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Super Powered Sewing: Reversible Capes

August 4, 2008

As the mother of two school aged children we attend our fair share of birthday parties.  My children both love visiting the toy store, or the book store to pick out presents, but sometimes it gets a bit tiresome to have to negotiate with them regarding a) the price or appropriateness of a gift and b) that it is not their birthday and they won’t be leaving with a toy for themselves as well.

It also can become quite a strain on the pocketbook, and so, as my time has allowed, I have been trying to think of alternative gifts that I can make at home that will have less of an impact on my budget.  I have made thus far an apron and a couple sets of p.j.’s, which  went over well at the parties and didn’t require too much of my time.  My children also seemed quite content in giving these gifts so it has been a win-win all around.

This weekend we had two overlapping 5 year old boy birthday parties to attend and I had only a day to contruct suitable gifts.   Flannel pajamas in the summer didn’t seem as appropriate, but I remembered some capes I had made for the preschool last winter.  After a quick trip to the fabric store and about 2 hours at the sewing maching (which included about a half hour rethreading my serger; I’m hoping that will get easier soon!) I had two completed superhero capes!

I estimate that each reversible cape cost about $6, and could certainly be done for less, if you can find cheaper fabric.  It takes approximately 2 yards of fabric (1 yard of each fabric, although for smaller children you could probably get away with using less), and I found some suitable ones for abut $3/yd.  The only other materials needed are thread and velcro for the closure.  I originally found the idea for these capes at puking pastilles.  She has posted some awesome photos and templates with her tutorial.  When I made these for the preschool, I wanted to speed up the process even more (I had 8 to make in one evening) and so instead of using her machine instructions, I used my serger.  Using the serger saves some seam cutting time, and ironing, but even using the machine directions it should be a very quick cape.  Once everything is cut out and ready to go (machines threaded) I think each cape only takes about 15 or 20 minutes, including the appliqué.

The applique superhero symbol is of course highly important to the child, so be sure you pick a good one!  Puking pastilles has a Batman, Superman, and princess one.  I also found some more at a Martha Stewart  tutorial on towel capes that came up on my search for a template.  For these capes I used a hand drawn lightening bolt (click for pdf template if you’d like to use it). 

Now my son is wanting his own cape, of course.  I guess avoiding the toy store doesn’t really solve everything.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 5, 2008 3:57 am

    Ugh. I totally REFUSE to go to the store to buy b-day gifts anymore. Same problems here! I just grab something out of my “bin of pre-made gifts” and we go. The kids get no say in it whatsoever….hehe!

    The capes look great! I love the lightning bolt-definitely inspired imagination!

  2. jessbcuz permalink*
    August 5, 2008 4:47 am

    Great idea on having “pre-made’s” ready to go….. Hopefully I can get ahead the birthday invites this month and make a few on reserve!

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