It happened a couple of years ago, on Halloween. First, the kid wanted to dress like a green alien, but the vision of a green worm made out of immense plastic balls scared the hell out of me. And suddenly my little boy turned to his second choice: Superman (aka ”Superment”, as the he used to call him in his early years of life.) Lucky me!
Here came the challenge for the mom: I had to find the pieces and sew a Superman costume like none of the kids in his class has ever had before. And it did it! I saw him happy in his Superman costume, and I knew I did it!
Let’s see the list: blue pantyhose, red panties, blue blouse, a proper belt, boots and a red cape. Simple like that, I said to myself. Yeah, sure. Just wait and see…
First, the cyan blue pantyhose in solid color. Do you know how pretty blue pantyhose with yellow butterflies are? So are those with green dinosaurs, pink cats and white robots. Can you imagine a simple pair of blue pantyhose in solid blue after seeing one thousand lovely childish patterns? Neither did I and I was almost to give up, convinced by the fact that cyan blue pantyhose in solid color existed only in my imagination. but I found them in a dusty basket, in the discount area of a small market in my neighborhood. Briefly, I found them hard, but I finally got them.
Second – the red panties in the right size. They were tricky too. I found on red, but they were too big. Then I found the right size, but they were not in solid color. Then I found on red, in the right size, but they were for girls. That was the very moment I became aware they make tanga panties for kids…
After refusing a few more pairs (as we never wear red lace before noon :))), I bought red panties in a bigger size, and made a small adjustment to make them fit. In the end, you could not say the difference between those panties and a red diaper, but they were fit. They looked like this (please, don’t laugh too loud, ok?), but we would have the cape to solve it, right?
Then I needed a belt and I found it easily at a dollar store. It was a bright yellow one (my kid’s favorite color at the moment), obviously too big for my little guy, but perfect for the job. With a few more holes in the belt, we made it fit for his tiny waist.
And I was lucky with the blouse: I found it in the same color with the pantyhose. Never mind that it had a black train printed on the chest, the kid loved it anyway and decided to wear it face back for the costume. Later on, the blouse with the black train became one of his favorites.
That was the simplest thing to do for me: I found a lovely fabric that I’ve easily turned into a cape, and draw a Superman logo on the back. It’s pretty easy to sew, just follow the steps below to make one by yourself.
First, I bought 3 ft of red satin like this one from Michaels’. This piece of fabric (around 3 ft long, 4 ft wide) was perfect for the cape as it was shiny and did not needed to be ironed too much. I cut a band from one side (4 inches width, 3 ft long), which I would later use as cord.
Before taking any steps further, the Superman logo has to be designed and finished, because it’s much easier to measure and place it on the cape before sewing the fabric.
I printed a Superman logo that I have found here, and I prepared a piece of carbon paper to transfer it on the cape.
If you wonder where to place the logo on the cape, here’s the math that I did, along with a simple plan for sewing the cape.
The easiest way is to fold the cape in half in order to find the central line, which will help you place the logo in the middle of its width. (Iron this line in order to ease your job, since it works as a reference point now and later.) Fold the logo in half too, to find its central line. Overlap these lines to place the logo on the center of the cape.
To set the final position, lower the logo on the median line till you have one third to one half of the total height left above it, according to the hight of the kid that will wear it. Transfer the logo on the cape using carbon paper, and color it with a permanent marker.
Usually, the logo should be just under the shoulders, but I took into account the fact that the kid is growing, so the lower is the logo at the moment, the better. I was right: two years later, the kid is still wearing the cape when playing, and the logo appears to be in the right position, above his waist.
Sewing the Cape
Now that you have designed the logo, let’s get to work to get the cape done! You need to make a double-fold hem around the cape before measuring and sewing the cord. (If you are not familiar with sewing and need an example about a double-fold hem, here is a video from Howcast to help you out.)
You still have a large piece of fabric that you need to stick into a cord that will come around the neck and turn into a ribbon, so you need to make it shorter somehow. In order to do that, you will fold it six times, in six different points, so the final length would be around 18 inches.
Count the difference between the total width and the final width, and divide it by 6, to see how long each fold should be. These are the folds marked with numbers from 1 to 6 in the picture above.
Then divide the final length by 8 to see the distance between the folds (18/8=2.25 inches), which means the first fold will start 2.25 inches counting from the upper corner of the cape. So you’ll have a sequence of one distance of 2.25 in + one fold + 2.25 in + a fold + another 2.25 in + a fold + 2.25 in between each corner and the median line.
In the picture below, I’ve noted with the same letters the outer lines for each fold. Measure and mark these lines, fold the fabric so the same letters would meet, and fix it with needles.
Finally, you will use the band that you’ve cut earlier, and stitch in the ditch the fabric on it. (Here’s an useful video from Howcast about how to stitch the ditch, in case you need to see how it’s made.) This cord will come around the neck of the kid and tie into a ribbon.
Now you have a brand new superman cape that would look like this:
The greatest Superman of all times was mine. Wouldn’t you like to be saved by such a cute superman dressed in red diapers and wearing yellow boots with a trendy sheep pattern??
This is how memories are made. And now you can easily make yours with these steps for sewing a hero or a princess cape for your kid.
Do you have a friend whose kids would love a hero or a princess costume for Halloween? Share this article to help him find the inspiration!