Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Sewing: Halloween Satin Opera Collar Cape and Mask (Tutorial)

If you've visited my blog around Halloween you've learned it's not a holiday into which I throw my heart and soul. But as my girls and their opinions grow, it is becoming more fun and I certainly don't want to be a stick-in-the-mud. So I've adopted an approach that isn't too much work and still appears to be in the holiday spirit.

I have only sewn one Halloween costume for my girls, Scarlett's peacock costume. (I really admire those who stitch wonderful costumes but I usual have other things competing for my attention and the ready made costumes are filling the need pretty well right now.) The opera cape I made for Scarlett was such a simple way to create some drama I decided to make one for myself when Jo-Ann asked for a Chic Halloween look for their Fall Lookbook 2014.

This project makes the most of a great fabric. I found this beautiful orange and black abstract floral print satin charmeuse at Jo-Ann in their special occassion fabrics. This cape would be really cute in quilting cottons too however. 

With the Opera Cape and an embellished mask I've got something at the ready to throw over whatever I'm wearing. I would show up to the school Halloween party in this, or call it my "costume" for a neighborhood party, and why not don it to open the door to trick-or-treaters? I got really excited about a new look for Halloween and made a chiffon skirt with coordinating fabric from Jo-Ann but in truth black leggings or jeans may be the better way to go with this.

Click through for the instructions directions for making your own beautiful, dramatic cape. I've also got a full tutorial with photos in this Opera Cape post if you'd like to see more of the step-by-step.


You'll Need:

To Make the Cape:

  •  Cut the black satin and lining fabrics so they measure 72”x38”. (The longest dimension is the width of the cape.)
  •  Stack the two pieces of fabric right sides together and pin all the way around.
  • Before stitching these together, measure down 8" from the top on both sides of the cape and mark a two inch section where you will form the ribbon casing. Put extra pins here. Also mark a 3” section along the hem side to leave open for turning right side out.
  • Stitch all the way around the cape using a .5" seam allowance BUT baste across the 2" sections where the ribbon casing will be. Remember to leave a 3"--for turning the cape.
  • Clip the corners and turn the cape right side out.
  • Press the cape well so the seams are flat and the raw edges at the 3" opening are turned in neatly. Pin all the way around to hold the pressing in place. Pin the 3” opening closed.
  • Stitch all the way around the cape with a .5” seam allowance, stopping and starting at the basting where the casing will be.
  • Now using tailor's chalk, or a fabric marker, draw two parallel lines to mark the stitching lines for your ribbon casing. To do this, measure 8" down from the top of the cape, draw a straight line at the 8" marks and then draw a parallel line 2" below the first. Pin this area to keep the fabric from shifting as you stitch.
  • Stitch down the lines you have drawn to form the ribbon casing.
  • Unpick your basting at the ends of the casing to open it.  Using a large safety pin, thread your satin ribbon through the casing.
  • Trim the ends of your ribbon at an angle to prevent fraying.
  • Center the ribbon in the casing by pulling it so you have equal lengths extending at either end of the casing. Stitch down the center of the ribbon casing, catching the ribbon so it's held in place to prevent it from being pulled out of the casing.
Put on the cape and tie the ribbon around your neck in a big bow. Give it a twirl. Wear it with the lining side out sometimes....enjoy! 

To make the Opera Mask:

I purchased a read-made Darice feather and sequin mask and then used E6000 adhesive to embellish it further with feathers of different sizes to coordinate with my cape and rhinestones to up the bling.

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