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Haunted Halloween: Crazy Cape

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No self-respecting Halloween witch would be caught out under the moon without three important items: a flying broom, a pointy hat, and a kookie cape. Turns out flying brooms are rather hard to come by, but we have you covered on the other fronts. Today: the cape. Ours is stylishly short and made of witchy wedges cut from Fat Quarters, lined with Green Slime satin, and tied 'round the neck with black velvet ribbons. Ghoulish yet glamourous.

Our Crazy Capelet is a perfect match for our Wicked Apron. Wear them all, because there's no such thing as overdoing the Halloween motif.

All our 2010 Haunted Halloween projects are all made from pre-cuts; we used Haunted Mansion by Sanae for Moda Fabrics . The actual pieces we chose are listed in the instructions below. Our friends at Fat Quarter Shop have a good selection of Haunted Mansion in stock now in both pre-cuts and yardage.

For more information on pre-cuts, check out our article: Jelly Rolls to Layer Cakes: A Lesson in Fabric Pre-Cuts.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

  • FOUR Fat Quarters; if you are not using pre-cut Fat Quarters, you will need four pieces of fabric 18" x 22", we used: Black and Purple Dots, Orange Spiderweb, Black and Orange Dots, Green Wallpaper
  • THREE Charm Squares; if you are not using pre-cut Charm Squares, you will need three pieces of fabric 5" x 5", we used: Orange Campfire, Green Wallpaper and Gray Haunted Mansion Trick
  • 3/4 yard of 44-45" wide satin for the lining: we used a bright green with a slight sparkly shine, which we found locally at Jo-Ann Fabrics
  • I yard of 2" wide velvet ribbon: we used black
  • Small piece of double-fold bias tape: we used dark gray
    NOTE: Hopefully you're making some of our other Haunted Halloween projects and can use some leftover bias tape from one of those other projects or a scrap you have on hand, I hate to have you buy a whole 3-yard package when you only need about a 9-10" strip.
  • Large sheet of lightweight paper, at least 22" x 22" square, to make triangle wedge pattern
  • 1 yard of string or thick thread
  • Regular pencil
  • All-purpose thread in color to match fabric: we used dark gray
  • See-through ruler at least 22" long
  • Seam gauge
  • Fabric pencil, pen or chalk
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Straight pins
  • 1 skein of embroidery floss to contrast with fabric: we used black
  • Large-eye hand sewing needle

Getting Started

Make your triangle wedge pattern

  1. On your large sheet of lightweight paper, draw a 21" vertical line.
  2. Draw another line, also 21" long, perpendicular to the first line. Reach back to your geometry days and make sure your lines are straight and form a 90° angle at the corner.
  3. Cut a piece of string about 23" long. Pin one end to the 90° corner of your two drawn lines. Tie the other end to a pencil. Make sure, after you've tied the string to the pencil, the string measures now measures 21" from corner to pencil point. That's really important! In essence, you've just made your own  little compass.
  4. Draw an arc from the end of the horizontal line to the end of the vertical line. Ta-da ... perfect quarter circle. Cut this out along your drawn lines.
  5. Fold your quarter circle in half and crease the folded edge. Open it back up and cut along the crease. Ta-da #2 ... perfect triangle wedge.
  6. Using this spiffy pattern you just created, cut a triangle wedge from each of the three Fat Quarters you've selected (or the three 18" x 22" fabric pieces).
  7. Cut the velvet ribbon in half at a diagonal for the neck ties.
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At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

    1. Press under all raw edges of all four sides of the THREE Charm Squares (or three 5" x 5" pieces of fabric) ¼". Set aside.
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    2. Decide on the order for your four cape edges. Ours alternate as follows: Black and Purple Dots, Orange Spiderweb, Black and Orange Dots, Green Wallpaper.
    3. Pick up your first pair of triangle wedges. With right sides together, pin the pieces together along one long side.
    4. Pick up the next triangle wedge in your sequence and pin it, right sides together, to the two piece section you just created.
    5. Finally, pick up the last triangle wedge in your sequence and pin it, right sides together, to the three-piece section you just created, forming your complete, four-piece half-circle cape.
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    6. Using a ¼" seam allowance, stitch along the three pinned edges. Iron the seams open.
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      NOTE: As you sew, the points where all the triangles come together in the middle will get a bit messy and won't line up perfectly. Don't worry; we'll cut that away to form the neck ring.
    7. Find the pressed Charm Squares (or 5" x 5" pieces of fabric) and place them on the cape to match our design or create your own. They should be fairly evenly spaced and cocked at various angles to resemble hobo patches. Pin each patch in place.
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    8. Thread a large-eye hand sewing needle with embroidery floss. I used all six threads... just as it comes off the skein, for a nice thick look.
    9. Hand-stitch twelve large "Xs" around all four sides. I used three Xs on each side.
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    10. Lay your satin lining fabric, right side up on your work surface. Make sure it's flat and smooth.
    11. Place the seamed cape right side down on top of the satin. Make sure it is flat and smooth.
    12. Pin the layers together along outside edge of the cape.
    13. Cut the lining to exactly match the cape.
    14. Find a dish or bowl that measures about 6" across and place it at the center of the wedges. This will create the neck ring of the cape. Draw around the dish, but come straight down at the sides.
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    15. Cut along your drawn neck-ring line through both the cape and the lining.
    16. Place the straight end of each velvet ribbon piece, right sides together, on each side of the cape's neck ring, aligning the corner of the ribbon with the corner of the cape edge.
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    17. Tuck the ties in between the two layers. Make sure they are out of the way of all seams. You can lightly pin them to the middle of the cape if you feel safer.
    18. Using a ¼" seam allowance, stitch along both straight sides and all along the outer curved edge, pivoting at the corners.
    19. Clip the corners, turn right side out through the neck ring, and press well.
    20. Pin the neck edge closed. Machine baste the layers together approximately 3/8" from the raw edge.
    21. Cut a piece of coordinating double fold bias tape to match the neck ring plus about ½" on each end. Press and steam the bias tape in a shape to match the curve of the neck.
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    22. Slip the raw edges of the neck ring in between the folds of the bias tape.

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NOTE: Pre-folded bias tape has one edge that is slightly wider than the other. For this project, place the wider side on the lining side of the cape so when you stitch close to the edge on the top of the cape, you will be sure to catch the fold of the tape on the bottom

  1. Edgestitch the bias tape in place smoothly around the half circle from tie to tie, tucking the start and finish ends to create a clean edge on both ends. Stitch those ends closed with a tiny vertical seam.
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Project Design: Alicia Thommas    
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Kathy Andrews, What Sew Ever



Comments (4)

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cartermark's picture

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JeanneWV said:
JeanneWV's picture
I just found this and will definitely make it for next year to go with my witch costume and the Dead Roses hat I made.
Stacy said:
Stacy's picture
I am going to use your tutorial to make a Christmas tree skirt!! I was looking at it and thought it should work lol I've passed Halloween and gone straight to Christmas LOL