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.
I didn’t make any changes to the pattern, and even hand finished the arm openings for a nicer finish.
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.
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.
I didn’t quite get all my Christmas sewing done on time, so this year, all my kids received New Years’ mittens.
The pattern is from the book Oliver + S Little Things to Sew
. I made four pair, in sizes extra-small, small and medium. They are a bit big, but in a nice way.
As always with Oliver + S, the directions were a breeze, but I did make one major change.
I live in Montreal, where it is cold. Very cold. This week it was an icy -38° celsius (that’s about -37° fahrenheit). That is not a typo. Too cold to go for a walk. Too cold to go to the store. Too cold to go outside. Too cold for single layer mittens.
Instead I made a dual-layer mitten. I used super-soft white fleece for the inside. Then I used another grey fleece with a soft berber texture for the outside. I encased the elastic between the layers.
Irene over at Froo & Boo has some great photos on how to do a two-layer mitten with this pattern. She used nylon and PUL to make a waterproof outer layer.
I was more concerned about cold than waterproofing. The extreme cold makes everything incredibly dry, even the snow. And these mittens are cozy.
It was a little tricky sewing together the two layers, with such thick fabric and such tiny mittens, but it didn’t take long.
The fit is great. Even with double laters, you can still pick things up.
And just a quick note about fabric requirements: the pattern calls for 1/4 yard of fabric. I bought two yards of each type of fleece. In the end, I cut out six pair of mittens, and four hats (coming soon), and still had a yard of each left over. If you aren’t sure if you have enough fabric, or are thinking of squeezing these out of scraps, these mittens take up almost no fabric at all.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.