Wednesday, June 8, 2011

{DIY} Super Hero Capes: The No Sew Way!

My super cute Goddaughter is having a Wonder Woman /Super Hero party to celebrate her 5th birthday. I was already on board to make the cake (but of course), and then volunteered to make Super Hero capes as well. I've seen these on so many party posts and knew the kids would just love them! Plus I thought making them would be a great way to help my sister-in-law save a little on the party budget.

I also saw this a great opportunity to motivate myself to learn to use my sewing machine, a task that has been on the "to do" list foreverBut since the title of this post includes the words "no sew", you can probably guess how that turned out!

As it turns out I am NOT a natural at sewing a straight line. So with a deadline looming over me, I decided to just make the whole project "No Sew". You can certainly use your sewing skills (and have my envy), but as long as you can wield an iron, you can make this!

I made 10 of these capes, so scale your supplies accordingly. Also, these are for a party of kids ranging from ages 2 to 5. My daughters and Goddaughter are tall for their age so these capes are on the longer side. If you have mostly toddlers you will probably want to make these shorter so they aren't tripping over them.

Supplies needed for 10 capes:
-5 yards of fabric (I used inexpensive & lightweight broadcloth). *1 yard of fabric will yield TWO capes.
-ribbon in coordinating colors (I used 3/8 " wide for trim & ties)
-rick rack (I ended up using 6 packages of the 2 1/2 yd size packs)
-"No Sew" adhesive tape (1 pkg was just enough...make sure it's not wider than your ribbon)
-"No Sew" adhesive sheets (1 pkg was just enough...use the kind designed for patches)
-fabric glue
-hot glue
-embellishments of your choosing (I used felt glitter stars)
-5 pieces of white felt *1 piece of felt will yield 2 emblems
-additional felt in coordinating colors for initials (I got appx 4 initials out of one piece)

To begin, take each yard of fabric and cut it in half vertically (which luckily will probably be right along the fold already there). You can make 2 capes out of every 1 yard.

After cutting each yard in half, you need to determine how big you want your capes. I used my daughter as my model (who quickly grew tired of being measured and re-measured I might add). You could get fancy and make a template out of brown craft paper or something similar, but I just cut one cape out and used it as the stencil for all the remaining ones.

The measurements shown above are actually for the finished cape. I realized I had already hemmed them all with the tape and forgot to take a picture (sorry). So when measuring and cutting your cape, keep in mind that you will be folding the edges to create a hem, so your un-hemmed cape will actually be about a 1/2" wider and longer than shown above. But ultimately, you will make these in whatever size works for you!

Since I was making 10 of these babies, I found it easier to proceed in an assembly line fashion. In other words, I cut ALL the capes out first, then hemmed ALL the capes, etc etc etc. It made it much easier than trying to complete one cape at a time.

Next up...putting your iron to work! First, create a "hem" by folding over your fabric and ironing it to make a crease. You can skip this step, but I found it easier to line up the fabric tape with a guideline like the crease. Then you can cut your tape to the length you need and iron following your product instructions.

After ironing the fabric tape around all 3 edges (save the collar area for last), you are ready to start applying the trim.

I used fabric glue to attach all my trim. You could use fabric tape if you prefer, but it was more expensive than the glue, so I switched to glue for the more decorative parts of the project. You could also skip the fabric glue and use hot glue instead. I originally purchased fabric glue because I thought this could be laundered, but now I'm thinking these are more "spot clean" ;)

I used ribbon for the bottom edge and then white rick rack for the sides. I really like the contrast of the white and it reminded me of the failed stitching I had attempted :) The fabric glue directions stated that it needed to dry for 24 hours so I let my capes hang out overnight and they were ready to be finished the next morning.

Next, I added some embellishments to jazz it up and also to cover the corners where my ribbon and rick rack met.  I found some cute glitter felt stars that were perfect so I hot glued those on the bottom corners.

At this time I also decided to hot glue the raw edge of the neck/collar area of the fabric. I folded over the fabric a smidge (how's that for precise measuring) and hot glued it down for a more finished look. I then hot glued on more ribbon for the ties and then finished it off with some more glitter stars.

Of course the Super Hero capes would not be complete with the Super Heroes initials on them. So I made patches with each child's initial. 

I used white felt to cut out a "Super Hero-ish" shape. I kind of winged these, but I think you could use just about any shape you wanted. Then I cut each letter out of felt. I created a stencil by printing out letters in the font & size I wanted, which is a little trail & error. I hot glued the letters onto the patches.

Then following the package directions, I ironed on the patches with the fabric adhesive.

I found the felt to be pretty thick and the iron wasn't heating up the adhesive very well. So, I flipped it over, lined up the patch underneath and ironed on the reverse. Now if you do that, pay close attention or all that flipping might lead you to iron the patch completely on the wrong side. Say around cape #7 when you think you have your ironing groove on (might have happened to someone I know).

I can't wait to take these to the party this weekend and see all the little Super Heroes in action. Mine is already ready for action...

Super Heroes to the rescue!

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