Hello everyone, today I am so very pleased to be participating in the Citronille Challenge hosted by Sew Mama Sew.
For this challenge I made all three of my little ones something really fun.
Super hero capes!
For this challenge I was given a pattern by Citronille. Citronille is a brand of unique patterns from France, I have been eyeing off these patterns for years, but never actually bought any – I think that like most people, the language was a bit intimidating.
Some of the patterns have been provided in an English version by the pattern designer, but not all of them, so Fiddlehead Artisan Supply is providing English translations for many of the others, you can see their full range at Fiddlehead’s website.
The pattern that I was given is called Tobias. Here is a picture of it, with the included English translation.
I made up three sizes:
- 4 years for Veronica
- 6 years for Jonathan
- 8 years for Mathilda
I sized up because I think this is a style that they’ll want to wear for a long time.
The pattern comes in a plastic sleeve, with the English instructions attached. The French instructions are still included, and the pattern sheet is written in French. But really easy to understand. This pattern has only 3 pieces, and they are really clearly laid out on the sheet and I had no trouble tracing them off in each size.
The shoulders are shaped, and the cape dips slightly lower at the back. The front is designed with a self-facing. I decided to line the cape, so I did need to modify the construction method to do that, I’ll show you step-by-step how I did it.
This pattern is designed as a winter cape, so I had a good look at all the wool fabrics that I have already waiting to made into something, and since it is spring here, I felt … really uninspired.
So, I asked the kids what sort of cape they wanted, and they immediately went with the following:
- Mathilda wanted rainbow – that sounds like fun
- Veronica wanted purple – so easy
- Jonathan wanted orange with purple spots…umm okay, I’ll need to think about that one a bit.
After searching Pinterest for a while, I was seeing a lot of personalised super hero capes that I really liked, and decided to go with that idea in mind.
So off I went to Spotlight, and I found some fantastic swirly multi-coloured satin in the dance fabric section. I used a bright rainbow for Mathilda, a pastel purple/pink for Veronica, and a bright orange-based colour for Jonathan. The instructions given for the pattern are for the unlined version, but lining it is an option, which I decided to go with, so I used coordinating dancetime satin in bright solid colours for the linings.
The fabric I bought was narrower than that given for the yardage on the pattern, so I had to guess a little bit about the amounts required. I didn’t quite get it right with Jonathan’s orange swiwl, so I had to cut that one on the cross-grain, but in the end I think that actually worked really well anyway.
Sorry the picture is bit grainy, I was doing this at night, in terrible lighting (for photography anyway), I guess I need to get myself a light box or something.
When I cut out the lining, I used the centre front marking for the front edge, I’ll explain the reason why later on.
I decided to go with personalised letters for the backs of the capes, I used my Singer Future CE350 to embroider and applique large letters onto the cutoffs of the plain satin lining fabric, and the swirl as the central appliqué piece. I used contrasting thread for the outline.
I used a font from Lynnie Pinnie. It is a discontinued line, but they have it as part of a sale bundle at the moment.
I’ve tried to appliqué satin onto satin before, and its not fun, it slips and slides all over the place. However, I came up with a solution.
When I hooped the background fabric I put a layer of fusible interfacing inbetween the fabric and the tear-away stabiliser. I put the fusible side down.
After I’d finished the embroidery, I drew a circle around each letter, and just did a quick stitch over that line.
Next, I turned it over and removed all the tear away stabiliser.
Then I cut around the outside of my circle, giving me an iron-on patch!
After ironing these onto the back pieces of the cape, I stitched around the circle with a satin stitch in the same contrasting colour that I had used for the outline of the superhero letter.
I didn’t need to use any pins, the ironed on patches stayed exactly where I had put them, it such an easy way and successful way to get the job done.
The Collar and Lining
Firstly, I did all three capes simultaneously, with a production line method. So, the following pictures showing how to construct the garment with the lining could be of any of the three. It depends on when I remembered to take a picture of what I was doing.
Step One: Stich the side seams, fronts to backs, right sides together. Repeat for the lining.
Here are the three capes, and the three linings ready to have their side seams stitched.
Step Two: Stitch the collars, right sides together, all the way around the outer edge. I used pinking shears to trim the curves.
I had to make the orange collar in two pieces, because I didn’t have quite enough fabric to cut it on the fold. I just added a small seam allowance when I cut it and stitched it together first, and pressed the seam open. It ended up being the same for the lining too (but only for that cape – the others all ended up just fine).
Step Three: Turn the collars right side out, and press. I rolled the outer fabric over slightly as I pressed so that it looks like this (from the wrong side):
And it looks like this from the right side, see that the raw edge of the lining is now slightly lower? This will help the collar sit right.
Step Four: Pin and stitch the collar to the outer cape, wrong side to right side, as shown below. This is where I start to deviate from the provided instructions.
Step Five: Pin and stitch the front edges of the outer cape and the lining together, right sides together. The lining is slightly smaller than the outer cape because I cut it to a different line, remember?
Step Five: Fold the outer cape self-facing inwards, pin and stitch the neck edge with the collar sandwiched inbetween the outer cape and lining. The outer cape will fold around the collar to the inside, make sure to pin the seam allowances towards the centre. I didn’t finish my raw edges, because this cape will be completely lined.
Trim the edge with pinking shears, or clip, otherwise the neck edge will not sit properly as it is a curve.
Step Six: Pin and stitch the hem, making sure to match the side seams. The self-facing, again will fold to the inside.
Also, leave a small gap for turning. I always turn a pin the wrong way so that I don’t forget to do that.
Also, trim/clip the hem, this is a curved hem. I used my pinking shears again, they are very handy for sewing garments with lots of curves like this one.
This is a pretty easy way to do the hem, if the cape is not lined, you would need to do the hem by hand with an easing stitch to gather in the curve.
Step Seven: Turn the garment right side out and press. The front facing will now look perfect, the collar will be perfect, and the lower front points will be super neat, and very professional looking.
Step Eight: Last one, do a quick hand stitch with matching thread to close the opening that was left for turning. This is quite easy now that the hem has already been pressed.
The pattern is designed to be fastened with a button, but I switched that out for a plastic snap, so that the kids can put it on and take it off by themselves. I used KAM snap pliers and matching coloured snaps in orange, pink and purple.
This pattern is great, I will probably make it again, and again, and again. Like all Citronille patterns, this one is easy to make, with clear instructions.
The collar is small, and I think that in a different fabric it would stand up, rather than fold over. The neckline is quite wide too, not too tight.
The length is just right – there is plenty of twirl, but they are still able to play in it, without tripping over it, the shape of the hem is lovely.
And there is so much flexibility – depending on the choice of fabric and adding trims, this pattern could suit so many different occasions, and its also gender neutral.
And there you have it, three personalised super hero capes.
Please check out the other Citronille Challenge participants:
- Michelle Morris of That Black Chic
- Sherri Sylvester of thread riding hood
- Maris Olsen of Sew Maris
- Vanessa Lynch of Punkin Patterns
- Marisa of thirty-nine
- Sara Johansen of the Sara project
- Natalie Strand of Vegetablog
- Diane Reafsnyder of Gator Bunny
- Jessica Wright of Willow & Stitch
- Sara Homer of Now Try This
- Kelly Donovan of Craftree
And don’t forget to hop over to Sew Mama Sew for a chance to win a Citronille pattern of choice!
Thanks for reading.