Intro: HOW TO MAKE a SUPER HERO CAPE!
I have 3 super great boys and, within their realm, they have incredible Super abilities! They can find and conquer the evil Detch Vatsher (dishwasher) at break-neck speed AND haul in (for questioning) the Garbatche Brothers (garbage cans) 2 AT A TIME! ... any parent knows this MUST mean these are children that have been endowed with Super powers!!!!!!
Since providing them with their first Super cape years ago, our boys have gone on from just being Super, to achieving the Hero status around our corner of the world...(they now mow OTHER peoples yards!)
Recognition is the first and most critical thing we can do as parents of Super children.
Most children are great at masking their Super identities!...They will lead you to believe they are average run-of-the-mill kids, but in actuality if you observe them at a friends house (or any home other than your own) you will see they have been endowed with Super abilities also! When viewed (from the secret x-ray eye I have in the back of my head) at other friends homes, I noticed my boys helping to clean the other child's room in a flurry (as I do believe, this was the ONLY way the friend could play outside) I came to the realization that unbenost to myself and husband, we HAD 3 Super boys! As their mother, I recognized these amazing feats and felt it my duty to equip them!
Step 1: Warning and Disclaimer / Items Needed
You can make a Princess cape using this Instructable but please heed the WARNING and DISCLAIMER below!!
***Beware as you pick out your Princess' fabric! Use ONLY certified Fairy Dust that will gently flutter you to a fabric store with delicate prints. 'Supercenters' are to be left to crime fighting Men-O-Steel and fabric purchased there for your Princess could possibly have her stopping raging runaway steel trains while on her way to Neverland!(gasp!)***
You will need:
1 Brown Paper Bag (for a template)
Masking or Duct Tape
Pins, Measuring Tape, Sewing Machine
Scissors for cutting paper
Scissors for cutting fabric (DON'T use mom's FABRIC SCISSORS for cutting paper!...ask me how my mom knows where the pretty crinkly cut edges on her valentine paper heart (30 years ago) came from...PINKING SHEARS that have never seen a piece of fabric again!) You don't need pinking shears for this project just some good fabric scissors.
For Jr. Crime Fighters: 1 yard EACH of 2 different patterns (36"-45" wide)
For Heroes: 2 yards EACH of 2 different patterns (45"wide)
We shopped a 'Super Stuffmart' and got just the right kind of fabrics in their Mega Hero isle (clearance rack) and found 2 materials that have perfect densities and strengths and also flying capabilities with super speed...all for an unbelievable low price of $2 a yard!!
Step 2: Step 1: Plan
Make a plan...ask yourself, "What Super powers would I like to acquire or enhance with the making of this really cool cape?"
With that thoroughly thought out...cut a strip of one of the fabrics 3" wide by the width of the fabric (most likely 45") and set aside for the final step of stitching on the collar tie. Place the fabrics, front sides together, on a large surface and smooth out.
Step 3: Step 2: the Paper Bag (It Isn't Just for Rustic Gift Wrap Anymore!)
Cut the bag down the back and around the bottom. Then cut the rectangle in half, long wise, and tape the bags together to make one long strip. Measure about 45" across the strip and cut so the template and the fabric are the same width.
Using your creative mind (if you are making a Super Hero cape there is NO DOUBT you have a very active imagination!) draw the bottom of what you've always dreamt your cape would look like. (You may want to hum the theme song to Batman or recite the Superman "Faster than a speeding bullet" while tumbling all this around in your noggin.)
A scalloped, but pointy, cape bottom (like Batman's) is very difficult, if not impossible, for a cape such as this, (but then again who am I to underestimate YOUR Super powers?!).
Another cape bottom is a simple straight cut...but that's really too plain for a Mega Hero setting out to fight crime against evil-doers the world over!
My choice for the many my trio of manly men have worn and worn out thru the years, is a scalloped bottom with straight longer sections in between. It has ease of assembly, durability, steel bending properties and still gives it a great look while rippling thru the clouds behind you.
Once you have decided on the fashionable bottom, draw out the bottom edging using a pencil.
When satisfied, cut (with paper scissors) along pencil lines and place over fabric (right sides still facing each other). Pin template to both pieces of fabric and cut (using fabric scissors) along the template. Remember, you are only cutting the steel bending properties into the cape at the bottom, not the top edge of the bag. Save the scrap pieces for the next step because as everyone knows...thriftiness IS...a SUPER quality!
If you choose to add an emblem or decal leave the pins in at the bottom; doing so keeps everything lined up perfectly for sewing the edges.
Step 4: Step 3: Official Hero Emblem (optional)
This part could be pretty time consuming (depending on the detail) so if your services are being summoned quite often as a Super Hero you may want to skip this option and go with a plain (but stylin) cape and not risk having your powers compromised by an incomplete super suit (dun-dun-dun...evil villain music!)
If you would like to add an official Hero emblem or your Super Heroes name on the back you can do so now. You can also choose to put a decal/emblem on both pieces of fabric and this will give you the opportunity to have a double disguise to thwart the enemy and keep your identity even more of a secret. (Sweet!)
But, alas, you have yet another choice to make... To 'glue' or to sew...?
By simply 'gluing' the emblem/words on the cape, your washer will win the horrible battle with the very first cleaning and your painstaking efforts will peel right off. Either sewing (stickem' down first then sewing) or gluing, you need to use a product called Wonder Under (what an appropriate name!). Wonder Under is an extremely thin fabric of fibers with a sticky glue that activates when heated by your iron. (Read the instructions that come with it.)
Fuse the Wonder Under directly to the back of the fabric you want to use for the emblem/words. Draw your emblem or stencil words onto the fabric then cut them out using your trusty fabric scissors and begin to fuse them to the right side of the cape.
I prefer to stitch them on after sticking them down. In our rural area there are many cows that need assistance each morning from "tipping" so the capes get quite a workout between wind whipping at high altitudes, braving bovine territory and (insert evil music here)...the dreaded Doc. Vashing Matchine (Ahhhhhhh!) Sticking them down first keeps them from sliding around under the foot of your sewing machine, from fraying at the edges and it helps hold their shape longer for the bad guys to catch the name of the one who apprehended them! (Ooooooo, that's worth the price of the sticky stuff right there!)
Step 5: Step 4: Pinning and Sewing
Assuming you have left the bottom of the cape pinned, smooth over the material again and pin the edges of the long 2 sides leaving the top open. (Invisibility capes are tricky and special care must be taken to make sure you remember where you put them down. I, myself, cannot find the fully invisible piece of apparel that I composed for my son last year!)
Sew around the 2 sides and bottom, removing the pins and detaching the bag template as you go leaving a 1/4" seam allowance. When finished, turn cape right side out via the large hole in the top. Using your closed scissors, or other flat object, poke the bottom cape tips out. Press with iron to smooth out.
Measure your hero from the base of the neck to the floor and subtract 3". If you do not subtract a bit from the length your hero may wind up tripping over his own super cape...and that's not something you want written in the history books if seen by witnesses! ***You can do this part before you begin (in the planning step) but it will shorten up just a bit from the seam allowances.***
Step 6: Step 5: Pleats and Collar Ties
Remember the 3" piece we cut off back in Step 1? Bring it out. With your iron, press it in half lengthwise, right sides out. Now open it and fold in the 2 outer edges, lengthwise, to meet the center crease you just put in and press it again.
Keeping the outer edges folded in, (lots of folding, I know, but it will pay off in the end...I promise) fold it in half again lengthwise. You now have a piece of fabric that has no cut edges showing except the very ends of a long 3/4" wide strip of material.
Find the center of the cape by folding in half and marking the spot by placing a pin on center. Pleat the neck part starting in the center and working to the end of one side (pinning as you go) then go back and work the other side pleating and pinning the other way.
The whole pleated cape top should span no more than from one edge of the Hero's shoulder to the other; if it does the cape will drag on the wearers neck and the ties will hang too far down in the front which could be disastrous in flight situations, so it's best to remove the pins and try again.
Find the center of the cape again and the center of the strip of material you made for the collar tie and match them up. Open the collar tie and securely sandwich in the pleated top. Work your way down one side then the other, pinning as you go (you now have LOTS of pins in this thing at the neck!). Sew the collar tie on carefully then measure and apply Velcro for little crime fighters...for older Heroes, I leave the strings to tie and retie as needed. (older Heroes and Velcro...it just ain't right!)
Step 7: Pics of My Hero's
These are some pics of my Hero's in Super garb and with various disguises to keep their identities hidden.
I do hope this Instructable brings smiles to many Heroes both young and old.
May you always view life thru the eyes of children. It's amazing what can happen when you invite imagination back to your own world!
Have fun with life...the maiden voyage is all we get!
Good luck and God speed fellow Super's!