Upcycled Superhero T-shirt Cape

upcycled t-shirt into cape - title imageA confession – I, the writer of a sewing blog, do not really do Halloween.  Living in Belgium where it’s not celebrated means there’s no pressure to make amazing costumes and artistically decorate pumpkins and, to be honest, it’s so liberating being able to just let this all go.

upcycled t-shirt into cape - front hanging

upcycled t-shirt into cape - back hanging

Having said that, my youngest turned four a couple of weeks ago and, in case you’re wondering, yes I’m in denial, yes I still carry him when he asks, and yes I still think of him as a little puppy.  ‘I’m not a puppy!’ he grumbles to me for the 1000th time…according to him he’s a superhero!  And what superhero doesn’t need a cape for those many and varied superhero activities?!

upcycled t-shirt into cape - back view 2

In case you missed the post about these most fabulous trousers you can check it out here – http://behind-the-hedgerow.com/2013/09/10/jacob-trousers-mamasha-zonen-09/

The Cape

This was a project on the cheap.  The best kind, right?  I wanted to incorporate the cape directly into a new t-shirt, upcycled from my stash of big brother castoffs.  For this I used an XL snuggly sweat shirt and, using the Flashback Skinny Tee as the pattern,  started hacking away.

upcycled t-shirt into cape - original shirtAfter much hemming and hawing about how exactly to incorporate the cape, I decided to search the wonderful, vast internet and, lo and behold, I found the exact tutorial I needed!

Click on photo to go directly to tutorial

For the cape I used some leftover lightweight jersey from the summer pjs I made earlier this year.  This worked well – Tara’s totally right in recommending something light so it doesn’t weigh the whole thing down and the little ones can still ‘fly’!

upcycled t-shirt into cape - side view

upcycled t-shirt into cape - cape detail

I dare say that this tutorial would be perfect for whipping up a quick Halloween costume…but you didn’t hear that from me!

upcycled t-shirt into cape - back view

The Flocking

To make this extra special for the the birthday boy I added a number 4 using the new-to-me technique of flocking.  This is something I only know in the context of Belgium and I’m really curious to hear what all you other nationalities know about this (including what it’s called in English if it’s not flocking).

Flocking is basically a fuzzy iron-on adhesive that can be added quickly and easily to fabric.  You buy it in sheets that look like this.

upcycled t-shirt into cape - flocking paper

I bought mine from Hotfix Studio (gotta love that name!) and it was delivered the next day with a free sheet included.  Some google outline images, a cutting mat and an x-acto knife and the world’s your oyster.  There’s lots of fun to be had here.

To apply it you just peel back the covering on the adhesive side, place on the fabric, iron (with a tea towel covering it for protection), and then peel off the other side to reveal the fuzzy image.  It really is as easy as that!  I can see this cropping up in lots of future projects.

upcycled t-shirt into cape - in action

So, the puppy superhero enters his fifth year in style.  I’m honoured and excited to be a part of all his adventures.  Happy Birthday, Manu*.

*One of Manu’s other nicknames is Poot.  Raise your hand if you’ve watched The Wire?  When Manu was a bit smaller he (strangely, I admit) reminded us of the character Poot.  Go on, scroll back up to the top and look at that face.  Do you see it?

And on that note, I’ll say good night!

It’s been quiet on the blogging front this week but don’t think I haven’t been prepping for KCW…as well as finally finishing some selfish sewing, testing a pattern and writing a Christmas curated list for Sew, Mama, Sew.  Lots to look forward to in the coming weeks!  But, before that, I’m off to Germany – the Mosel Valley – for the weekend…kids, brothers, and wine – what could go wrong?!

Thanks for reading Superhero Sewists!  I’d love to hear what you know/think about flocking…and anything else that’s on your mind!

Laura x

21 thoughts on “Upcycled Superhero T-shirt Cape

  1. Megan

    Yay for no Halloween posts! Unfortunately it’s gaining popularity in Australia but I avoid it like the plague. I am always amazed to see bloggers making numerous themed crafts for every holiday – weird! Love the cape and your son looks like he’s bursting with personality.

  2. Katie

    I’m not a big Halloween person either and I am in the States. Shockingly I’m not making any Halloween costumes this year, my daughter wants to be a princess and she has princess dresses up he wazoo and my son changes his mind every few days. I’ll order his as close to Halloween as I can safely get!

    The flocking looks really cool — I’ll have to try that out!

  3. Zoe

    Ha! We called one of our twin boys Bubbles —- because we were obsessively watching The Wire when they were infants! I dont remember why because I am guessing he didnt have that many matching characteristics — not being a homeless, drug addict, police informant.

    Now my kids draw out their Halloween costumes and we make them together…..I will say “how do those bat wings attach” and they will say “with rubber bands of course silly. Fine by me!

    1. laurabehindthehedgerow

      Ha! I love it! I hope he didn’t look like Bubbles in any way!? And, no, Manu doesn’t work the corners, live in the low rises or chase women….all in good time. Kidding.

      I like that approach to costume assembly!

  4. littlestonecottage

    Being Australian we never did Halloween growing up, it was always something in the (American) movies or TV shows. Now I live in Ireland so it’s a done thing here. This will be the first yr I’ll do costumes for the kids but I’m not going to do anything else really.
    That flocking looks great – I can see a few project ideas for my little ones using that. I don’t know what it’s called in other countries though I’m afraid.

  5. Caroline

    No Halloween costumes for me either, my Facebook feed is full of Halloween craft stuff and I’m pretty sick of it, I’m much more interested in KCW right now too! Your Manu is a super cute super hero, I also think that looking at your first photo that if you gave him a wand he wouldn’t be out of place on a Harry Potter film set. Have a great weeekend. x

  6. honeymadeit

    I love this idea. We do Halloween here. It’s big in our community along with the Renaissance Festival. That flocking looks like it could work for a lot of different projects. Very cute superhero.

  7. Fiona

    What a cute superhero! I love the cape t-shirt. Halloween is not a traditional holiday here in Denmark, but it’s growing in popularity. I didn’t grow up celebrating it in Australia, so we’re just as happy to skip it. I think a superhero t-shirt might be fun to try, though! I love the look of that flocking stuff…never heard of it, though!

  8. Jennyroo

    Is there another word for flocking that might be more commonly used in North America? I can’t navitgate the Belgian website you link too, and I can’t find any supplies available on etsy or ebay, which tells me we must be using a different word to describe the same product. 🙁

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