Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Tutorial: Four Simple Hooded Capes for under $15

This Hooded Cape (and the variations you will see below) is a really really easy & quick project to make. It is a fabulous addition to your kids dress up box. You can make this cape to any size (even for adults) in under an hour.

Before you purchase your fabric measure the height of the person this cape is for.  For example:
Bunny#1 is 42" = approx 1.25 yards
Bunny #2 is 39" = approx 1.125 yards
Bunny#3 is 36" = 1 yard

You will need:
  • Material the same length as the height of the person the cape is for. I trimmed all my fabrics to a standard 42" width.
  • Thread
  • Ribbon (I used recycled ribbon from Christmas/presents past)
  • Big sharp needle for threading ribbon.
  • Knitting needle - or something similar - for making holes in fabric
  • Tulle or Organza same length as the height of the person the cape is for
  • Glittery beads
Basic Pattern Outline

1. Hem your fabric on 3 edges - left edge, right edge & bottom edge. I like to use a skinny rolled hem - but you could just use a zig zag or overlocking stitch if you prefer.

TIP: When I make a rolled hem I use my embroidery foot which has a handy space in the middle - using this as a guide - it helps me keep the rolled hem consistent in size - I roll as I go - which strangely I find less problematic than pinning first.

 Optional: Add your tulle or organza at this point if you want. Tulle shouldn't fray - but organza will need a zigzag or overlocking stitch along the edges. Include the tulle or organza along the hem/edges of your capes fabric for the top 14" on the left and right sides only. This will ensure that the tulle will be neatly attached to/included the hood but free flowing on the rest of the cape.

2.  Fold your fabric in two (right side of fabric up) and mark down the folded side at the 14" point. Make an arc from the 14" point to the top right hand corner. I have drawn mine with a pen so you can see the line - but I would suggest perhaps using a removable fabric marker. (Whats the plate for? - For some reason putting the big plate in the middle of the folded fabric helps me draw an arc freehand.)

3.  Pin & sew along your marked line. 

TIP: When working with shiny, furry or silky fabrics I like to use a walking foot. This prevents the fabric from sliding around underneath the foot while you are sewing.

4. Cut the arc 1/8" away from the seam.  Turn the seam inside out - so the right sides are now together - pin and sew - this is what is called a French seam. You can find a great tutorial on french seams here on Craftsy. Don't be intimidated - a 'french seam' sounds more complicated than it is.
Optional: If the idea of a french seam fills you with dread. Fold your fabric and mark your arc on the wrong side of the fabric - make a traditional seam & use a zigzag or overlocking stitch to prevent the seam from fraying. 

5. Iron your fabric - it will be easier to do this now before the ribbon has gathered the fabric. While ironing fold the top part of the hood over and make a crease vertically along the 14" mark of the fabric.

6. Thread a ribbon along this 14" mark/fold. If your big sharp needle won't do the job - makes holes with a sharp knitting needle first. Make the holes about every 2 inches.
Optional: Add some bling/beads to your ribbon.

We got all of our materials at JoAnn's. Cost of capes are shown below.

Mermaid Cape
- 1.125 yd of Satin in Violet $3.36
- 1.125yd of Glitter wave organza in jade $5.36
- Thread - from stash
- Recycled Ribbon from stash
- Beads $3.99 (with lots left over)
TOTAL COST: $12.71

 Can you guess who is under the cape?
 Jewels from the bottom of the sea?

It is Ariel!!!

Little Red Riding Hood Cape
- 1.25 yds of Glitter Satin in Tango Red $7.49
- Thread - from stash
- Recycled Ribbon from stash
 Little Red Riding Hood off into the woods - lets hope she stays safe.

Here is what she selected for her Grandmother. 

This was the most coveted out of all of the cloaks we made. How adorable does Bunny #2 look!

Batman or Pirate Cape
- 1yd of Satin in Black $2.99
- Thread - from stash
- Recycled Ribbon from stash

Frozen or Cinderella Cape
- 1.25yd of Glitter Satin in Powder Blue $3.75
- 1.25yd of Teardrop White Tulle $6.24
- Thread - from stash
- Recycled Ribbon from stash
- Beads $3.99 (with lots left over)
TOTAL COST: $13.98

 This cape was inspired by my girls love of Elsa from Frozen. We don't have a Frozen dress in our dress up box (yet I suspect) so we used Cinderella's dress instead. 
I think the cape could work for Elsa or Cinderella.

 Some bling. 

 And some singing and dancing of 'Let it Go' .....

I really hope this tutorial helps you and your little ones make some capes to have fun in.


Thimbleanna said...

Super Cute Rachael! Now I'm hoping for granddaughters someday so I can make some capes!

Natalia said...

This is so smart and simple! Love it! Have you ever made one leaving in the corner instead of cutting the curve? Thinking that might make a cute pointy hood, but maybe it would look weird and boxy.

Thanks for this great tutorial and idea! :D

Rachael Dorr said...

Thank you ;-) They were lots of fun & very quick to make.

Rachael Dorr said...

Hi Natalia - I did think about leaving the hoods with a pointy corner instead of the curve - but I wanted them to be more princessy & curvy - and I personally am not a big fan of a pointy hood/hat sort of costume. But it would be perfectly possible to leave out the curved seam. Send me a picture if you make one like this - I would love to see it.