Child’s Cape Pattern & Tutorial

My son has endured countless trips to JoAnn fabrics and has never been too excited, until our most recent trip. We walked by this fabric and he yelled, “THOMAS THE TRAIN!”. He held the bolt of fabric the whole time we were in the store, then carried his cut fabric around the house telling me he needed to wear it. So I thought now would be the perfect time to make him a cape so he could wear his special fabric whenever he wanted. I made this pattern to fit his neck size and height but it’s a fairly simple pattern that could be modified for a different size superhero.

To get started you’ll need:

  • Cape pattern (free download here). See note at bottom of post for more info on the pattern. This pattern is made so the cape ends just above the ankle for a 3T size (36″ tall), so size up or down accordingly for the child you’re making the cape for.
  • 2 pieces of fabric cut from cape pattern for the cape front and back. Each piece of fabric will need to be a minimum of 30″ wide x 35″ tall but you may want to give yourself an extra few inches in case your fabric isn’t perfectly square. I used the Thomas the Train cotton fabric on one side and a navy swimsuit type of fabric on the other side. It’s stretchy so it’s a little more tricky to work with but it resists wrinkles and drapes nicely.
  • Magnets or velcro for the neck closure. I used a set of “magnetic sew on snaps” from JoAnns that worked perfectly. My son can easily take the cape off and on and it washes well without having to worry about the velcro wearing out.

To make the cape:

  1. Line up the two pieces of cape fabric with right sides together. Sew around the cape EXCEPT for along the bottom with a 1/4″ seam allowance.
  2. Turn cape right side out and press.
  3. Topstitch around the cape EXCEPT for along the bottom with a 1/4″ seam allowance.
  4. Line up magnets in the neck and make sure the magnetic poles are lined up so the magnets stick and don’t repel each other. The magnets should be inside the of the cape, the photo above just shows the placement.
  5. Sew a seam across the neck pieces right below the magnet to hold it in place. The magnets may want to stick to your sewing machine. If this is the case put a piece of cardboard or thick cloth under the magnet (just make sure you don’t accidentally catch it in the needle!).
  6. Fold the bottom 1 1/2″ of the cape to the inside. If you have trouble folding in the fabric, try cutting off an inch of each corner before folding.
  7. Sew 2 seams across the bottom of the cape, one 3/4″ and one slightly above that.

Notes on the pattern: You’ll print out 7 total pages. The first 4 pages are the right side of the cape and the last 3 pages are the left side. Just line up the stars and tape the pages together. And if you look closely at the photo below, yes, the little guy is sporting his first black eye. I think it goes along with the cape pretty well.

 

Book Winner

Congrats to #138, Julie, winner of the Sew What! Bags book. She said, “I would LOVE to win this book!  I love bags and have gotten my granddaughters and daughters addicted to them too.  It would be so fun to make some new bags for all of us!”

If you didn’t win, check out Storey Publishing on Facebook for a chance to win great prizes every Friday in February.

Online Sewing Class

Giveaway! Modern Fabric Studio

Modern Fabric Studio

Modern Fabric Studio is giving one lucky Craft Buds reader a $25 credit to go shopping for fabric! That goes a long way, considering shop owner Amanda Norton has a WINTER SALE going on right now, with 20% to 35% all fabric collections.

If you spend $50…you receive 1 FREE YARD of Your Choice!
If you spend $100…you receive 2 FREE YARDS of Your Choice! 

Hurry now…before the sale ends!!

Will you pick . . .

Valori Wells Karavan from $3.33 per half-yard

Valori Wells Karavan from $6.18/yard

LouLouThi Flannel from $6.82/yard

LouLouThi Flannel from $6.82/yard

Free Spirit Solids from $4.56/yard

Free Spirit Solids from $4.56/yard

 

PLUS, you can save 10% on your order with the coupon code CRAFTBUDS.

Giveaway!

Amanda is offering one Craft Buds reader $25 shop credit to spend on anything in the shop. And with her Sale Fabrics (designer cotton prints starting at $5 per yard and designer voile starting at just $8 per yard) that’s a you can score big . . .

Giveaway now closed.

To enter:

  1. Browse Modern Fabric Studio and leave a comment telling us what you’d like to buy with your shop credit.
  2. “Like” Modern Fabric Studio on Facebook and leave a comment.

That’s 2 chances to win! This giveaway is open worldwide, and we’ll choose one lucky winner on Friday, Feb. 10.

Superbowl Recipes: Candy Football Cupcakes

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Superbowl recipes footbal cupcakes

If you are a cupcake fan like me, you are probably familiar with fondant cupcake toppers, which can be molded into a variety of shapes for themed cakes. The problem with regular fondant is that it’s often colorless and flavorless, so you have to do some mixing just to get it ready to eat.

Tootsie Rolls and Laffy Taffy

Enter the Tootsie Roll, a brilliant fondant substitute and the perfect flavor and color to make superbowl football cupcake toppers! I discovered some adorable football tootsie roll cupcake toppers at Mini Baker, and decided to make some cupcakes for the big game. But you can also use your favorite chewy candies in a variety of colors, to make shapes other than footballs!

Superbowl Cupcakes

To get started, you’ll need:

 

Football Cupcake Toppers

Unwrap your chewy candies like Tootsie Rolls, and microwave on high for 5 seconds to soften. Use your fingers or a pastry roller to flatten your candy, then mold into a football shape. Set aside.

Tootsie roll footballs

Prepare a pastry bag with a small round tip, and squeeze on lines of frosting as pictured. Top cupcakes with football toppers, placed at a slight angle.

Frosting and piping bag Football cupcake toppers with tootsie rolls

Experiment with different colored soft candies like Laffy Taffy, Starburst, or Airheads. You can use this technique to make football helmets, yard lines, or the goal post.

Superbowl football cupcake Football helmet cupcake superbowl recipe

Use your imagination! A tiny gingerbread man cookie cutter can be used to cut out a quarterback. Use the colors of your favorite team, or add the numbers for your favorite player. This would make a great birthday party treat and is totally customizable.

Making cupcakes

Whether you enjoy watching football or not, you’ll probably like eating these. :) Have fun decorating your cupcakes!

Frosting Cupcakes: How to Use a Pastry Bag

How to Decorate Cupcakes Tutorial

If you want to frost cupcakes like a pro, it just takes some simple tools and a bit of practice! To decorate cupcakes with homemade icing, you’ll need:

Frosting Your Cupcakes

After your cupcakes have cooled to room temperature, prepare your pastry bag by snipping off 1/4″ of the tip with scissors. Insert your silver tip (large hole), inside the bag, so the tip pokes through. Use your hand to push it down snugly inside the bag.

Pastry bag and tips

Fold down the outer edge of your bag around your hand which holds it. Fill your bag with prepared frosting. Spoon frosting inside your bag, knowing you can always add more later. Unroll the top of the bag, and twist to make sure no frosting can escape the wide end of the bag. Push frosting towards the tip.

Fill the pastry bag Fill bag with frosting

Starting in the cupcake center, use your hands to squeeze a dollop of frosting through the tip, then release. This will create a higher level to build the icing on in your next step.

How to frost a cupcake Dollop of icing

Starting at the cupcake edge and moving clockwise, use your hands to apply a continuous stream of icing. Spiral your icing to the inside of the cupcake, building on top of the dollop from before. When you’ve covered the entire cupcake, release.

How to frost a cupcake Frost cupcake with pastry bag

Tip: When you’re not frosting the cupcakes, set your bag down on the table. The heat from your hands will make the icing soft and droopy if you keep holding it the whole time.

To add texture with frosting, start in the center and squeeze the bag with your hands, quickly releasing as you pull the pastry tip away from the cake. A star-shaped tip can create small frosting flowers, while a round tip applies frosting smoothly. Pastry bags may be washed and reused just like the tips.

Football cupcake

You can also make football cupcake toppers for your Superbowl party or sports-themed birthday party. Rather than buying fondant, you can use soft, chewy candy from your candy dish like Tootsie Rolls, Laffy Taffy, Starburst, or Airheads!

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Book Review + Giveaway: Sew What! Bags

Sew What! Bags cover

Sew What! Bags: 18 Pattern-Free Projects You Can Customize to Fit Your Needs is an older release from Storey Publishing. In the book, author Lexie Barnes teaches how to make a variety of bags, totes, and containers. Because the projects only require straight-line sewing and don’t require patterns, her technique is ideal for newbie sewists.

Sew What Bags chapter

The book is broken down into sewing basics including tools, understanding fabric, and getting to know your sewing machine. Color illustrations teach the reader how to sew straps, simple linings, and pockets.

Sew What Tote Bags

In the Warm-up Projects chapter, Barnes teaches readers to sew some of life’s simplest “bags,” like an eyeglass case, tissue pouch, and grocery bag tube. Her technique allows readers to measure their own belongings and create a custom-size bag to fit.

She also explains how the many projects are related to each other. For instance, once you’ve learned to sew the eyeglass case, you’ve essentially learned how to sew the five projects below: a diaper case, knitting wristlet, sandwich bag, business card case, and lip balm lanyard. Since all the projects use the same basic construction, they can be customized with an extra strap, drawstring, or flap to serve different purposes. Barnes empowers sewing through teaching basic techniques, so they aren’t limited to sewing with patterns already written.

Sew What Simple Bags

Beyond the beginner projects, this book covers totes, drawstring sacks, and messenger bags. Within each section are illustrated steps for several styles of bags in set sizes. But the reader is not limited to one style, because each project details how you can customize the bag with zippers, flaps, velcro, pockets, or a new size to fit your needs!

Sew What Messenger Bags

The final chapter dives into organizers like a tool apron or wall caddy, with neat-and-tidy pockets for kitchenware or even art supplies. Though advanced projects may initially scare away beginners, the book offers a progression of skills for the modern sewist. By the end, you, too could be customizing your bags and maybe even writing some patterns of your own.

I adore this book, from the variety of projects to the modern fabrics featured. I also love the streamlined look of the 18 projects. Without all the frills and fuss, it’s easy to learn the very basic of bag making from this book, and grow in your confidence as a sewist.

Giveaway!

Giveaway now closed. Congrats to #138, Julie!

Would you like to win a copy this book?

  1. Enter to win by leaving a comment on this post about your favorite type of bag.
  2. For an extra entry, “Like” Storey Publishing on Facebook and leave a second comment.

Giveaway open to U.S. residents only. Good luck! Giveaway ends Monday, Feb. 6.

Milk Carton & Hamburger Box with Cinnamon Heart Cookies

This month for CHA (the Craft and Hobby Association Convention), Lifestyle Crafts is releasing lots of new dies and embossing folders. My favorite releases are the milk carton and hamburger boxes. Once the dies are run through the Epic (see my past post here for info on how it works), you have a flat sheet of paper cut and scored for folding. The hamburger box comes with 6 extra little shapes for making labels for each box and the milk carton comes with 4.

Once the sheets are cut, just make the folds and glue down the tabs. All the shapes I used except for the hearts come with the kits. Easy and super cute! I filled mine with small cookies (recipe below) or you could fill them with candy. I think these would make perfect party favors or Valentines for kids or adults.

As always, if you’re planning on buying anything from Lifestyle Crafts, use the code CRAFTBUDS for a 20% discount!


Cinnamon Heart Cookies

I filled mine with homemade heart spritz cookies. I used this spritz (cookie press) recipe from Allrecipes.com. The only thing I changed was using cinnamon extract rather than the almond and vanilla. I used the heart shape in my cookie press and used my finger to press down the mark left by the press:

Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Sift together the flour and salt; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Stir in the egg yolks, almond extract and vanilla extract. Gradually blend in the sifted ingredients. Fill a cookie press with dough and shoot cookies about 1 1/2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet. If you like, decorate with sugar or sprinkles at this time.
  3. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes in the preheated oven.

Then I dipped each cookie in a sugar cookie glaze, also from Allrecipes.com here and added sprinkles and red hots. You can replace some of the water in the frosting with cinnamon extract if you want a stronger cinnamon flavor.:

Glaze

Ingredients

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 10 drops food coloring

Directions

  1. Stir confectioners’ sugar, corn syrup, and water together. Stir in food coloring if desired. This glaze must be stirred each time you use it. If it is not stirred before each use it will dry with a mottled look instead of a solid color.

 

NOTE: If you can find Dove’s heart shaped chocolates, they fit perfectly into the hearts. Just gently press them into the cookies after they are removed from the oven and you don’t even have to glaze them!

 

 

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