back in august, i made a superhero cape for Em. i’ve made a few before – they’re kind of my go-to boy gift, because boys are generally harder to sew for. today i thought i’d share a little tutorial for you! these are a quick sew – definitely time to whip one up for christmas if you are stumped on what to give a little guy/gal. i’d say this cape fits ages 2-4, though you can easily adjust the sizing – use an existing shirt of theirs for general length/width, and add a few inches to the bottom.
- 3/4 to 1yd main fabric and lining
- fusible web (i like steam-a-seam 2 lite)
- two contrasting fabric scraps for the letter/symbol applique
- point turner/knitting needle/pencil
- light/medium weight interfacing (optional)
fold your main fabric in half, and cut the following shape out on the fold. make the place where the neckband meets the cape a sharp V, then draw out a few inches before rounding down for the shoulder to the bottom corner. you can use a straight edge to get the outer edge straight. i like to angle it out a bit so the bottom is wider than the top. the photo makes it look like the very bottom edge is angled too, but it should be perpendicular to the fold.
use this piece as a pattern to cut the same shape out of the lining fabric.
make your applique. i like to use gill sans bold font in about 500 pt for the recipient’s initial, but it could be fun to do a lightning bolt or an existing superhero logo too. cut a circle that your logo/letter will fit inside. don’t forget to trace your letter backwards! i trace my letter onto steam-a-seam paper first, peel off one side, stick to the fabric, then cut it out together using an older pair of sewing scissors.
place your applique on the main fabric, using the fold line of the cape to align the applique. fuse with your iron.
sew the letter/logo applique onto the cape. i like to use a blanket type stitch like number 11 on my machine. i change the length to 3.0 an the width to 4.0, but you can play around with it on a scrap to see what look you prefer. then sew around the edge of the circle with a wider, longer zigzag.
stitch it on…
you can actually see it better from the back…
fuse a strip of interfacing that’s about .5″ smaller than the length and width of the neckband to the wrong side of the main fabric (so about 1.5″ x 18.5″). interfacing helps the neckband stands up a bit like you see on a real superhero.
pin the main cape and the lining right sides together, allowing a 3″ section at the bottom for turning.
sew around the perimeter with a 1/2″ seam allowance, pivoting and sewing down a few stitches at the point where the neckband meets the shoulder area, then pivoting again to continue down the side of the cape.
clip outside corners, and clip into the inside corners of the neckband as shown below.
turn the cape rightside out through the opening, press out the corners using a point turner/pencil/chopstick, and press.
topstitch around the entire cape, closing the opening as you sew.
add velcro as shown. the “scratchy” part should be on the main (outer) fabric and the “soft” part should be on the lining. use 2″ inches of scratchy velcro, and 2.5″ of the soft velcro, so there’s less chance of the scratchy part touching skin.
sew into place around the edge of the velcro.
this cape is actually a christmas present for my nephew S, the youngest of three boys. he’s 3.5 and loves to dance crazy hip hop moves to justin bieber music, so he gets purple lining in his cape. i’ve already made capes for his two older brothers (here and here), and he also has cape envy of Em’s. it was about time i made him one too!
since it’s a christmas present, he can’t model it. i was lucky enough to have lila, daughter of the very talented gail, model alongside Em in their awesome reading nook (it’s also famous – it was on ohdeedoh!) during a playdate. the girls play together, O makes messes, and gail and i talk sewing. it’s the best.
check out these two cuties in capes!
up, up, and away!
is lila a good guy or a bad guy? very mysterious…
reaching for the clouds!
sweet buddies (they’re about 10 months apart in age – Em is older, but they’re the same size).
CAPES! i hope this all made sense. if you use this tutorial to make a superhero cape for a little one, please add it to my flickr group! i’d looooove to see them. feel free ask questions in the comments too, i’ll try my best to answer.