My kids loves to throw me a costume challenge. They have this expectation and belief that I can simply knock something up for them in an afternoon, no matter what they ask for. And yes, there have been some doozies; my favourite possibly was the jellyfish dress up. Unfortunately, my compliance to their challenges has really only fostered their beliefs and encouraged them. Dress up requests have been thick and fast of late with school concerts, book day and dress up parties.
When Lily decided she wanted to dress up as Little Red RidingHood for her school concert, I knew the pattern I needed for her hood. This pattern was in an Ottobre Winter magazine quite a few years ago, and I've hoped for an excuse to make it ever since I first laid eyes on it.
The pattern itself is designed to be made out of a wool fabric and then finished with some binding. I do have some really lovely wool fabrics in my stash that would have served the purpose except that none of them are red. Pink, black, burgundy, a plethora of checks but no red. The most appropriate fabric I could find in my stash was a pinwale red cord, so I decided to use it and line the cape with a second fabric.
In a stash search I found this amazing vintage style Red RidingHood fabric, which would have been perfect for the lining except that I didn't have enough. This just meant that I had to get a little creative.
The first step was to line the cape with a cotton fabric. I used the Red Riding Hood fabric for the hood and also the sides of the cape that may be publicly open. I then used a vintage cotton for the rest of the cape.
This is a super simple pattern, with just the shoulder darts, the seam across the top of the hood and attaching the hood to the cape the main sewing tasks. Pretty simple.
I added a row of bias binding/ribbon across the bottom of the hood to create the ties and to stabilise between the hood and the cape.
To finish the hood I used bias binding. I made this from the same vintage fabric that I used to line the cape. I made five metres of bias binding all up and used about four of it on the cape. Do you make your own bias binding? It really is pretty simple and it means you get far lovelier binding than the boring options available in the shops.
This was a very simple sewing task, and a really enjoyable one. And Lily loves it, which is the most important part, it looks so perfect on her. She's worn it quite a bit since as it has become part of her staple clothing choices.
I think I might make this pattern again. I can see a yellow and pink checked cape in my future. Hmm, you know, I'd quite like to scale the pattern up to fit me!
What have you been crafting?
Do you seem to have a time of the year when everything entails a dress up?
P.S. Are you going to or thinking about going to The Craft Sessions?
That amazing weekend retreat of creative workshops and delicious food I'm teaching at. If you're still thinking about it, please make sure you register before October 10th. That's when registrations close and I'd hate for you to miss out! It's going to be an amazing weekend!
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Textile artist, knitwear designer and teacher.
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