DIY - Red Riding Hood Cape

by - Sunday, May 13, 2012

currently: Happy Mother's Day! I love you mum :D <3

Yo baby what up?
Hope you've been treating your mother well this Mother's Day. So far I made my mum pancakes, which my sister claimed gave her a stomach ache. I claim I did nothing, but hey, this is why my mum is known as the best cook in the house.

Anyway, amongst all the amazing amounts of homework I've completed this weekend (*cough*), I spared a moment to get the sewing machine out and do a quick costume sew up for my lovely friend Jordan. And because this project was incredibly easy (only took me maybe 3 hours altogether) I figured it may be worth a good DIY post. Considering a long while ago I promised I would make a $5 elastic skirt tutorial that I've failed to do still... It will come eventually....

For today though, here's a post on how to create your own Red Riding Hood Cape! Shouldn't cost you more than $10, depending on the fabric you buy :)

What you'll need:

1.5m of red fabric (we used red satin for a half sized cape that fell above knee length. If you want it longer, buy 2 metres).
1m ribbon (we used red, but if you want to contrast, you can use white)
Red thread

Sewing Machine (or you could hand sew if you're so inclined)
Large paper for pattern making (I use the Property Press magazines when I create patterns - no ink stains and more durable)
Chalk/Soap to mark your fabric
Pins - they help hold your fabric!

The pattern is pretty simple and flexible with the way it needs to be drawn. It only consists of two parts. 1 - the cape, and 2 - the hood.

How to construct the cape pattern:
If you know how to construct a half circle skirt, you're in luck! Cause that's all this cape is.

Draw out a quarter of a circle with a 16 cm radius. This small radius forms part of the neckline of the cape.
Then from the bottom of the circle, mark out your length. My cape was 80cm long cause that's as much fabric I could spare for both the cape and hood. A great way to get your ideal length is to measure down from the base of your throat to whatever length you want it to lie. But make sure you add on a few centimetres for a hem before you cut your pattern.
Also remember: cut your pattern with one straight side on the fold! That way it saves you having to sew up another side. Time saver!

How to construct the hood pattern:
Okay so this isn't as straightforward, but it's still flexible enough to do freehand. Just trust your instincts ;D

First, start with the 16cm quarter circle shape. That's your neckline, and that's where the cape and hood will join.
From that, draw 30cm up one side in a straight line. That straight line represents the opening of the hood.
And to connect the rest, it's like a backwards D shape. The larger the hood, the more costume/dramatic it can become. But don't overdo it, otherwise you will swim in fabric.
For those who do want some reassurance, I didn't make my hood any wider than 34cm, and that widest point aligned with the centre of the 30cm line.
Cut two separate pieces of the hood, and make sure you add your typical 1.5cm seam allowance the whole way around, plus extra on that 30cm line for hem.

Now to create the hooded cape!
Sorry but there aren't actual photos of the construction, frankly I wasn't sure if it would come out right at all! So you'll have to settle for a graphical how to.

Step 1)

With your front sides of your hood fabric together (aka the nice shiny side of red satin face each other), sew the back of the hood (follow the blue line)

Step 2)
Take the centre back of the hood (aka the blue dot where the two hood pieces have joined) and place that (right sides together/shiny sides facing each other) and meet them together. Then take the left and right purple points and meet it to the same points on the cape.
Or in other words: pin the neckline together.

Step 3)
Now you sew the neckline together.
So picture the darker red shape as the hood on top of the cape. The yellow line represents the centre back of the hood (which you sewed in the first step). The blue line is where those two pieces should be joined and sewn.
(Apologies if this doesn't make sense. I'm pretty lousy with giving instructions.)

Step 4)
Hem! Hem everything. This means every raw edge that has not been sewn. Fold up your hem twice (a double-turn hem) so the edge is really neat and the raw edge can't be seen.
If you don't know how to do it, this site has a easy explanation.

Step 5)
Attach the ribbon. Cut the ribbon in half and sew it to the inside of the cape, just under the neckline.

And with that, you're done! If you have the time (and know how to do it) you can always line the inside of the cape. Personally I think lining the cape makes it look neater and nicer, but you'll need to buy more fabric and cut out 2 more hood pieces.
But having it unlined was enough with the time limit I had, and the material I had left over.

That's it! I'm quite glad the cape turn out great, considering I wasn't too sure how it would turn out at the start. So to celebrate/show off, I got Boyfriend to take a few shots of me playing around with the cape in a nearby park. And let me tell you, capes are so fun!

The wind liked to make a mess of my hair and the cape through the shoot though...

Thanks Boyfriend for shooting the photos with me! (He loves his baby. And when I say baby, I mean his Canon 600D).
Also, thanks Jordan for letting me play with your cape before I gave it to you. Hope it did it's purpose at the 21st. :)

So do let me know if you make your own cape, I'd love to see it!
And any suggestions for this post (how to make it clearer, easier to read etc) also let me know.
Have fun!

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