Friday, 24 January 2014

Super sewing!

There comes a time in every child's life when they need a super hero costume!  Super heroes rule!!  My two eldest were recently involved in a school creative writing initiative with a super hero theme.  Had it been the usually 'dress-up for charity' type of event I would have probably gone down the shop bought route, but since the whole point of the initiative was to fire their imaginations I really wanted to give them the chance to design their own super hero costumes.  I should say that when I suggested the idea I thought it would be a quick make! It wasn't!

I sat the kids down with pens and paper and here's what they came up with:

Emily went for her initial, but William decided to go with 'A' for 'Awesome'!  Love it! 

I had thought of making the capes from adult sized t-shirts (inspired by Pinterest posts) but when we got to Asda it turned out they don't stock brightly coloured t-shirts in November!  Doh!  So much for a quick make!  We walked round the shop a couple of times before deciding on pillowcases.  They're a great size for children's super hero capes and they did nice bold colours so we bought red and blue.  I used a cereal bowl to trace a round hole for the neck and I angled off the corners with my french curve.  I trimmed the seam allowances, turned it rightside out and attached velcro to the tabs.  

I left the bottom open to do the applique so that all the stitching would be hidden on the inside, but once I'd finished I closed it up with a hem.  

To make the super hero logos I cut out templates to match the shapes that the kids had drawn, traced them onto interfacing then ironed them onto fabric.  

There were no yellow pillowcases (I guess it's not a particularly restful colour!) but we didn't need much yellow so I cut up one of William's t-shirts after persuading him to sacrifice it for the greater good!

I used a zig zag stitch to applique all the pieces together and to stitch the emblems onto the capes.

After stitching Emily's logo and finding the fabric a bit slippery I tried adding an extra layer of interfacing to William's badge and the extra thickness made it much more stable.

I was running out of time but still wanted to make some super hero masks to complete the outfits.  To make things easier I used felt, sandwiching three layers together to get the right thickness.  The nice thing about the felt is that it moulds slightly to the shape of the face which gives the mask a great 'authentic super hero' look!

I glued the layers together to stop them slipping about then zigzag stitched around all of the raw edges twice, catching elastic in the hem at either side.  

I added the star and the 'E' to correspond with their logos and prevent the masks from looking too plain.  I was a bit limited in my felt colour choices so ended up colouring some pale blue in with a dark blue sharpie to get the match.  

And there you have it - two bespoke costumes for the super heroes in my life!  Making things like this really makes me glad that someone once gave me a sewing machine and the opportunity to learn to sew.  It was so great to see the kids' reactions when they got to put it all on.  

I didn't get too many pictures of them - they didn't stay still for very long! - but I think they looked (and felt) SUPER!


  1. These are lovely! I'm definitely keeping this in mind for my nephew :)

  2. Thanks Anna! The kids love them. :-)


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