Monday, October 31, 2011

costume cloak

So in case you didn’t notice, I never posted last week.  It’s not that I didn’t make anything, I just ran out of time between work, an essay I had to write, preparing for Halloween, and everyday life.  What I did make was a big mess that was supposed to be chocolate haystacks (my chocolate seized), and a Halloween costume for my 2 year old.
My little Hobbit

My son happens to be obsessed with the animated version of The Hobbit, so it was only fitting to make him a Bilbo Baggins costume for Halloween.  (Don’t know what I’m talking about?  It’s on youtube in 6 parts, check it out!)  The whole thing cost me about $9, mostly in fleece for his cloak.  The cloak was so easy, and came out so well, that I thought I’d share.  While I realize this is not helpful for this Halloween, if you or someone you love likes to dress up on a regular basis (like my kid, or my college roommate), it's an easy project.

You will need:

Fleece material (depends on the size of your cloak, I needed 40”) ($5.55)

Coordinating thread (free, left from previous projects)

marker and a string (free, found in the house)

I used this very helpful though somewhat odd set of directions for the cloak.  I’m embarrassed to admit I had to look up the formula to find the diameter of a circle in order to measure the cloth needed: d = c/π (my Algebra teacher husband wasn’t home).  
Measure around the neck for the inner semi circle.  Measure from the collar to the end length for the flat edge.  So in our case, the neck was 5½“, and the length was 27”.  To cut this part of the cloak out, fold your cloth in half and smooth it out.  Tape your string to the sharpie, measure out your radius (27¾“  in our case), and hold the non sharpie end to the corner.  I did this with a large sewing needle taped to the string shoved into our carpeted floor, but you could just hold it steady.  Hold the sharpie as level and steady as possible, and draw a quarter circle onto the fabric.  Repeat this process for the inner circle (in our case, a 1¾“ radius).  Using your sharpest scissors, cut out your cloak with the fabric still folded.  Keep in mind that there is no hemming, so this edge will show!  Cut carefully and be mindful of which side of the sharpie line your cutting on so it doesn’t show up on the cloak.  

The second part is the hood.  This is a rectangle.  The short side is the depth of the hood; if you like an overhang, add a few inches.  The long side is the length from your shoulder, up over your head, down to your other shoulder.  To create the hood, fold the long side in half and sew it up.  Sew the hood to the neck semi circle of the other part.  My hood length and collar length didn’t match, so I sewed it on, matching the halfway mark of both pieces up, then I laid the cloak down on my cutting mat and just cut off the excess diagonally (leaving the full depth of the hood on top, but getting all the extra hood off at the collar).

Laid out, it doesn't look great, but it shows the diagonal cut on the hood
The only thing left to do is to figure out how you’re going to close it.  I thought about buying a cool metal closure, but it would have added $4 to the cost, so I opted for ties instead.  Using the scrap fabric, I cut ½“ thick ties about 6” long.  Using my sewing machine, I tacked it to the cloak collar.  After cutting all the dangling threads off, it’s done!

Wow, that took a lot to explain.  Definitely look at the original instructions here for some visual help.

Try It:  

 The fleece was on sale for $5.55

Buy It: 

The cheapest cloak I saw on the Halloween Express website was $12.99.


 As a rule, I’m a big fan of homemade costumes.  The cloak took about an hour, and was fun to make.  I will note, this is strictly for dress-up.  It's not a professional wear everyday type cloak.  But for someone like Spencer, I will definitely say Try It.

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