and roughly centered.

Step 13: Sew Cape to Neck Band 
Baste cape to neck band with 1/4" seam allowance.
Reduce stitch length and sew through gathered
edge and neck band again at a 1/2" seam allowance.

Step 14: Fold Down Top Edge of Neck Band
Iron down at 3/8" to crease, then unfold.
Now fold in the opposite direction so that 
right sides are together and the long top and
bottom edges are aligned.

Step 15: Sew Short Ends of Neck Band
Sew a 1/4" seam along the short ends of neck
band. Turn the corner and sew toward the 
gathered cape, stopping about an inch away.

Step 16: Turn Neck Band Right Side Out
Push corners square by pressing 
scissors, bone folder, or other sharpish
object into the corners.

Step 17: Top Stitch Neck Band 
Sew a 1/8" top stitch to close the neck band
over the gathered cape. Continue this top stitch
all the way around the four edges of the neck band.

Step 18: Attach Velcro
Cut 2-3 inches of 1" wide hook and eye tape.
Sew the soft tape on the front side of 
one end of the neck band and the rough tape on
the back side of the other end of the neck band
so that they attach when overlapped. 
Sew with a 1/8" seam allowance all the way
around the four edges of the velcro.

Step 19: Trim Loose Threads
Look over cape and trim any remaining threads.

Step 20: Put On Cape
It's time to rule the world!!!

1 comment:

Layne Julia said...

Ok so I could never make this because I have no sewing abilities, but what a cute idea!!! and the directions are so clear, so if I had a sewing machine and a cute kid to dress in a cape, this is what I would sew first :)