Capelets are sort of magical – like a cross between a costume and actual clothing.  So your little princess can feel like she’s playing dress up while actually being dressed.  At least I think so, which is why a capelet was my first thought upon beholding this most magical princess collection of fabrics ever.

The new Heather Ross Far Far Away 2 fabric has had Jacinda and I biting the insides of our cheeks with anticipation since we got a sneak peek at Quilt Market. Soooo of course when Fabricworm got the first shipment in, we went batty!  The whole collection features our favorite fairytale heroines looking sweet yet non-frilly.  This capelet features Rapunzel fabric on one side and Moon and Stars on the other, both available at our beloved Fabricworm now (but it’s going to sell out superfast so go, go, go)!

But back to the capelet.  This is NOT a complicated project and can be customized in so many ways. It is reversible, too. Oh, and you can also use the collar pattern to make a cape for a boy.

I promise your princess will adore it.  Or if, like me, you have a non-princessy daughter who prefers squashing bugs and climbing walls, she will also adore it.

Get the full How to Sew a Capelet Tutorial after the jump…

And remember to leave a comment on this or any post this week and you might win 1/2 yard of nicey Jane oilcloth, get the details here.

How to Sew a Capelet

with free downloadable collar pattern.

1.  First download and cut out our Capelet collar pattern:
Prudent Baby Capelet Collar

2.  Now make yourself a pattern for the cape.  You can draw directly on your fabric but I used freezer paper because I couldn’t bear the thought of any possible mistakes being made using my beautiful  fabric.  You need to draw two half circles.  The best method is to tie a string around a pencil and pull it taught and drag it in a circle.  For my 2T child I drew the smaller circle with a 3″ radius, and the larger with an 11.5″ radius.

Now trace and cut out one piece in Fabric A and another in Fabric B.

3. Trace the capelet collar pattern onto your fabric and cut out one in Fabric A and another in Fabric B.  The radius of the inner circle here is also 3″ to match the shape above.  If you are making a bigger or smaller cape, you will want to adjust accordingly.  However, since the capelet has ties, it is going to fit a huge range of neck sizes, so you may just want to leave it as is, or change the length of the cape and the thickness of the collar rather than the neck measurements.  Up to you.

4. Cut four strips of fabric (2 in each fabric) 2″ wide by 18″ long for the ties.

5. Pin your two collar pieces right sides facing and sew around the outside- so along one straight edge, around the curve, and down the other straight edge with a scant 1/4″ inseam:

Turn the collar right side out, push out the edges and iron it flat:

7.  Now take the two cape pieces and pin them right sides facing, then sew along one straight edge, around the big curve, and down the other straight edge (so now just the small circle edge is open):

8.  Leave your cape inside out and the collar right side out.  Insert the collar into the cape so all the unfinished edges are aligned and pin along those curves.  If you want yours to have contrasting cape and collar fabric like mine, you’ll pin Fabric A of the collar facing Fabric A of the cape.  If you want your capelet to appear all the same pattern on each side, then pin contrasting fabrics facing.

Sew around the edge, leaving a hole for turning, back stitching at the beginning and end:

Trim the corners.  Reach in through the hole and turn the whole thing right side out.  Push the edges out and iron flat.

It looks awesome!  But you still have your hole:

Slip stitch it closed:

9.  Now let’s add straps.  You can do this a million ways, with ribbon, grommets, leather strips, a buckle of some sort, anything.  I went with fabric ties.  Here is how i did it.  On one end of each fabric strip, fold over 1/4″ and sew in place:

Lay two contrasting strips together right sides facing with the sewn edges aligned:

Sew up each long side with a straight stitch.  Attach a safety pin to the non-sewn side:

Push the safety pin back through the strap and gently work the fabric until it turns:

There you go:

Iron it with the seams to the sides.  At the un-sewn end, push the fabric in.  On the sewn edge, iron the sides in along the seam lines:

Top stitch the long sides and across the unsewn end.  Don’t sew above your stitch line on the sewn end:

This is what i mean by that:

You want to be able to pull the sides apart 1/4″ like this:

On the cape just below the collar, attach the strap facing whichever way you prefer (i coordinated with the top of the collar):

Here is what it looks like from the other side:

Sew in place with a small zig zag stitch:

Now you’re done!!

Are you proud?  Because I feel proud.  This is really my first attempt at meeting one of my parenting goals, which is to make princess stuff that is less pink-glitter-barfy.  Mission accomplished?? maybe???

She has been wearing it everywhere even though it is 90 degrees outside.  Good sign, right?  Or sign of princess obsession yet to come?

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