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No-Sew ELSA CAPE (from Frozen)…a ‘Do-It-Together’ Project

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Hi, I’m Cami from Tidbits and boy, it’s great to be here!! I remember being told in my youth that everyone will experience at least 20 minutes of fame in their lifetime (not really sure who said that). Well, I am pretty sure this is my time to shine! Ha! Thanks for having me Ashley and to all of you readers!
 
I come with a project to share, highly demanded by my children.  If you have any little girls in your life, they are sure to want one too.  So gather anything shimmery or sparkly you might have on hand, and let me show you what you can make – TOGETHER!!!
 
No need for a sewing machine for this project.  Just you and your little one having fun and making something they can be proud of!
 
 Let’s create a No-Sew Elsa Cape!
 
 
 
 
My 3 girls are completely smitten with Disney’s Frozen, particularly the character Elsa.
 
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I mean . . . she has powers to create sparkly snowflakes, she never feels cold, and she has a super pretty flowy cape.
 
 
 
 
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I think the obsession comes mostly from the cape.
 
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From the moment we saw the movie in theater, my 3 year old was draping anything and everything around her head or neck, all in an effort to be Elsa.
 
We had towels clipped on with claw clips, toilet paper (no joke), and baby brother’s blankies. :)
 
 
 
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 I knew we needed something a little more….well…..pretty!
 
 
 
 
 
And with 3 girls to please, it needed to be quick and easy and fun for them too.
 
 
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Not to mention, I was pretty tired of tying fabric around their necks, so it had to be easy for them to get on and off by themselves.
 
 
 
 
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And let’s just say – these capes – are a HUGE HIT!!!
 
 
 
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I used a different age appropriate method for each daughter’s cape, so that they could help decorate and customize it to their liking (read more about that below).  We had so much fun together!!
 
 
 
 
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I think it would be so fun to have a Frozen Party, and allow each child to decorate their own as a party favor.  The cape is so easy to make, that this is actually a feasible idea!
 
 
 
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Alright. 
 
Are you ready to find out how to make your own?  Let me show you!!
 
 
We are going to move through these 4 steps below.  1-3, you will most likely do on your own.  Number 4 is for you to enjoy with your cutie. (For info on supplies needed, read through these steps to determine what you will need).
 
1.  Make a paper pattern.
2.  Cut the fabric out using your pattern.
3.  Finish off the edges so they don’t fray.
4.  Sit down with your child and make it pretty!
 
 
Step 1.  Make a Pattern
This might sound scary if you have never made one.  But trust me, if I can do it, you can do it.  I will walk you through the steps I took and you’ll have it done in no time.
 
 
First, you will need to measure your child.  I took a measuring tape and measured, in inches, from her clavicle bone, around her shoulder and down to the floor. Write that down when you have done the same.
 
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To make your pattern you need a long piece of paper.  I stock up on paper rolls from Ikea when I go there, but you could always tape printer paper together or use some butcher paper.
 
Let me walk you through the markings I’ve made on this paper.
 
 
 
 
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First things first, make sure your paper is 18 inches wide.  I used this same width for all my girls.  Then from the top of the paper take the measurement from your child’s clavicle to the floor and mark across with a pencil and ruler.  This pattern was for my 5 year old, so this particular measurement was 37 inches.  Mark on one side “Fold” as seen above.  This is to remind you to cut on the fold of the fabric when the time comes.
 
 
 
 
 
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Now measure 25 inches in addition to your child’s length and cut your paper there.  This is for the train of the cape.
 
 
 
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Now go back the the top and make a little marking at 2 1/2 inches.

 
 
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Now find a bowl, a DVD or something curved and trace the curve starting at the 2.5 marking.  This is for the neck.  It doesn’t need to be big.  I think my bowl was somewhere between 4-5 inches long in diameter.  I traced about mid bowl.
 
 
 
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Now cut that out on your markings.
 
 
 
 
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Come down to the train, and from the corner to the point of the marking of the child’s length, draw a diagonal line.
 
 
 
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Use that line as a guide to draw a slightly curved line from those points.  Don’t dwell on perfection here.  Just curve it nicely –
 
 
 
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then cut along that marking.
 
 
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Now go back up to the top and draw a curved line (like shown above) down to the body length marking.
 
 
 
 
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Cut along that line as well.  I do hope that all made sense.
 
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At the top where you marked 2.5, you need to round those corners off.
 
 
 
 
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And that is it!  You have made your pattern!  That really is the hardest part, and it isn’t even that hard.
 
 
 
 
Step 2:  Cut out your fabric.
 
 
First, let’s talk fabric.
 
Flowy.  That is a must.  Sheer.  That is preferred.  If you want it to look like Elsa’s, anyway.
 
I used organza on 2 of my capes, and chiffon on the littlest ones cape.  They both worked great.  I found each at Wal-Mart for 3 dollars a yard.  One type even had sparkle’s already in it.
 
How much fabric, you ask?
 
That depends entirely on the length of your child.
 
Take their length you measured in step 1, plus the 25 inches and that is how much you will need.  So for my 37 inch girl, I bought 2 yards and I had a bit extra.
 
 
Once you have your fabric, you are ready to cut out.  Fold your fabric in half and then lay your pattern right on top, matching up where you wrote “fold” with the fold of the fabric. Cut around the pattern but do not cut the fold.
 
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When you get to the neck straps, you will cut through the fold and around the curve of the pattern, so that it separates into 2 neck pieces.
 
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That completes Step 2.
 
Step 3:  Finish the Edges
 
We are doing this so the edges don’t fray all over the place, but are doing it without the sewing machine.
 
All you need is a flame.
 
And a bowl of water.  Just in case.
 
You may want to test this out on your fabric, but I can vouch for chiffon and organza.  They burn great using this method.
 
Hold your fabric tightly with both hands.
Move the edge of your fabric along the blue part of the flame (or the bottom) quickly and smoothly.  Don’t let it sit in one spot too long.  It burns.  Where you don’t want it to.  (If you’ve never tried this before, practice on some scrap fabric.)
 
 
 
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This will not only leave your edges clean so they don’t fray, but an added perk is the wavy lettuce edge they give to your cape.  So fun.
 
Your cape will be completely ready for the kiddo, as soon as you add a closure to the neck edge.
 
 
 
So in the effort to make this a “no-sew”, I tested out some seriously sticky back velcro.  Just cut out small squares and stick them on.
 
 
 
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It has stuck on great for my older ones who know how to take it off appropriately.  However, the 3 year old has reeked havoc on hers and one velcro piece is coming off.  I think I will sew some sew-on pieces on hers, for safe keeping.  However, I still felt like I could call this project a “no-sew”.
 
So sorry if you are angry with me right now. ;)
 
Use the method that works for you.
 
 
 
 
Then I hot glued a little snowflake piece I found in the button section at Wal-Mart.  Nice touch, I thought.
 
 
 
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Now for the FUN PART!!  Grab your little one!
 
 
Step 4:  Decorate!!
 
 
 
For my 3 year old, I simply taped some snowflake stencils (bought at Hobby Lobby) around her cape. Then I gave her some glitter fabric paint (also Hobby Lobby) and a brush and let her paint inside the stencils.
 
 
 
 
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Some turned out great.  Others, not so much….but she loved it!
 
They are a little hard to see on the camera, but I think they look really pretty in person.
 
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I also let her soak the fabric with this spray glitter paint.  It surprisingly stays on real well, and I haven’t seen glitter all over her and my house because of it.
 
For the 5 year old, we practiced our tracing skills.
 
First, I printed off some simple snowflake shapes which I googled.  Then, one by one, we put the paper under the fabric, and she used a bottle of dimensional fabric paint (with glitter of course, and found at Hobby Lobby), and traced the design right onto the fabric.
 
 
 
 
 
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SHE LOVED IT!!  Her hand was a little sore towards the end, but she loved it.  It dried beautifully.
 
 
 
So for my 7 year old, we got a little more serious.
 
Heat and Bond.  Wal-Mart sells it for pennies.  I bought a yard of it on the bolt and dug through my fabric scraps for some white fabric.  Heat and Bond is a product that is fusible with heat, on two sides.  I followed the directions and fused one side to my white fabric.
 
Then I cut random sized squares out of it.
 
So at this point, the scrap of white fabric is fabric on one side and paper on the other.  My girl and I folded and cut as many snowflakes as we could out of these squares.  It was easy, seeing how one side was paper.  If you do this, make sure you use good fabric scissors.
 
She then peeled off the paper side of the snowflakes and I ironed them down where she put them.  The heat and bond makes it so the fabric will not fray.
 
Don’t you just love the result!!
 
And we had so much fun seeing who could come up with the goofiest looking snowflakes!

 

 
Wow!  Longest post ever!
 
 
 
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Do let me know if you jump in on the fun!!
 
 
 
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I’m sure your girls, whatever age they are, will enjoy making their cape – just as much as they do wearing it!
 
 
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Loved being here!!  Thanks Make It and Love It readers!!
 
-Cami
 

 
Check out Cami’s blog here.
 
 
Loving the no-sew idea? Check out these no-sew tutorials that are as easy as they are cute!
 
 
 
 
 
 

Ashley Johnston

Administrator at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with the craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!

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Hi, I'm Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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