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Costume Trunk: the Last-Minute Cape That Doesn't Look Last-Minute

October 28, 2010

Here we are at the end of this year's Costume Trunk series. I hope you've had fun and that all your costuming projects have been great successes.

Since we're so close to Halloween weekend, I wanted to close out with an all-too-familiar last-minute scenario:

We've all been there. You find out hours before a party that it's a costume affair. Your child or spouse promised someone that you could absolutely make them a cape for that play... and forgot to tell you until the dress rehearsal. Or, life got busy and robbed you of costume prep time before Halloween.

Fear not! Even when you're in a crunch, you can churn out a quick costume piece that will earn you awed gazes from your fans and admirers. I can usually bang one of these out in about 90 minutes, which includes interruptions from my pets and my beloved. Once you have the construction down, you can really churn them out at a rapid pace.

What you need for this is a sizable piece of fabric -- I grabbed a piece of flocked taffeta I had left over from a costume several years ago that added up to about three yards. You want enough that you can cut 2 decent-sized squares out of it.

Ready, set, go!

1. Cut your fabric into 2 squares, one larger than the other.  You will likely want to cut them as large as you possibly can. Mine are 40"x40" and 60"x60"

Note: for my larger square I had to piece it from 2 pieces which were 60"x30" so if you don't have a full square, you might be able to creatively build one.

2. Fold your squares in half, then in half again along the first fold to make smaller squares.

1Fold into square.jpg

3. Locate the corner of the first square where both folds pivot. This would be the center of the original piece of fabric if you were to unfold it.

4. Use a yardstick to measure the side of your square, then pivot the yardstick at the fold point described above and mark that same distance from one corner of your folded square to the other side, so you create an arc of marks.

5. Repeat the process above using a radius of 3" -- this will create the neck circle.


6. Cut both of the arcs your created with your marks. You should have a circle with a hole in the center of it.

3CutAround radius.jpg

7. Repeat steps above for your second square of fabric, marking the radii of the full length and neck circle and cutting along both lines.

8. You will need to cut along one fold of your fabric to create an opening in the circle.

5cut one side.JPG

9. If desired, finish straight edges and large lower arc of your circle. I used a quick and dirty rolled hem. For non-fraying fabrics or for costumes where a rough edge is acceptable, you could even skip this step.

10. Lay smaller circle on top of larger circle, right sides down and matching up neck edge.


11. Stitch circles together along neck edge.

12. Flip smaller circle out to the right side.

13. Set a piece of ribbon between the two cape layers and machine at front edge of both sides of cape. This both attaches the ribbon and hides the neck seam.


14. Press if you wish. Your 2-layer cape is done! Go trick-or-Treating! If you want to go fancy schmancy, you can always add a bit of trim for extra sparkle!




Have a safe and happy Halloween!

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1 Comment

LOVE this last minute cape!!! It turned out so well; wish I had checked this yesterday ... you can guess why!!! :0

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Holly Frey published on October 28, 2010 4:24 PM.

Kwik Sew Decorative V Neck was the previous entry in this blog.

Autumn Stars Sock: A free knitting pattern download is the next entry in this blog.

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