Posted in At The Sewing Table, With The Kids, Within My Store

Superhero Cape Tutorial

“Every boy needs to wear a cape at least once in his life.” – Uncle Brian

Kids love superhero capes! Well, my kids do, anyway. It can be frustrating to try to locate a cape that is generic enough to fit any pretend game they want to play. If your child wants to be a bat or spider, then you’re all set. But let’s say they want to be “Super Aidan” or “Super Turtle” or “A Bad Apple”, then where do you find a costume like that? If you’re like me, you make it!

If you are not the sewing type, you can pick up a superhero cape in my Etsy shop- Moose and Wormy. You can also contact me for making custom capes, though if you want a bat, spider, or man- you can go to Wal-Mart.

First, you’ll need your supplies! You can make this out of 2 fat quarters. (You know how I adore things you can make with a fat quarter!) Essentially, you’ll need two rectangles measuring 18″ x 22″. (2 fat quarters) If you want the cape a little longer for an older or taller child, you’ll want yardage. I recommend 22″ – 24″ long to fit from 2 to 5 years old. If your Super Little Guy is taller or older, you may want to adjust. [You’ll need 1/2 yard of 2 non-directional fabrics (this would make two capes). If one or both of your fabrics has a vertical pattern, you’ll need 2/3rds of a yard.

You will also need some sort of closure. You can use ribbon, buttons, snaps, velcro… It os up to you! I make mine with plastic snaps, since I have a snap press and like the ease of snaps. (Remember, if you use buttons, make sure the child is past that “putting everything in their mouth” stage. You don’t want the to choke.)

My quilting ruler is 2″ wide and 18″ long. On the back side of your main fabric, mark 2″ from the top a 3 ” line in toward the cape on each side. Wow, that sounded confusing. I line up my ruler on the top of my fabric and draw a line from the outer edge to the 3″ mark of the ruler. Repeat for the other side.

Now, mark the edge 6″ down from your 3″ lines. Connect the end (toward the center) of the 3″ line with this 6″ mark, creating a triangle! (I did not fully cut out an 18″ by 22″ rectangle in the photo above. As you can see, I just measure it as I went along and cut the whole thing out at once. You can do this or you can cut your rectangles, then remove the triangle parts if you’d like. Either way works.)

Cut out the triangles you just drew.

You should have one piece of fabric now that looks like this! You can either cut out the other piece using the same method, or you can cut it out like I do.

Place your cut piece right side down onto your contrast fabric, right side up. (Right sides together.) (As you can see, I didn’t pre-cut my rectangles since I was using yardage, rather than fat quarters. Either way works.) Pin around the edges, securing both pieces of fabric together. Now cut the contrast fabric out, using the front as your template. Now your pieces are already right sides together and pinned, ready to sew!

If you cut the pieces out separately, you’ll now want to pin both pieces right sides together before you sew them.

If you are going to use ribbon as a closure for the cape, you’ll need to sandwich and pin that in between the fabrics now, before you begin sewing.

Time to sew! Sew around the edges of the fabric, leaving a hole in the top for turning. Clip your corners and notch the angles of the triangle cut outs. You want them to lay as flat as possible.

Flip your cape right sides out, push out the corners, and press flat.

Topstitch around the edges.

Add your snaps, buttons, or velcro if you need to.

Done!

As you can see, the “collar” of  the cape is meant to flip over, showing the contrast fabric. However, it works either way! Now you have a reversible cape for your Super Little Guy (or Gal)!

You can do with this pattern as you wish. However, please don’t take credit for the design. It’d be nice of you to share the free pattern with others. Enjoy!

Posted in At The Sewing Table, Within My Store

Cowboy Bib Tutorial

Once my children got the concept of “baby” and “big boy (or girl)”, bibs were out the window. The thing is, toddlers still need bibs! Our many Sundays with Imogene eating egg drop soup at House of Lu can attest to that! But try to get a bib on her and she’s in the floor, because you’ve offended her. You have just called her a baby without words! (The same melt down occurs when you try to suggest perhaps the newly potty learned girl wear a diaper for whatever reason!) We were eating out one day, and Aidan really needed a bib (spaghetti!). He refused to wear a bib, but happily wore the cloth napkin tied around his neck, because he said he was a cowboy! Ahh! So, that is how we accomplish this?! The cowboy bib is born!

Now, this bib is multi-functional. If your kids are like mine, meal time is not the only time they’ll want to wear this bib. They’ll want to wear it ALL THE TIME! You’ll have to pry it away for washing when they go to sleep! You’re going to need several of these babies, so go ahead and cut out a few! (An added bonus, if you use a warm lining fabric, you’ve got a built in neck warmer when they refuse to replace it with their scarf.)

Here is how to make your own: (Compliments of Moose and Wormy!)

You can easily make a cowboy bib out of fat quarters! (I love things that can be made with a fat quarter! You can avoid buying full yards of that oh-so-cute-but-expensive designer fabric!) One fat quarter is enough fabric for two bib fronts. If you are using yardage, you need at least half a yard of fabric, which will make 4 bib fronts. For the bib back, you’ll need half a yard of something nice. You can use flannel, chenille (my personal favorite), minky, terry (my least favorite option), or fleece. A half yard of backing fabric will make 4 backs.  You’ll also need closure of some sort. I use plastic KAM snaps. If you are not so fortunate to own a snap press or pliers, you could do a button closure or velcro. You could also add some ribbon into the ends to make it tie. I like snaps because they are easy for a kid to use. Easy on and off. And in the event their sister traps them by the bib in the door jam of the closet, they can get free. (Velcro would have a similar advantage, only with the added disadvantage of being velcro and snagging everything in reach.)

The first thing you are going to do is cut your fat quarter in half. You’ll end up with two rectangles that are 18″ x 11″. (If you are using yardage, you’ll need one 18″ x 11″ rectangle for the front of the bib. I cut my yardage into fat quarters, then go from there.) **If you’ve never used a fat quarter before or have no idea what I’m talking about, a fat quarter is a piece of quilting fabric (usually cotton) sold at fabric and quilting stores. A fat quarter measures 18″ by 22″. It is half a yard of fabric, cut halfway between the selvedges- thus it is the amount of fabric in a quarter of a yard, but in a more usable amount- since it isn’t a long, thin strip.**

Pick one 18″ side to be the top of the bib. (If you’ve got a directional pattern, this will be important.) Fold the bib in half (right sides together). From the top, on the open edge, mark 3″ down. (Just a little line at the 3″ mark.)

Now, use a ruler (or straight edge) to draw a line from your 3″ mark to the center bottom of the fold. (In the picture above, my top is to the left and the folded edge is to the top.)

Cut along the line from the 3″ mark to the corner.

Open it up and it looks like this! Go ahead and press it to make it look all nice and get that center crease out as much as you can.

Cut your backing fabric to match. (You can either mark and cut as you just did, or you can use your bib front as a template.)

With right sides together, sew around the edges- leaving a hole to turn the bib right side out. Trim the corners, so when you turn it they’ll be corners, not rounds. Turn your bib right side out, using a pointy object to push your corners out.  (If your using ribbon to close your bib, you’ll want to pin it in place between your front & back and sew it in during this step.)

Topstitch around the edges, overlapping at the ends.

Add your snap (or button closures) and you’re finished!

Want a bib made for you? Contact me! Or see my store for bibs ready to go!

This pattern was made by me. You may use it if you want, but don’t sell the design- that’s just wrong. You may sell bibs you make from this tutorial, I just ask that you give me credit for the design. Thank you. And you’re welcome!

Posted in At The Sewing Table, With The Kids

Aprons For Aspiring Chefs

The little ones around here are getting a fancy new kitchen play set for Christmas. Their Granny bought them a kitchen over a year and a half. They have loved the stuffing out of it. Well, in this case, they just loved it to pieces. So, the Pastor and I decided to upgrade them to a big, fancy, deluxe kitchen in hopes that this one makes it a bit longer her in the parsonage. I just couldn’t imagine them play cooking without any fancy things to wear! So, I lovingly drafted and sewed two little matching aprons! Then, I made them each an oven mitt, because they will need those!

Aren’t they lovely little things? And I must say that my first pass at drafting a pattern went really well! I love the huge toddler hoarding pockets!