Monday, October 22, 2012

Just for Fun: The no-sew Superhero cape | Give handmade

Do you sew?

Strange to lead off a posting (on here) with such a question but it occurred to me the other day that of all of the kinds of handmade arts that are out there, the kind that involves or requires sewing does not appeal to me. I don't know what it is about sewing but I am just really REALLY not into it.

Now, this doesn't mean that I haven't attempted to sew or like sewing in the past. I have! And pretty much every time I've done it, I have pretty much failed miserably.

Well, wait a minute... one time I DID succeed (in grand form) when I made a giant teepee out of PVC pipes and Harley Davidson fabric for my nephews for their Christmas/Easter present (no pattern - it was all improvised from pictures I found online).
So, correction: I can sew and I have done it in the past but usually it's for purposes of novelty and/or amusement and not usually things that can be/are intended to be worn.

Anyway, all of this sidetracking is my way of sharing with you all something I stumbled upon in my avoidance to sew (ever). I would like to introduce you to the No-sew Superhero cape!!!!! (see above for a picture of one)

To make the No-sew Superhero cape, you need the following supplies:
  • A crew neck t-shirt (this will be the cape itself) - any size but if you do something much larger than the person's standard size, you might have to cut the neck strap and treat it like a tie-on cape
  • A pair of sharp scissors that can easily cut through fabric
  • A marker or fabric pencil (to outline your cutting line) 
  • Things to embellish/decorate your cape - fabric markers/paint, sticker appliques, fabric glue etc.

And this is how you CUT (not sew!) a t-shirt into a pretty legit superhero cape! Check out this... the dotted line is the path that you need to follow with your scissors in order to cut the t-shirt into a cape shape...

And here are some actual pictures that I took doing this myself...

This cut line of the back view of the t-shirt - so the cape portion that flows down the back..
And this is a cut line of the front of the shirt at the neckline.

Something really important to remember when doing this is to not cut too close to the neck ribbing and leave a little bit of extra fabric outside of the seam (where the ribbing is sewn to the body/torso of the shirt) because the ribbing with a little bit of fabric (maybe a quarter inch?) helps to add structure to the neck strap so it's more comfortable to wear and lays nicer when it is worn. Also, make sure not to cut off the bottom hem of the shirt (in the back that is the cape part) because it helps to provide structure in the way of being a little bit of weight to hold down the cape. The hems of t-shirts are usually tacked with a serger so it should be an issue that the fabric unravels itself OR comes undone all that easily.

In theory, you could use a pre-printed t-shirt with a superhero graphic printed on it but I kind of like taking a plain shirt and embellishing it with fabric paint/markers, etc.

I did this with a whole summer camp of children (ages 4-13) two years ago for "Superhero week" and while it was a lot of prep work for me - making sure every child brought in OR had a t-shirt to begin with, pre-cutting or tracing out the cut-line for the younger kids, having all different types of embellishments (to make a sort of embellishment "bar") for the kids to go crazy with and decorate their capes! All told, I think we made over 150 capes that week at summer camp. It was pretty rad (in the words of my kids).

So there you have it - the No-sew Superhero cape!!! And if you didn't have a Halloween costume planned for yourself/your kids? Well... now you can be your own kind of Superhero and NOT have to deal with the pesky chore of sewing it. Last-minute doesn't have to be a pain, right?

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