Tiny Assassins

A couple of years ago I made bat costumes for my kids for Halloween. The kids loved them and wanted to wear them all the time, but they were maybe a little costume-y for regular wear.

So this year, I used the same pattern, the Red Riding Hood from the book Oliver + S Little Things to Sew, to make capes the kids could wear this fall.

Red Riding cape from the book Little Things to Sew, as sewn by The Finished Garment.
Red Riding cape from the book Little Things to Sew, as sewn by The Finished Garment.
Red Riding cape from the book Little Things to Sew, as sewn by The Finished Garment.
The small was lined in a purple and red floral print.

I made the capes in three sizes: small, medium and large. The pattern only comes in medium and large so I had to draft my own small.

Red Riding cape from the book Little Things to Sew, as sewn by The Finished Garment.
The medium cape was lined with this fun turquoise print.

I didn’t make any changes to the pattern, and even hand finished the arm openings for a nicer finish.

Red Riding cape from the book Little Things to Sew, as sewn by The Finished Garment.
The large size was lined with the very last of this pale purple print.

I used some wool suiting that I bought out of season ages ago and chose a different quilting cotton to line each one. These were also from my stash. I think my total stash busting for these was about 8 meters (about 9 yards). Even the buttons were lonely singles from my button jar.

Black Button
Even the buttons came from my stash.
Grey Button
I think this button had no siblings, so a perfect project for it.
Red Riding cape from the book Little Things to Sew, as sewn by The Finished Garment.
I love the large hoods in this pattern.

The kids love the capes, especially the big hoods, and they are really well suited for easily fall and late spring. My husband likes them too, though he thinks they look like little assassins from the video game Assassin’s Creed. So maybe they are still a little costume-y after all.

Red Riding cape from the book Little Things to Sew, as sewn by The Finished Garment.
The lining is especially pretty in the hood.

This post is part of the Stashbusting Sewalong.

Summary

Pattern Review: Red Riding Hood from the book Oliver + S Little Things to Sew.

Fabric:

  • Grey wool suiting
  • FloraDots in Violet from the La Dee Da collection by Erin McMorries for Free Spirit Fabrics.
  • Happier Bugs in Blue from the Happier collection by Deena Rutter’s  for Riley Blake Designs.
  • Pick A Bunch Organic Blooms in Orchid by Nancy Mim’s from Robert Kaufman.

Sizes: S, M and L.

Sewing Level: beginner.

Modifications: None.

Results: Excellent! I’ve made these several times before. I would highly recommend this pattern.

Red Riding cape from the book Little Things to Sew, as sewn by The Finished Garment.
The capes are great for cool, but not cold weather.
My husband thinks the kids look like junior characters from Assassin's Creed.
My husband thinks the kids look like junior characters from Assassin’s Creed.

Note: This post contains affiliate links.

Four and a Half Bats

Lots of swooping!
Lots of swooping!

“What do you want to be for Halloween?” I asked.

“I want to be a fruit bat”, announced my three-year-old, “a baby fruit bat”.

“Yes, yes! I want to be a fruit bat too!” kids No 1 and 2 agreed.

Umm, ok then. My kids had been waffling over Halloween costumes, and nothing was really getting them excited about dressing up. Until this. So fruit bats. Hmmm.

Flap, flap, flap!
Flap, flap, flap!

I decided to start with the Red Riding Hood pattern from the book  Oliver + S Little Things to Sew. It is sooooo cute. Ack! I’ve been waiting for a good excuse to sew it. So off I headed to the fabric store, three-year-old in tow.

Oliver + S, Little Things to Sew
Oliver + S, Little Things to Sew. There is the Red Riding Hood on the cover.
I cut the bottom in a scalloped pattern.
I cut the bottom in a scalloped pattern.

I was hoping for a black faux suede, but there was only grey or brown available.

“Feel this, isn’t it soft?” I said. “Would you like to be a grey or brown baby fruit bat?”

In response I got a “no” that was  part determined, part horrified and the look that I will one day get when I have to pick her up from high school. Sooo embarrassing, mum!

“I want to be a black fruit bat.”

So we tried another store, this time with all the kids in tow.

“Would you like to be a shiny bat?” I said, showing off the faux leather. Oh, the horrified looks!

I managed to find a faux suede/velvet with a herringbone pattern that met with approval. I was worried it would look a bit odd, but it was great. It was incredibly easy to sew with, and no black fluff everywhere! A first for fuzzy Halloween costumes!

This pattern is so easy! And fast! Of course I had to make it four times, so fast is a relative concept. But if you are lucky enough to only have to make one, you will be pleasantly surprised.

Four bat costumes using the Oliver + S  Red Riding Hood pattern from Little Things to Sew.
Four bat costumes using the Oliver + S Red Riding Hood pattern from Little Things to Sew.

I skipped the arm openings, lengthened the capes by about two inches, cut the bottoms of the cape in a scalloped bat-wing pattern and hand sewed on ears. I used fine elastic for the button loops, which I thought would be less choke-y with a lot of bat-like swooping. I also added elastic loops at the end of the wings to make it easier to swoop without having to grab onto the wing tips.

I hand sewed on some pointy ears.
I hand sewed on some pointy ears.
I used elastic for the button loop.
I used elastic for the button loop.

The pattern comes in medium and large, so I graded a smaller size for my smallest. I found the pattern fit large, perfect for bats, but maybe I would go down a size for each kid, if it were for real life clothing.

A tiny one-year-old baby bat.
A tiny one-year-old baby bat.
The cape is a bit big, but good for bats.
The cape is a bit big, but good for bats.

The capes got a lot of use, and we even took the kids to the bat exhibit at the zoo so they could say hello to the real fruit bats, dressed as bats. Fun!

Check out the wings on that bat!
Check out the wings on that bat!

Then my husband asked where his bat cape was. Doh! And then I got the flu. So next, year I have a huge head start on his half-made bat costume (ahem). Still, Halloween was a blast, and then we all got the flu.

Do bats eat candy?
Do bats eat candy?

But that just meant that there was one more day of swooping bats today (though only two bats were willing to swoop) so that mummy could blog her sewing.

Wings wrapped around.
Wings wrapped around the bats.

Summary

Pattern Review: Red Riding Hood from the book Oliver + S Little Things to Sew.

Fabric: Faux suede with a herringbone pattern. Some sort of synthetic.

Sizes: S, M and L.

Sewing Level: Beginner.

Modifications: I added bat ears, elastic loops at the wrists, used elastic for the button loop, and cut the bottom of the cape in a scalloped pattern. I lengthened the capes by about two inches. I graded a small size for my smallest, since the pattern only comes in medium and large.

Results: Great. I would recommend this pattern and hope to make it as real clothing.

Three-year-old approved bat costume using the Red Riding Hood pattern from the book Little Things to Sew by Oliver + S
Three-year-old-approved bat costume using the Red Riding Hood pattern from the book Little Things to Sew by Oliver + S

Note: This post contains affiliate links.

Capes. Yea or Nay?

BurdaStyle has just published a collection of 11 patterns in a style they call “Fifties Revival”. There are two cute suits, some dresses and a trench coat. And then a cape.

BurdaStyle Checked Cape sewing pattern 08/2011 #112

I especially like the concealed buttons. And I love the length. It’s long enough to keep you warm, but not so long that you can’t wear it with casual clothes like jeans. I even like the fabric choice. It looks like wool bouclé, which always seems to end up in Chanel jackets and nothing else. Overall, I think this looks like a really great pattern.

But I’m hesitant. Do I need a cape? I haven’t seen many around. Of course here in Montreal it is currently far to cold to wear capes. Maybe they will start popping up in spring? Maybe I should stick with a coat?

I was also incredible inspired by Renee of Miss Celie’s Pants and her beautiful purple cape, which you can see on her website. She used the Vogue 8776 cape pattern.

What do you think? Capes. Yea or nay?