The leather album art project, first pants from scratch, then a modified jacket, was finished with a cape. I had several yards of dark red ponte knit to work with, and I merely rounded the corners to make the shape I liked. Feeling inspired by the idea of old brocade curtains and lace, but faded and worn, I decided to spray-paint the cape with lacy stencils! I bought an outdoor fabric spray paint from JoAnn's, in brown.
I took the fabric outside and laid it on a piece of cardboard. I spray painted it with brown fabric paint, aiming for a full coverage, layered look. I did both sides of the cape and used every drop of paint! Then I hung it to dry in the porch.
After the cape was dry, I took it down, and noticed a hitch in my perfect plan: the newly rough texture of it, with all the spray paint, made it want to cling to itself like Velcro! Eeek! Imagine a heroic fighter of evil, standing against dramatic backdrop, with his hair tousled and his cape-- actually his cape is crumpled up in a sad little ball between his shoulder blades. Not good.
So I worried about it for a night, slept on it (figuratively), and woke up with an idea: I stuck it in the dryer with several sheets of fabric softener/conditioner. I don't know what-all they put in those Dryel sheets, but it did the trick! The cape came out with a "fresh" dryer smell, and with enough conditioner coating it to keep the Velcro effect at bay! I checked the inside of the dryer to make sure there was no lingering paint, but it was clean.
MOUNTING TO JACKET
To mount the cape to the jacket, I sewed four buttonholes in the cape: two for each button. I wanted the top to have a gentle fold, so on each side I folded the cape until the two buttonholes lined up, then treated them as one to put them over the button. The finished effect was draped like a Roman soldier's cape.
And here's the finished cape in all its glory! The spray paint effect is subtle... could be mud, or could be threadbare old patterns. But I think it's better than just a shot of bold red: he's a weary warrior from an endless battle, not a superhero.
THE WHOLE COSTUME
My client soon took his new costume to a photoshoot, to get cover art for his album. I hope to share a few of those pictures, soon! They look really cool!
Quilting, dressmaking, and history plied with the needle...
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