Saturday, February 9, 2013

How to Make a Children's Elf Cape

This fits kids sizes 4-5.
I've been admiring the sweater elf dress/coats on Etsy. I don't know when I will be able to try to make one. I also have seen my daughter use an off-center skirt (longer on one side than the other) as a poncho on her shoulders. I thought about making an 'off-center' circle cape on purpose for my kids, and this is what became of it.

Here is a basic guide to make it:

The fabric I have used is about 54"wide lightweight knit. I folded the fabric so that there were 4 layers. After making the circle and cutting, I opened it an cut an 'off-center circle large enough for a neck and seam allowances.

Here is a trick for making a circle: Tie a sewing marker to the end of the cord. Measure the length of the skirt you need, allowing for waistbands, etc. from the point of the marker. Hold it at the central point (corner of double folded fabric) and carefully draw across the fabric keeping it tight and upright. It's a simple compass!
I used the extra better-looking scraps from around the circle as a hood. (I was looking a book once about medieval clothing construction one time and it suggested that the tailors used the leftovers from around the circle to make the dramatic long-pointed drop of the sleeves. Maybe they did this for their cool hood-capes.)
Make sure to sew large side to pointy side of the hood.
Fold the selvage front edge of the hood to the 'right' side, sew, and cover with lace.
Finished Hood. Yes, it looks a little tall, but that will make it look more romantic.
Cut a slit in the front to allow the head to come through along the grain of the fabric. Fold to right side and use a zigzag stitch to cover the raw edge, and to finish the middle of it. Cover with lace.
Use long stitch and make 2 rows of stitching along collar edge to gather. Gather it until it is the same length as the hood bottom. Pin with lots of pins.
HINT: Maybe everyone does this, but sew between the 2 rows of gather-stitching; it prevents as many folds being sewn down. Top stitch or trim excess if you like.
Sew lace on bottom using a zigzag or creative wide stitch, covering raw edge under lace about midway. Superfast and easy!
Grab the little kid and have them model it!

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