Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Superhero Towel Cape: A Tutorial

A few weeks (months?!) ago I posted this post before we headed off to Florida...with a small teaser on a few projects to come. Here is one of them!

My 3 year old nephew loves superheros. When his Mom first told him about our trip to Disney, his biggest concern was which superhero costume was he going to wear! I think in his little head he believes he is one. Which is awesome because who doesn't want their kiddo to have the confidence of a superhero?

I had originally wanted to make him a superhero cape, but I decided a new beach towel would be a fun and sunny Florida idea. Then I thought...why not do both?
(I am by no means claiming to have invented the hooded towel! This is just how it made sense to me, and how I embellished it to be Superhero worthy.)

For this project I used a bath towel, hand towel, and wash cloth. 
Any sized towels would do, but mine were 30x54, 16x28, and 12x12.

Start with the hand towel. Fold it in half lengthwise, right sides together.

You're going to cut a curved shape out of the towel from the finished edge to the folded edge. This will be the hood of the towel.

The size you choose to cut really depends on the size of your child. (This towel seemed to be just the right size for a 3T wearing kiddo) I just eyeballed this...but my measurements were about 9 inches up from the botton on the finished edge side, and 7 inches up from the bottom on the folded edge side. The highest part of the curve was about 10 inches from the bottom. The picture is easier to see what I'm talking about:

Ok, now sew the hood closed along the line that you just cut out. I used a regular straight stitch, then went over the edges with a zig zag to help stop any fraying.

Turn the hood right side out. Fold in half so outer side edges meet. Mark the center of the back with a pin.

Next, grab your bath towel. Fold in half, lengthwise. Mark the center with a pin.

Lay the bath towel with right side facing up. Match up the center pin on your bath towel with the center pin on the back of your hood. Your hood should be "open side" up. Pin together.

Sew the hood to the bath towel. Both edges are already finished from the original towels, so this seam wont fray. (Ie, no need to zig zag stitch...woohoo!)
Hooray, your hooded towel is done! But we are going to SUPERHERO this up and embelish a bit further.

Grab a yellow wash cloth. Iron on some iron-on-adhesive onto one side. The washcloth is thick, so I found it worked best to iron on the paper side of the adhesive, instead of on the back side of the washcloth. This goes against what the directions say, but trust me. It worked fine.
I printed a Batman symbol off the web, and used it as a stencil. Trace your stencil onto the adhesive paper backing.
Cut it out and peel off the paper backing.

Place the batman symbol, adhesive side down onto the back of the towel. I let the hood hang down on the back of the towel, and placed the batman symbol under it - to be sure you can still see it when the hood is down. The hood will also help you figure out where the middle of the towel is.
Iron on. I used HIGH heat and pressed down really hard. The terry cloth is thick and so you'll need lots of pressure to get that adhesive to work.

The adhesive is really just a temporary fix, to hold the symbol in place while you're sewing it on. You will need to sew around the edge to secure permanently. Zig zag stitch all along the whole edge of the symbol. Since the terry cloth frays quite a bit, I set my stitch length to the widest setting, to ensure that the stitches would grasp the terry cloth firmly.

Finally, I wanted this to be able to be warn as a cape as well. (It is for a superhero, afterall.) I took a short length of black 1/4" elastic and sewed it to the edge of the towel, just under the hood, making a loop. Just use a straight stitch, and go back and forth over it a couple times.

Next, on the opposite edge, I sewed a large button. I made a quick fabric covered button out of some scrap yellow fabric, but you can use any button you have on hand. (Sorry...forgot to take pics of these last two steps...but luckily they are easy peasy!)

Now you have a way for your little guy to keep the towel securely around his shoulders.
Now your little superhero can save the universe! All while staying toasty & dry.
Don't let the straight-face fool you. Being Batman is a very serious job. 
I promise he liked it! (And your little superhero will too!)

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Amanda said...

Such a good idea! Thanks for posting this because I actually wanted to make B some towels! :)

Nicolette @ Momnivore's Dilemma said...

Cape meets hooded towel. LOVE. Your batman logo looks dead on too. It's what drew me here in the first place!

I'd LOVE if you could share this with my readers tonight @Creative Juice Thursday. Party starts @ 7pm CST. Get your crafting shoes on. Hope to see you there...

michelle said...

That is so cute!! He looks like he takes his job very seriously! :) He is just adorable!

Heather said...

That turned out cute! I made a Superman one for my son last yr he loved it and so did his dad last summer I made my hubby a Batman one!

kristy.lynn @ kristy.makes said...

very very cute! very boy-like.. as opposed to the super cute but very girly ones i see all the time!

thanks for sharing! found you via 733! :)

Nicolette @ Momnivore's Dilemma said...

Glad you stopped by at the Creative Juice party. Thanks for linking up!