Skip to main content

Simple Sewing Projects for Beginners

Lesson 10 of 23

Easy Superhero Cape

Susan Beal

Simple Sewing Projects for Beginners

Susan Beal

Starting under


Get access to this class +2000 more taught by the world's top experts

  • 24/7 access via desktop, mobile, or TV
  • New classes added every month
  • Download lessons for offline viewing
  • Exclusive content for subscribers

Lesson Info

10. Easy Superhero Cape

Lesson Info

Easy Superhero Cape

So quite a few of these projects are perfect for back to school and that your child might you know, where the skirt on the first day, have a special t shirt or some of the upcoming ones, or even more school specific. But this is a little bit more of an after school, just for fun, totally just lighthearted project. I wanted to make a simple cape for my son, and so I came up with us extremely, extremely quick, easy one to make it scott, a small fitted collar with a velcro closure, and then it's just a big basic piece of fabric, perfect for adding an applicator design or making reversible with two different fabrics back to front. We're going to be using the same binding tape we did for our skirt edging in the earlier segment, and add that around the edge of the cape. And I made this one, and a print called the saurus by thomas our which I really liked her kind of fun alphabet feel. But for this cape we're making today in the studio, I know my son will be excited to have a cape covered wit...

h spaceships and rockets. So with this one, I have found one that I really love and blue, and then it's got a kn orange binding edge. And then this collar piece is the same as the main fabric, but you could easily make it contrasts as well it's totally up to you so there's just no the sky's the limit when it comes to customizing capes even more so maybe than skirts or something kind of more every day this is just for dress up fun and just letting your child's imagination go in any direction here she likes. So what we'll do to make this case is start with, uh preparing our collar piece this is a really simple one done a few pre cuts in the studio but this is a four inches wide and the width of the fabric the first thing we'll do is trim away the salvage and turn away the other side at twenty one inches you can get two of these from the fabric and what I'll do here let's just show you how I turn away the salvage I've got my rotary cutter in my right working hand I'm holding this with the other and then I'm just going to square this up because it looks a little bit angled and I want to make sure it's straight so you can always check and here we go the side is too wide here, so I'm just going to trim it away so make sure your fabric cut is four inches wide and then you'll want it to measure twenty one inches long so using thiss cutting matt is really handy for this because it will just show you exactly your measurement saying we know line my raw edge where it just took away my salvage at zero and I'm gonna put this one here at twenty one and use a smaller quoting ruler and now I've got remember always cutting away from your body not towards it so now I have to for inch by twenty one inch collar piece is the other one can be for my second cape saw set that aside necks uh, the cape I made here is a little longer for a taller child that uses a twenty sixth six inch section of fabric, but this one is going to be twenty four inches what we're going to do here and I'll just get myself a little more room to work is when a flip to the wrong side of my fabrics will be using a fabric marker and I love washable fabric markers for making these kinds of pattern cuts. But the problem is if you're using blue fabric and a blue fabric marker it's just going to melt together and not be is obvious but on the back there's just a little it's a little later in a little less disappearing into its off so I'm essentially going to line these up and make a trap is oid of fabric from my what this is essentially a rectangle that's very parallel and straight I'm going to cut it in angle so the top of the cape is gathered and smaller and the bottom of the cape is a magnificent kind of sweeping child's friendly cape I drew a little diagram and my notebook I am kind of a visual learner so it's easy for me to see these kinds of things but essentially what we're going to want to do is cut it as narrow as twelve inches up here which is where your fabric marker comes in at the top of your cape and remember if you're fabric is directional I always make sure that you're cutting it correctly you don't need an upside down a really wonderful amazing pattern that's upside down on the finnish cape so we're going to go to the side and mark twelve inches from the fold this's the fold of the fabric and the salvage which is the woven edge is over here so no when we have that twelve inch mark, we're going tio bring an angle from twelve inches here to essentially the width of the fabric at the base and I'm getting my quoting rulers twenty four inches long so I'm just going to extend it after I traced my first line but I want to use us to market and it go from this all the way down to here and then I'm going to extend my quoting ruler line it up with my first mark and go right back to here now as soon as sure fabric is marked you can cut it as always we are going to cut away from her away from ourselves like this and towards the top of the fabric so now you have these two nice pieces of fabric that are perfect for applications or future projects saved the blade on your cattle susan you know it can depends on how much you're using it but every few months is a good rule of thumb or when you start to notice it's skipping or not cutting is neatly indefinitely if you run over a straight pen or something it condolence pretty quickly so what is this for the pizza right? Yes not interchangeable with pizza cutter the one thing I'll say though is if you'd like to do any kind of paper crafts one thing that's great is if you have a dull rotary played save it and use it for your paper for user for paper cutting it's perfect for that so now we have this little trap is worried a fabric that's going to be our future cape we'll set this aside for now because we're onto some more binding tape just like very similar to what we made for the skirt but this time it should go a lot faster because we have more experience with making it so I'll just set my cape aside for the moment you'll need three salvage to solve it two inch wide cuts of a contrast fabric, and, honestly, you could do the same fabric or a more subtle pairing. I just think with kids stuff it's so fun, these bright colors, and I liked how these two fabrics are the same print, just totally different color ways of it, so using this will have our salvage is removed, and I always, as I said before, I can't repeat it too many times, so you don't cut yourself always click your rhetoric cutter closed, even when you're just setting it down for a woman it's so worth it? Not so hurt yourself or cut your fabric if you said it, john, too close to a precious project. So now justice, we did with our skirt it binding tape, we're going to join these, but instead of one join, I'm going to have a total of two joints to create a triple length of finding tape. I would need a straight stretch, a standard stitch length, and I'll just move forward worth this join and I'm not back sitting here just because this is all going to be caught up in a fold in stitched a second time as well, and sometimes with these small little seems that you're joining, you can end up with just a really kind of snag or div it in the with the fabric being this is a really nice, soft, very lightweight feeling colton cotton and I just don't want to end up with a big snag so I'm not going to back such on these joints but you can if you prefer and if you're using sturdier fabric it usually works perfectly so no, I've got this nice long piece of finding tape the suicide out of my way and I'll use my best press to give this a quick press before I feed it through my binding tape maker and will be using the same binding tape maker is our skirt projects used which is a one inch you take a two inch wide strip of fabric like this one, run it through a one inch binding tape maker that folds it into into place nicely and then as you fold it the second time you end up with a half inch of very nice, beautifully folded fabric. So just as we did with the skirt binding fabric I mean excuse me binding tape I'm going to take my join, press it open and flat and keep going so you can always press on either the right or wrong side of your fabric it's probably its most basic reason possible but actually to press on the right side of my fabric for things like this just because it's prettier more friends who I got the wrong side is fine and is easier for pressing seems open but it's a little dollar and there's not quite as much visual pop just by its nature soon I've got a quickly pressed scissors and I'm um now that I have my triple length of biting tape when it cut this at an angle and use my same by name tape maker the the one that creates one inch wide tape use my seam ripper and eases through I won't go over every single step in great details I did last time since we've just learned this together but he'll just advance it a bit get it ready to go shock your tape looks good keep moving forward one thing I love with the spine ing tape is it's also different depending what fabric used but for the dots before this wasn't nearly is obvious but here these little tiny aliens and spaceships are just popping up on this binding tape I think it looks so cute I love how sometimes a really narrow strip of a fabric can really catch some of the beautiful or interesting parts so finding tape aside from no after school superhero capes is really nice for edging things like placemats um picnic blankets other governments besides skirts anything this binding tape as I mentioned before is made with straight green cut fabrics and biased tape is made with diagonal cut fabric and in has the capacity to curve or told unlike thiss one, which is just not gonna have a very neat, circular, curving, clingy approach, but if you want to save yourself a few minutes with this project, you can easily find commercially made bias tape at the fabric, store it and use it for your cape. So I'm almost done with this first press. One other thing I wanted to mention about binding tapes, since you have to watch me making it for a few minutes is that you can do something really else nice with it, which is use it as a flat decoration and stitch it here in here so that it could be a dress or skirt ah detail that isn't folded so it can look really beautiful as something that's meant to be flat and not in case an edge. It can be a decorative element in a different way around a hymn that isn't catching the raw edge, but maybe is decorating the perimeter of the ham on the front of the dress in the back of the dress. So it's just such a nice way to use fabric and a narrow strip that looks really beautiful and has a lot of versatility, so now that I'm at the end of my first round of pressing, I'm just going to mention it now I'm thinking of it. With this angled piece that you started with just to feed it through the binding tape maker more easily, go ahead and turn that off you'll want a stray a flat edge it's just easier to do it now when you're thinking about it, then start pinning it and realize that you haven't angled piece at one end. So now justus, we did with the skirt I'm gonna press this no, actually, just go ahead and give it a best press break and so it has a nice flexibility and I will press this all into the double fold that we did last time a swell oh, good, totally so the other thing you can do with finding tape is if you like this effect I bound one of my favorite quotes it's ah quote called modern crosses that I use sixty different fabrics for the crosses it's from a book I recalled modern luck have been quoting but I loved how he's very simple, very striking crosses use so many different colors against a really calm wait background so when it came time to bind it, I just thought which color should I choose there so many and I eventually decided to do a variegated finding where I just used my leftover scraps from piecing the crosses in strips, and I use seventeen different of the sixty I used seventeen different fabrics and the binding for a really nice patchwork effect so you might like that on something like a cape it might be kind of fun tio use a few different colors if your child has a favorite color a few favorites mix them together another thing I'll mention all binding tape just one thinking of it is that I'm using quoting cotton for the spine ing tape new quoting cotton and I have to say it's a really nice wait for using its it's harder to do this with aiken it or a slippery apparel fabric but quoting cotton handles us really well so especially if you're beginning it's s o er you might enjoy using a woven fabric like this more than something that you might happen to have on hand but is a little less eso are friendly is that machine easy to use what's already machine catch it yeah I think I made a small air oh, so now I'm correcting it it's a wee bit fiddly do the m a c susan makes that look so easy you said yeah I was kind of zipping current so sorry oh, I like this is a neat way to fold fabric yeah it's quite a good tool maybe finding for had actually embellished the fabric strip first with deckard stitching and when you fold it over it looks like custom like three dimensional effect on that I think it's really need I think this is a stickup stepper, so I'm not wrong. While everybody's working on their binding tape, I thought maybe we could do a little fun extra. I'd show now and give everyone else a chance to finish the binding tape so they don't have to. Her rush to catch up with my next stuff. When you find quotes, you get used to making vining tape. It's kind of ah, process. So, I said, have gotten faster at it.

Class Description

Are you intimidated by your sewing machine? Don't be! Join experienced sewist Susan Beal as she guides you through the basics of sewing, including using straight stitches, zigzag stitches, simple appliqué, and easy binding.

Using simple projects in kid's sizes, Susan will teach you to customize t-shirts, create simple tote bags, reusable napkins, and more! You'll learn tricks that the experts use to create their own contrasting binding tape, how to sew on a variety of fabrics, and how to incorporate snaps and eyelets into your projects.

If you're a beginning sewer this course will give you clear, easy-to-follow ideas and inspiration for projects that tap into your family’s creative spirit.


Amanda Siska

Susan's projects were the best introduction to sewing I could have hoped for! I wasn't able to watch every project, but the ones I saw were simple, VERY clearly explained, and perfect for a beginning seamstress like myself. I'd never used binding tape before, or elastic, but now I'm confident about making my own binding tape and adding elastic waistbands to pretty much anything. I was immediately inspired to make a few skirts for myself after watching the simple children's skirt in this course, and I'm planning to make cloth napkins and an oilcloth lunch sack as well. I wish I'd gotten to see the applique portion, so I think I'll have to purchase the course in order to see that part. I'm positive that it will be just what I need to learn the process! I see that the previous reviewer was disappointed by the lack of diversity of crafts for this course, but I find that the name "Simple Sewing Projects for Beginners" was completely accurate for what it was. Perhaps it was categorized in a craft category, which would still seem applicable. I think it was advertised as having back to school projects to make for your kids, which is an even more detailed description of the course, since it includes clothing for boys and girls, as well as a lunch tote, cloth napkin, cape, and maybe more things I missed. Overall, this was my first Creative Live experience, and I was blown away by how informative and fun it was to watch!


What a great class! Susan does a fabulous job explaining each project and is great at giving you a heads up on what issues you might face with each project. I've now made two applique projects with another in the works. I've also made two of the girls skirts. Susan gave me the confidence to try and I am really happy with the results. Hope to try the binding tape soon. Thanks for offering this video.


Fun projects to make for your little one. Susan explains things so clearly. Very nice that she also offers patterns and written instructions for free