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How To Sew A Superhero Cape

by - Thursday, November 03, 2011

Okay, I admit it, I've caught the sewing bug. It shows no signs of slowing down and I've got a jumbo list of gifts I want to sew up for Christmas. One project I'm looking forward to is making superhero capes for my little nephews and nieces. I decided to do a test first and make one for my own little superhero.

I used this tutorial as a guide but modified it a little to suit Chloe's size and add some embellishments. Here's what you need:

  • 2 yards solid of fabric (You can do 2 yards of the same fabric, but I think you get twice the fun when you use different fabrics and create a reversible cape!)
  • Marking chalk
  • Side plate
  • Velcro
  • Sewing supplies
  • Iron
  • Felt
  • Stitch witchery (iron on seam tape)
  1. Measure how long you want the cape to be. I measured Chloe from the top of her shoulder to just below the back of her knees (21"). Add 1" to allow for 1/2" seam at top and bottom. This number is Measurement A (22" in my case).
  2. Take your two yards of fabric and place them one on top of the other.
  3. Fold the fabric in half. Along the fold, make a mark at Measurement A. At one end, make a mark at 5.5" in from the fold. At the other end, make a mark at 11" in from the fold. Use a tape measure to connect the 5.5" and 11" marks and draw a diagonal line to connect them.
  4. Cut along the 11" line and 1/2" away from the diagonal line (for the seam allowance). 
  5. From the inside fold corner, make a mark 4" along the top and 4" down. NOTE: For bigger children, you may want to make this larger (4" along the top, 5.5" down). Take your side plate (my side plate was 7.5" across) and join the two marks. Chalk around the outline of the side plate.
  6. Cut out the circle mark and you are left with two pieces of fabric that look like this. (I rounded the edges for a softer look):

Now you can add some embellishments if you want. You need to add the embellishments before you sew the front and back of the cape together. If you just want a simple cape, skip to the end.
I'm still a novice sewer so I always try something new with each project that I do. For this one, I wanted to try out making a ruffle, and working with felt.

To make a ruffle:
  • Cut a piece of fabric 3"wide and double the length of your garment. Since my cape was 22" wide, my piece measured 3"x44". If your fabric isn't long enough, use two pieces of fabric and seam them on the short end.
  • Make a fold 1/4" along the length of the fabric and iron this down. Fold over 1/4" again and iron this down

  • Sew along the top of this fold. This creates the bottom finished seam of the ruffle. Sew a stitch 1/2" down from the top of the fabric - be sure to leave long leading and ending threads. Pull only the bottom thread and slowly gather the fabric to make ruffles
  • Once you have the right length (22" in my case) and have the ruffles looking nice, fold 1/4" at each end and sew the seams.
  • Attach the ruffle to the garment with a simple straight stitch along the top edge.

To make a monogram:

So I got lazy at this point and didn't take any photos of my steps :( but its a simple process...
  • Take a piece of felt and piece of fabric and use your side plate to cut out two circles.
  • Draw the letter on the felt by free hand. Cut out the letter.
  • Add any other decorative elements you want - stars, lightening bolts, wings etc.
  • Place the felt on top of the fabric and sew them together to your solid cape fabric, and use Stitch Witchery to attach the other pieces
Now you're ready to put the whole cape together:

  • Put the cape pieces together, right side facing in
  • Make sure any embellishments won't be caught when we sew the seam. I had to use some pins to "tuck" in the ends of the ruffles so they wouldn't be caught.
  • Sew a 1/2" seam around the entire cape edge, leaving a 2" gap at the bottom so you can turn the fabric inside out. 
  • Turn out the fabric. Hand sew the gap closed. Iron the garment.
  • Sew a small square of velcro on opposite sides of the flap so they overlap when closed.
  • Find the nearest little superhero, and adorn them with their fancy new cape!

And that's it! Easy, right? I hope this encourages some of you to dig out the sewing machine, brush off the dust, and get sewing. I haven't been sewing long, and I'm amazed at how easy it really is. If I can do it, so can you :)

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