My inspiration came from a cape I had once seen at a craft fair. But that was years ago, and I haven't seen a homemade cape since then. Needing a memory refresher, I clicked through several online sources before realizing that most sites offering tutorials are either extremely complex or extremely simple. I saw instructions for beautiful, fully-lined satin capes and I saw t-shirt capes made by removing the sleeves from a large men's t-shirt. I wasn't interested in making a cape on either end of the talent spectrum. I wanted to make a cape that had enough detail to be special, but was still within my skill level and time allowance.
The cape I created was cut from an old pillow case, trimmed with satin ribbon, and embellished with felt. Despite my novice skills, (this was only my second sewing project within the past decade,) I was still able to complete the project within a few hours. This time estimates includes two phone call interruptions and an erroneous seam that needed to be ripped out and redone - you could probably do this project much much quicker!
What you'll need...
An old pillowcase
A spool of 4" wide satin ribbon- I used 3 yards, but your need may vary based on cape size.
Two sheets of felt (found in the craft row for $0.25 per sheet)
similar colored thread
What you'll do...
2. Sew the two layers of felt together. In my project, I first outlined the letter J, on the red felt with red thread. I then sewed along the outer edge of the red felt. I also sewed two plus signs into the side red space. (Partly decorative, partly to keep the two layers together)
4. Prepare the satin trim by folding and ironing lengthwise.
5. Lay satin ribbon on the cape and cut to needed length. You will need one long piece for the perimeter of the cape, and a shorter piece for the neckline. Cut slightly more than you think you will need. You can trim it down later.
7. Sew (or glue gun) the neckline velcro.
8. If excess fabric is visible around the collar trim it down now.
9. Continue attaching the trim. Use pins to hold the ribbon in place. Begin at the top where the neckline meets the side of cape. I folded under the ribbon edge at this spot to prevent ribbon fraying. (Applying a no-fray solution or heat searing are other options to prevent fraying.) When you reach the corners, simply fold the ribbon as if you were wrapping a present, and keep pinning.
10. Sew on the trim with the same technique as the neckline a row of stitches along the inner margin, the outer margin, and one or two rows of stitches in the middle.
11. Lastly, attach your hero emblem. Pin in place. Stitch along inner margin of child's initial, and outer perimeter of emblem.
Congratulations! You've created your own superhero cape!