Published on December 2nd, 2009 | by Becky Striepe10
Handmade Holidays: Simple Superhero Capes
The weather is getting colder, and we have a handmade holiday on our minds! Handmade gifts have heart, are better for the environment, and, if you opt to buy, it supports independent artists!
If you want to have a totally handmade holiday, now is the time to get started. Over the next couple of months, we’ll be posting about recycled gifts and giftwrap you can make yourself and great handmade finds for sale!
My sweet nephews are totally into superheroes these days! The older one loves Superman and the younger is into Blue Batman. Not just any Batman, people. Blue. Obviously, I had no choice but to make them their very own superhero capes for Christmas! Here’s how you can make your own:
- 2 thrifted sheets in contrasting colors
- measuring tape
- fabric scissors
- sewing machine
The beauty of working with finished sheets is that you can take advantage of one finished edge and save yourself some time! If your sheet’s edges are all gone or you’re working with something that doesn’t have finished hems, no worries! You’ll just need to hem one more side.
- one 4″ x 42″ rectangle
- one 24″ x 22″ rectangle (Make sure one of the short sides takes advantage of the hemmed edge of the sheet.)
- Whatever you want to applique on there. I did the first letter of each of their names.
Now, take one end of your rectangle, fold it in, and trim your fabric so it won’t stick out when you re-fold it in half (take a peek at the picture to the right to see what I mean). Repeat on the other side, then fold the fabric down along that first seam you made, press, and place one pin on each end to secure it. Set this aside.
Grab your 24″ x 22″ piece of fabric and make a 1/2″ seam along each long edge. If the bottom of your sheet didn’t have a hem, you’ll want to create a 1/2″ seam there, too. Fold your seams over twice, so it hides the unfinished edges, then press and pin.
Cut out your letter or superhero symbol, and press that too. Pin it onto the outside of your cape.
When that’s done, switch to the zig zag stitch and carefully stitch around the edges of your letter or symbol. Be careful not to pull the fabric, or your applique might turn out a little lumpy.
Give the body of the cape a good press, including the applique, to set all of your stitching.
Now, you’ll need the strap you made. Slide the unfinished edge of the cape body into the fold of the strap, pinning it down in the center. Now, tuck in the left side, sliding the fabric down about 2″ – 3″ from where it would naturally lie. Use your fingers to fold the cape fabric over and pin that all into place. Repeat on the right side. It should look like the picture up there on the left when it’s done. See how there are two folds in the fabric?
You’re almost done! Now, you’ll just sew around the edges of the strap to secure everything. Give it one final press, and you’re done!