Just before Christmas I went on a project planning (and supply buying) binge. I bought yarn (of course) for hats meant to be presents, yarn for my daughter’s soon to be quilt, yarn just for fun, Sytherin cloak fabric, lovely print knits (that will eventually be shirts for my mom), and some fleece and felt for my niece/Goddaughter’s birthday present, a princess Anna cloak. You’ve heard of the Disney movie Frozen right???
Of course you have. You don’t live under a rock.
My almost three-year-old niece had gotten an Anna doll from another of her aunts. Her mom mentioned that the tiny girl already had a dress that matched the doll but wouldn’t it be so cool if she had a matching cloak too? (I’m pretty sure I was chosen as her godmother mostly so I’d make cool stuff for my niece.) Yes, yes it would be cool. Felt and fleece happened to be cheaper just before Christmas than any other time of year and it looked like I was going to have some free time the first week of January. I could totally whip up a small cloak before my niece’s January 17th birthday…
Naturally I did not make the cloak before her actual birthday. Instead I started it the night before my family’s semi-monthly birthday dinners and finished it the morning of.
I found a free downloadable pdf pattern complete with tutorial at FleeceFun.com and for the most part I followed the pattern, except instead of just using fleece I layered felt and fleece. I wanted the cloak to have more stiffness than just fleece would have and I liked the idea of a two tone layered cloak with a cut out design along the edges. I cut the pattern pieces out of the felt first and then used the actual felt pieces as a pattern guide for the fleece. The plan was to just sew the magenta felt directly on top of the purple fleece and follow the construction guidelines of the pattern.
Both felt and fleece are fun to work with. They don’t slide around and neither fray so hemming isn’t necessary. However, fleece stretches and felt does not. This resulted in needing to trim the edges of the fleece under layer in a couple places after they were sewn together. For the scalloped edges we (well,my teenage son) drew the half circles around the border of the caplet and the bottom cloak with a purple Sharpie and then (I) cut around them. Originally I was going to cut out the half circles leaving the dark purple to show through but my scissors were not sharp enough for that level of detailed cutting.
I assembled the caplet (top cape thingy) layers separately first (sewed the front and back together at the shoulder seams), put the felt over the fleece with the seams facing inward (so they wouldn’t show), and sewed around the edge and through all the layers at the top of the shoulders to keep them in place. For the bottom part of the cape I just sewed around the edges of the two layers.
Attaching the top caplet, bottom cape, and collar was the most challenging part of this project. Apparently six layers of thick fabric is too much for my sewing machine to handle especially when two of the layers are gathered..
As you can see the machine kept skipping stitches. My solution to this annoyance was to go back over the areas it skipped until they were fully stitched. That’s right, machine, you’re going to sew through those layers whether you like it or not!
I decided not to mess with the binding that’s supposed to make the inside of the collar layers look neater and just trimmed the many layered seams.
The closure is a hook and loop that I had purchased for a skirt that was going to be steam punk but ended up being a basic costume skirt (so no metal flair). It could be prettier but I didn’t think velcro would hold and I was not about to try a button in that thick mess.
would definitely will make at least one more of these cloaks…I way overbought on the fabric. There may even be enough left for two more and this was very easy to make. I would even recommend it if you have only very basic sewing skills. The Frozen fan in your life will be very impressed!