Make, Jane, make!: A Quick Boy's Gift


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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A Quick Boy's Gift

As a mother of three (children :P) sending her son to a birthday party hosted by another mother of three, I am very careful about what to send as a birthday gift. 

Having three children means that over the course of three children's birthdays, Christmases and other occasions that grandparents deem gift-worthy, we have accumulated enough toy/clothes/books to keep our children happy. Don't get me wrong, we appreciate the kind intentions of friends and family assuming we need three times as much of everything - but we simply do not have enough house to store all the transient items of childhood. Also, we believe that our children are already lucky to have so much and part of our world-view is that anything we do not absolutely need would be much better off left in currency form and used towards helping those in need.

For birthday boy M, I asked mom what he would like and she simply replied that M would be happy with any gift. My husband and I decided on a gift card, but what of the birthday boy and our son? Surely, no kindergartener gets joy out of giving or receiving an envelope with a gift card in it?

My son helpfully informed me that M likes army stuff and guns, but making some kind of toy gun didn't seem appropriate and I didn't have enough time to sew a whole set of army fatigues. So I figured army/guns ---> battles between good and evil --> superheroes. And out came the old boy-gift standby - the reversible superhero cape!

My son gladly modelling.
I traced around the neck and shoulders of a shirt that looked as if it would fit the birthday boy and then added some curved straps.

Did a quick search of the web to find the Superman logo and cut it out of appropriately coloured felt and simply sewed in onto the cape using a straight stitch just inside all the raw edges. I used felt for the the appliques because it doesn't fray easily, which saved me the trouble of basting the applique onto the cape, using stabiliser, and fussing with the much more time-consuming satin stitch. Here's a good breakdown of the different applique techniques and their usual uses from

Then quickly sketched the birthday boy's Super-M emblem, which was also cut out of felt and sewn onto the reverse cape.

An easy project with lots of impact because of the bold colours and graphic designs. If I'd had more time and material, I definitely would have made these beautiful quarter circle capes with shoulder darts(!) that Lier made @ Ikatbag. (She's my crafting/sewing/mom superhero :) But since my brothers and I played happily with old towels attached with clothespins, I figured that most kids would be happy with anything flapping over their shoulders.

Now I just need to find some time to make some for my own kids...

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