Play capes

Today I am sharing another recently finished project, a Christmas present for 2 of my nephews. They like to get motivated to clean up by pretending they are superheroes, so I made them some special capes to wear:

super hero cape

I used the pattern from the book Growing Up Sew Liberated by Meg McElwee, but I left off the hood. The hood is a little pointed and looks a little more like a hood for a fairy tale character than a super hero. The other alteration I made was adding a strap with Velcro. The pattern calls for a big button, with a loop of elastic to wrap around it. I have already learned from past capes that this kind of fastener does not hold up to the daily rigors of a small boy pretending to be a super hero. So I made up my own fastener at the neck, which is holding up well so far, according to my sister.

I used polyester material, so it will be easy to wash, plus its really shiny and looks extra fancy for a dazzling super hero to wear. The colors for each cape were chosen according to the favorite colors of each child.

(Note: I edited this post to add some more specific pictures and instructions about how I made the new neck strap below, per Melissa’s request in the comments.)

How to create a more secure neck strap for the play cape:

Unfortunately I didn’t take photos as I sewed them up, because I was hurrying to get them done and shipped in time for Christmas. However, I did take a few more close up shots of a cape I recently finished for my own son, which was sewn in the same fashion. I have also added a description of what I did to make the neck strap/fastener below.

I cut out two pieces, one from each color fabric, approximately 4.5 x 2.25 inches. I cut 2 pieces of one-sided iron-on interfacing approx 4 x 1.75 inches. I centered the interfacing pieces onto the wrong sides of the colored fabric and ironed it on. Then, putting the right sides together, I sewed around the edges with an approx 1/4 in. seam allowance on 3 sides, leaving one of the short sides open. I flipped the fabric right side out. I top-stitched around the strap on 3 sides, leaving that same side open (the 4th side will get sewn inside the cape so it doesn’t matter).

Next I cut a 1.5 x 1.5 inch square of iron-on interfacing to put on the other side of the neck of the cape, where the other piece of Velcro would be sewn on, to give extra stability/durability. I ironed it on to the wrong side of the fabric, making sure to position it so it wasn’t going to interfere with the seam allowance.

When you are ready to sew the entire cape together, you need to pin the strap where you want it. I put mine as high up next to the neckline as I could, leaving just enough room for the seam allowance. You pin the strap so that it is sandwiched between the right sides of the cape fabrics, making sure you match up colors so that when you turn the cape inside out, the colors of your strap match the colors of the rest of the cape. I sewed several extra rows of stitches on the seam allowance on inside of the capeĀ  where I attached the neck strap, to reinforce it.

Once the cape is turned right side out and you have done your top-stitching, its time to add the Velcro. I sewed the soft side of the Velcro at the end of the strap, and the scratchy side on the front of the cape. I just held the Velcro in place with my finger until it looked good, and then pinned and sewed.

Obviously there are several ways you could construct a neck strap on the cape, but I hope this at least gives you an idea of one way of doing it. I hope my explanation makes sense, but if not feel free to ask more questions.

I still have several more sewing projects to share with you, so keep checking back for more great ideas.

-Susan

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3 Responses to Play capes

  1. Melissa says:

    Do you have a photo of the changes you made? I’m making one for my grandson and you are right, I’m afraid of what will happen to a button now that you mentioned it!! 8*)

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