Sunday, November 04, 2012

Hey there Little Red Riding Hood...

Image Copyright Elisabeth Montegna, All Rights Reserved
Pattern:  Maisie Cape by My Childhood Treasures
Size:  1
Fabric:  Robert Kaufman 21 wale corduroy, Moda A Walk in the Woods Bluebell Mushrooms, white cotton flannel
Notions:  1 button
Changes to the pattern:  1) underlined with white cotton flannel, 2) used a button instead of velcro, 3) omitted the applique, and 4) changed how hood is attached (see below).

So I "finished" Cate's red, hooded cape with about 20 minutes to spare before trick or treating commenced.  "Finished" because I haven't top-stitched it yet, and because I may change the closure.  I didn't want to use a velcro closure like the pattern called for because Cate sees velcro as only a minor obstacle in the road of clothes/shoes removal, however, she hasn't figured out buttons yet.  I got a large button and made a vertical buttonhole on the tab.  It looks pretty good when it's sitting on a hanger, but the tab sort of slides around on the button (due to the size of the buttonhole) and it causes the cape to hang strangely.  I may make a smaller tab and either use a smaller button and a horizontal buttonhole or use a snap.  Also, I had to wing the buttonhole because the button was too large for the autobuttonhole foot on my machine.  And, I need to use some tear-away stabilizer on the next buttonhole (if I decide to use a button).

I underlined the cape with cotton flannel so that it would have a bit more weight to it and she can use it as her Bay Area-appropriate winter coat.  It's certainly easy to get on and off her with no sleeves to deal with!

The pattern was very simple and quite easy to work with, but I decided to change how the hood attached to the cape.  The directions called for attaching the main fabric hood to the main fabric cape and the lining hood to the lining cape, then placing the main fabric and lining right sides together and stitching around leaving a gap to turn it right-side-out, then top-stitching.  I didn't like that idea because I thought that the lining might get really bag and out of whack in the hood because it's only attached on the sides and not anywhere in the middle.  So, instead, I stitched the hood in the main fabric and lining, then I sewed them together around the face, flipped it right-side-out and top stitched around the face.  Then I hand-basted it to the neck of the main fabric and sandwiched it between the main and lining fabric when I sewed the cape pieces together (does that make sense? it might help if I had taken pix, but given the fact that I barely finished it for trick or treat you can see why I didn't stop to take pix!). 

Adding the hood this way created some minor issues, like the part of the hood surrounding the face and the opening of the cape are supposed to be flush and this would've been much easier to accomplish using the directions with the pattern.  Also, having the main fabric, underlining, and lining all attached to each other meant that I had to try to pull a very thick hood through the opening I left for turning the body of the cape right-side-out.

All in all, I'm quite happy with the way it turned out (except for the closure issue I mentioned above).  I had no trouble getting her to wear it, although she did fidget with it as you can see in the photos, experimenting with moving her arms around under the cape.  It made for a great first Halloween costume:  simple, easy to get on and off, and she can wear it the rest of the winter here so it was worth the time and effort spent sewing it up nicely.  The corduroy is really lovely and soft and the mushroom fabric looks so cute and the blue sets off Cate's eyes.  What more can you ask for in a project?

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