Costume Tips from Sheikhani
Full Circle Cape
- Measure the length in inches from the nape of your neck to the floor. Now multiply this number by 2 and then divide by 36 to find the number of yards of fabric to purchase. The width of the fabric you purchase MUST be at least twice the measurement from your neck to the floor; thus you will usually have to purchase a fabric at least 110-130 inches wide.This width is usually only available in nylon tricot (it is used for lingerie-available in sheer or opaque and is usually available in specialty fabric stores).
- Calculate the yardage of sequin trim (single strand) needed to finish the entire circular edge of the cape as follows:
|To calculate the number of inches around the cape edge, multiply the following numbers: (inches from nape of neck to floor) x (inches from nape of neck to floor) x (3.14159)
|Now to calculate the total yardage of trim to buy, divide the number of inches around the cape edge by 36. (Hint: get a little extra!)
Follow the folding directions closely; the folding directions are very important to ensure that the folded edges end up stacked as they should be for cutting!
- Fold the fabric in half lengthwise; this puts the 2 selvage edges together.
- Fold the fabric in half width-wise - you now have a square of fabric consisting of 4 layers of fabric.
- Refering to the drawing below, your 4 layer square of fabric will have 4 layers of selvage edges together on one side (the bottom of the drawing), 4 layers of cut edges together (the right side of the drawing), a side with 2 folded edges ONE FOLD ON TOP OF THE OTHER (as noted on the top of the drawing), and a side with 2 folded edges ONE FOLD INSIDE THE OTHER (as noted on the left side of the drawing - this is the side where you will cut the armholes).
- Cut the cape hem edge corresponding to the length from the nape of your neck to the floor (see drawing). This is easiest if you pin a cloth tape measure to the center point marked "X" on the drawing, and then use the tape to swing an arc, cutting the required length as the arc is swung. (Hint: instead of a tape measure, you can use a string marked with the length from the nape of you neck to the floor)
- Starting 10 inches down from the corner marked "X" on the drawing, cut a 7.5 inch slit through both folded edges ON THE SIDE OF YOUR FABRIC SQUARE WHERE ONE FOLD IS INSIDE THE OTHER- this forms 2 armholes.
- Then, ON THE SIDE OF YOUR FABRIC SQUARE WHERE ONE FOLD IS ON TOP OF THE OTHER, cut open the TOP FOLD ONLY along the entire length from the hem to the "X" marked on the drawing.
- Zig-zag stitch around the arm openings to keep them from fraying. Due to the nature of nylon tricot, it folds nicely while you stitch, forming an even looking edge without much effort.
- Apply the sequin trim (single strand) to the cape edges with a wide zig-zag stitch. If you wish, you can further decorate the cape by applying sequins, paillettes, etc. You're done!