Capes! Making Toddler Capes for Christmas

DIY Super Hero Capes

Oh is it not Christmastime? Consider this early for next year 🙂 For Christmas I made my four toddler aged nieces and nephews shiny satin capes. 

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Here are some pictures of the capes in action – I couldn’t get them to slow down to pose, so that is a good sign that they liked them!

I used the Nancy’s Notions free cape pattern which was very helpful. I believe I adapted a few things, but it’s been a few months now and I can’t remember. I had their parents measure them from shoulder to knee to figure out how long to make them.  I did do some creative piecing and cutting of the satin so that I was able to get 4 capes out of 4.5 yards of fabric (for just one cape according to the pattern, you need two yards of fabric).

I went to Joann’s wondering what kind of fabric to get for kid’s capes, when lo and behold, I found “Play Satin” there! Perfect kids colors. It’s like they know that people want to make costumes for kids! It was very fussy to sew with, and I do worry about it fraying, but I tried to finish the edges with extra rows of stitching and a wider seam allowance to make them a little tougher. It would have been nice to have a working serger at that point, but in December I had a brand new broken serger (turns out there was a reason it was on the sale rack. Thanks to a great Brother Warranty, now I have a working serger!

I am normally a big fan of raw edge applique, but I knew that wouldn’t work with this low quality satin – or any satin. So I did what I’ve heard called “Dryer Sheet Applique” though i would not recommend using dryer sheets for it.  Because dryer sheets can have toxic chemicals in them for one reason, and I would worry how they’d hold up over time. I used a fusible interfacing for the backing of the applique.
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This satin melts with the tiniest bit of heat – I am sure you couldn’t put in the dryer – so applique was a bit of a challenge. I took some photos of my applique process in case it is helpful to anyone else who knows any little heroes!

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I used a lightweight fusible interfacing – though it wouldn’t have to be fusible, as I learned that the satin melts to easily to iron on anyway. So any lightweight interfacing, like for garment making, is fine. Place satin and interfacing right sides together. Trace your shape and sew around the edges. This is easier with a solid shape, like a star, but you do the same for a littler like the B on the cape above. Use a fairly short stitch.

Applique Star Using Dryer Sheet Method

Cut out around the edges, leaving about a quarter inch seam allowance.  You’ll need to trim extra on the corners to reduce bulk for a smoother finish. Cut a hole in the interfacing and…

Applique Star Using Dryer Sheet Method

Turn them right side out. Be careful not to tear the interfacing, as the stuff I used tore very easily. You can see my star points are a little blunted, because I wasn’t that careful about trimming around the points. Such is life!

Applique Star Using Dryer Sheet Method

Finger press flat (or iron if you’re using fabric that can be ironed!) Pin down. You can try and iron it a bit if you like, but at your own risk!  The interfacing needed to be tucked under at a few points, as it was visible from the side.

Applique Star Using Dryer Sheet Method

Sew around the edges. I did two trips around, one at the edge and one 5/8s in from the edge.

Applique Star Using Dryer Sheet Method

 

and that was it! The letters were a bit trickier, but it’s the same basic principle for about any design.

 

 

 

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