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Topic: Easy Fancy Cape Tutorial  (Read 1010 times)
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« on: February 22, 2018 10:06:14 AM »

Some time ago I made a cape for a friend's Little Red Riding Hood costume, but it needed to really use the fabric to it's every advantage, because she couldn't afford to spend too much on yardage. It didn't have to be especially long; in fact it was a sort of Victorian-themed costume, so a shorter cape was appropriate. Here's what I came up with:

This uses exactly 2 yards of 54" wide wool blend suiting material. Below is a diagram, and below that is an explanation of the diagram, which may or may not be self-explanatory.

So. Most wool-blend suiting comes in the approx 60" widths, which are usually closer to 54" to 56". Buy 2 yards, and make sure you get a cut that's as close to the grain as possible, but everything is approximate anyway, so there's wiggle room.

Start by cutting your fabric as long as it is wide. set aside the extra, which should be about 18", and then even up the square, and either deliberately fray all four edges (this is what I did for this example), or hem or fray-check them, or add any edging decorations. From one corner, measure 18" up both connecting sides, then mark an arc from point to point, with an 18" radius. Set this aside for now.

Now, with the bit you cut away: Cut into three even strips. If you can get three strips 6" wide, then great, but it's more likely you'll get 4" or 5" wide with some scrap left over due to evening out the store cut, etc. Sew these strips together into one long strip. Edge them however you want; ribbon edging, frayed, pinked, etc., but keep in mind they will be gathered a LOT. (In fact, you CAN just use 2 strips, really.) As with the other edges, I left mine frayed.

Now, you're going to run two rows of gather stitches equidistant from both edges, and between 1.5" and 2" apart. (So, if you have a 5" strip, run gathering stitches 1.5" in from both edges, leaving a 2" channel down the middle.) Now, this is a little finicky, but you're going to gather these up to slightly different lengths. Lay your strip down so that the center of the strip lays along the arc you marked on your square of fabric, and gather until both ends of your strips butt up flush with the edges of the cape, and the ruffles lay flat in a smooth arc, always with the center of the channel running along the marked arc. Pin well, and sew the gathered strip down along the gather stitches. (Later, if you have patience, you can pull the gather threads out.)

You're basically done. I just folded the point back about 6" and tacked it down, then ran a big ribbon through the gathered channel and tied in front. It's a super quick project if you just need a "plain" cape. It turns out something a little fancy and swishy and ruffly, without even adding any additional decorations. But simple steps to fancy it up even more include running a fancy edging along all the sides, sewing in a lining in the hood part (inside the arc) or just use two squares of fabric to line the whole cape, adding a tassel to the point in back, etc.

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« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2018 07:21:46 AM »

What a lovely cape. Thanks for sharing the tutorial.
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