By Jessica Wilson
On my most recent trip down to L.A., I found myself racing through the Ikea marketplace to meet the mister for one of our favorite cheap dates. I slowed down through bedding as I always do and spied the Polarvide throw in white with all its happy fringed glory. Last year I turned a red throw into nifty Valentine scarves for my Za’s classroom Valentine gifts and wondered what I could do with the white. I immediately pictured a lovely little capelet, so I scooped one up and brought it home. After many, many hours brainstorming with the mister, we have come up with the easiest, simplest way to make your own capelet. This one is especially for you non-sewer sewers out there. Have fun!
1 Ikea Polarvide throw
Needle & thread
1 snap, button, or other closure
Strips of an old sweater, optional
Step 1: Lay throw out on a large flat surface and grab your measuring tape and pins. Measure up along one edge 21″ from the fringed bottom and mark with a pin. Continue pinning at 21″ all the way across, from one end to the other.
Step 2: Cut across the entire length of the throw, using your pins as a guide.
Step 3: Fold over top edge of cut piece about 3″. This will become your collar. To anchor, pin in place smack dab in the middle. One pin should be enough, two is fine, just keep your pins towards the center of your cut piece. Flip over entire piece and bring top corners to center, overlapping to create your collar. You may increase the taper of the collar to 4″ by gently tugging and adjusting. Pin.
Step 4: Turn your capelet inside-out, keeping all pins in place. Gently pull capelet on over your head (or a dress dummy if you have one). With minor adjusting, smooth capelet over your shoulders so that it hangs the way you want it to. Next, pinch excess fabric at the top of each shoulder, front to back, making sure the top edge of the collar in the back and the front line up at your neck (see picture). Pin, following the curve of your shoulders. You may need a friend help you with this step.
Step 5: Gently remove and lay flat on table. Use a pencil to lightly sketch the curve that you pinned. With your sewing machine, stitch along the pencil line and trim excess fabric after stitching. Remove pins.
Step 6: Turn right side out and position your fastener of choice to the front of your capelet. A snap is a cinch and super easy to stitch on by hand. Don’t worry about any thread showing through, we’re going to cover it up with a handmade flower.
Step 7: After making your capelet you will find you have quite a bit of left over fabric. Make a bouquet of pretty flowers to decorate your capelet with. The easiest way to create a flower is to first cut a square that you then round out to a circle. Next, make five small cuts towards the center and curve out the pieces between the cuts to look like petals. Cut two more smaller squares and repeat. Stack flower shapes on top of each other and run through your machine with a quick zig-zag to anchor. Next cut a thin strip of sweater and roll it into a flower center, all smooshed up, and anchor it to your flower piece with a needle and thread. Get an assembly line going and make a bunch more.
Step 8: Stitch one flower over the thread marks from your snap closure. Arrange your other flowers off to one side and stitch on by hand as well. To add variety, make a few flowers from a felted wool sweater and throw them into the mix.
Step 9: Put on a happy dress and twirl that capelet on over your shoulders. Ta-da! A super easy, lickety-split capelet handmade by you! One throw is enough to make 2 capelets and a bouquet of flowers, or you can do what I did and whip up a super nifty cloche to match. Happy capeletting!
About the Author:
Jessica Wilson is most happily known as ‘jek in the box’ and spends most of her time crafting it up and taking pictures. She can often be found standing on benches over on Flickr and creating all sorts of kiddie crafts on her blog scrumdilly-do! She lives a life of scrumdillydilly and loves to share.