Fancy dress that is.  There has been much dressing up here of late, in hand-me-down super hero costumes and improvised pirate outfits.  Then there was much interest in and requests for a knight’s costume.  Firstly a helmet and shield were hastily constructed from a cardboard box that once held a baby car seat.  (I offered to stick red paper over the “safe-n-sound” logo, but Sir Rex liked the graphic quality of the letters.  And I kind of like the idea of a safe-n-sound brand battle shield.) 

Then there was much rallying for a tunic and cape.  We did a bit of research on knights tunics and decided on colours and crests.  Red and shiny gold, with a three-headed dragon of course.

(Forgive the photos, there was a small person’s finger mark on the lens I suspect).  I used a metre of some red birdseye cotton bought years ago to make a shift dress, and less than this of some inexpensive cotton-backed satin brocade also purchased years ago.  I didn’t use a pattern, but cut into the fabric as in the diagram below, measuring a 1/4 circle from one corner to make a half-circle cape.  I used one of Rex’s t-shirts to get an idea of the width of the tunic, adding a couple of inches each side. (Yes, I do still think in inches when sewing as it was the first unit of measurement I learnt in school).  I cut the tunic in both fabrics, as it is reversible.

I’m really pleased with the cape as it hangs really well, and is very versatile – suitable for knight, super hero, vampire, matador or general day wear.  (The latter has often been the case.)

Tedious technical details below for those who may be interested…

I ironed under two small turnings on the straight sides then sewed them down, then finished the large curved hem with some satin bias binding I happened to have.  (I sewed on the fold on the wrong side then turned it over to the right side and sewed it down so that the satin edging is on the right side.  I ironed more binding in half and sewed to make the ties and neck edging. 

As I made the tunic reversible, so first cut out and appliqued (just with zig-zag stitch on the machine) an emblem on each piece.  I placed right sides together and sewed the neck, clipped the seam and turned it through.  I then just ironed in turnings on the straight sides and hems, then pinned and sewed around the perimeter.  You could add ties at the sides, but I just left it like a poncho.

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