How to make a cute lined baby dragon cape for your favourite child. This Dragon cape was made for my daughter's best friend, for her 4th birthday. It went over really well, particularly with the cold snap we had.
Step 1: Materials
For this dragon cape, you will need:
-At least one and a half yards outer material, such as fleece
-equal amount of lining material (optional but it will be warmer)
-measuring tape, parking pens, scissors, sewing accoutrement, iron
Sculpey air dry glaze
-paint tray, xacto knife, paint brush, cornstarch or talcum powder
-fine gauge craft wire, needlenose pliers
Step 2: Measure for the Cape
Take a measurement of the child that you are crafting for. The length from neck to hand will be the measurement we need. In this case it was about 18 inches.
Next, trace a circle on your material using the measuring tape or a string for the radius, by anchoring one end of the tape in the middle and marking all around, then cutting out the circle. Do the same for the lining material if you are using it.
Fold the circle in half and cut it so that you have two halves of a circle.
For the hood, find a hood that fits your child and lay it over the fabric, trace around the shape and cut out two pieces.
Measure the bottom edge of the hood piece, divide this measurement by two.
Fold the two halves of the circle in half, and cut the corner off, using the hood measurement as the guide, as shown in the picture. The hole should be a diamond and each side should be 1/2 as long as the bottom edge of the hood piece.
Use the pieces as a template to cut out lining materials to match each piece.
Step 3: Spines and Wings
Using a contrasting material or the lining, cut wings and spines as shown in the pictures. Fuse interfacing to each piece.
Fold each spine in half right sides together, sew along one edge. Turn right side out, press.
Place the spines along the hood with the open edges in the seam allowance, stitch a line of staystitching all along one piece of the hood to hold them on.
Step 4: General Construction
Sew the two halves of the circle together along one edge, leaving the other edge free. Prepare the lining sections in the same way.
Place your wings about midway down with the centre of the two wings lining up on the centre back seam. Tack the applique on with straight stitch all around the edges, then outline the applique with Satin stitches. To use a regular sewing machine for this set the stitch to zig zag, (number 4 on mine) and the stitch length to .3, very close together stitches. Outline the wings in a contrasting color of thread and embellish with veins as I did in the picture.
Take a short break from sewing.
Step 5: Making the Eyes
If you want, you can buy safety eyes or use shank buttons for the eyes. However I made my own, so here's how to do it.
Preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
Mix some polymer clay to get the color of eyes you want your cape to have. I wanted orange, so i mixed transparent, yellow, red, and gold for a bit of sparkle.
Dust your mold (I used a paint tray) with cornstarch or talcum powder, and push the clay into it, so that the half spheres are formed. Remove it gently and rinse off all the powder, pat dry. Now take a pinch of black clay and roll it out into a thin log, to make the iris of the eye. Cut a channel into the eye for the iris, and lay the black in the channel. press gently to seal. Embellish however you want, I put some other black specks around the upright iris, and I also put on a dot of glow in the dark clay.
Now reapply the talc and gently press the spheres back into the molds, this time pressing as much as you can so that the orange and black are pressed together. Set aside.
Take the needlenose pliers and cut off a piece of wire about 4 inches long. Using the tip of the pliers, wind a loop in each end of the wire, then double it up so that it is a bit stronger. This will be the shank of the eye. Bend the wire between the ends so that it resembles the picture; the more bendy it is the better it will hold up to being tugged on. Make one for the other eye, and gently press a shank into each molded eye, so that it is embedded about halfway through. Press the clay over the wires so that it is buried.
Put the mold in the freezer for 5 minutes or so, this will help the clay firm up and make it easier to remove without distorting the shape. Remove the eyes from the molds, and gently wipe off any remaining talc and smush them back into shape, if need be. Bake in the center of the oven for 20 minutes, then rotate them and bake them for 20 more minutes. Allow to cool for about half an hour after they have been baked.
When the eyes are cool enough to handle, trim any excess clay with an exacto knife, and sand the edges so that they are nice and rounded. Apply 2 coats of sculpey glaze so that they will be shiny and glossy.
Eyes complete! Back to sewing.
Step 6: Assemble the Hood
Lay out the two pieces of the hood and mark where the eyes will be. Now, if you made your own eyes, they will not be washable, so we will address that now. If you went with safety eyes or buttons then skip the next part.
Mark where the eyes will go on each part of the hood and the corresponding lining pieces. On the back side, fuse a piece of interfacing directly behind the spot where the eyes should go. Now cut out four rectangles of self fabric and two of lining, measuring 3" x 4" and fuse interfacing to each piece.
On outside of hood section, lay one piece of interfaced fleece on top of the marking for the eye, and pin it on, fleece sides together. Stitch along the marking creating a bound buttonhole large enough for the eye to fit through. Slash the center of the stitched outlined rectangle, and push the fabric through to the backside. Topstitch around the buttonhole.
With right sides together sew the two halves of the hood together, then trim the seam allowance and clip the curves as necessary. Prepare the lining the same as the outer layer.
Now take the remaining fleece and lining rectangles and sew them together making sturdy bases for the eyes to be sewn onto. Press.
Sew the eyes onto the bases securely.
Now, with the eyes buttoned on, cut a half circle of green fleece to use for the eyelid. Pin in on in position over the eye and mark around wheere the stitching will go. (see the 13th picture below.)
Remove the eye and stitch the eyelid on, trim. Repeat for the other side.
Step 7: Sew It All Together!
Pin the hood to the cape, aligning the edges and lining the backseams up (thats the most important in my opinion.) Sew it all together along the neck seam, and sew the lining in the same manner.
Now, with right sides together, pin the lining to the outer layer, and sew it all around the edges, leaving a space unsewn for turning. Trim the seam allowance to a scant half inch, and trim all corners.
Turn right side out, press. Topstitch all around the cape, taking care to stitch up the hole you left for turning. Topstitch a line on each side of the center seam.
Now make the button tab for the front closure:
Take a strip of outer material about 9" long and fuse interfacing to it. Fold it in half lengthwise and stitch along the long side making a long tube. Turn right side out and press.
Fold it in half as in the 4th picture. Press it flat, making a tab with an arrow point at the end. Stitch across one end, and to keep the arrow point stitch a rectangle as shown in the picture.
Now find a big button and sew the tab onto the one side of the front of the cape, and a button on the corresponding area.
Fray check all seams and trim all the threads hanging off.
Step 8: Give It Away!
The birthday girl loved it, and pretended to be a "dragon princess" all day long. Its easy enough for her to get on and off and the big button tab makes it so that the cape can be worn back on the shoulders or right up closed for warmth.
I hope this instructible was ok, it's pretty hard for me to explain things. I included lots of pictures to hopefully clarify my poor explanations. Thank you for reading it!
Finalist in the
SINGER Kids Crafts Contest