The Sewing Diaries – Embroidery Edition: Wk 3 – One App, Two App, Three App, Four….

Dear Diary, Machine embroidery is amazing, and there is so much I still need to learn! I could probably go on for 8 or 9 weeks in a row – yikes! Anyhow, this is the last of this particular series, even though I think might have to write more soon since I have so many ideas.

This week has been one of amazement. (Like, out talking to myself out loud!) I can connect so many useful apps to the S9 sewing machine. And it was fun to relax upstairs while the machine worked in the basement – but more about that later… 


This week I’ve been so playing with four apps that connect (via Wifi) to the Skyline S9 sewing machine Janome has loaned me. In fact, I was learning so much in the AcuDesign app that I only embroidered one thing. My oldest is very excited about her new towel, though – so it’s a win! I believe the exact quote was “Wow! Mom! That’s A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!” (Thank you Skyline S9 and Janome for that! And more about my goof-up on the ears in the tutorial.)

There are 4 apps I’ve currently used, 3 free and one purchased. Of all of them, I have used AcuEdit the least so far. Instead, I used the Embroidery Editor on my computer. Now that I am more comfortable using the wifi capability and sending things back and forth I think it will be my go-to app for editing any designs I don’t edit in AcuDesign – or when I need to add lettering to a design.

Follow the Sewing Diaries:Embroidery Edition Series:

Embroidery: Week 1 – introduction to the Skyline S9 and overview & basic tips about machine embroidery

Embroidery: Week 2 – Machine Embroidered Drawstring Backpack Tutorial!


General Impression: This app does everything! You can buy designs or load free designs, edit them and then export the file or send them directly to the sewing machine. It is built to work with many embroidery machines + the Edge wifi cutter – not just the Skyline S9, and not just Janome brand. It is possible to combine designs, add text (with a purchased module) and remove/add stitching from your designs. It is available for use with Apple products and is $69.99 CDN or $50 US in the App Store.

I’m impressed by: 

  • It is really powerful. The Smart Stitch engine adjusts the density of your stitches when resizing your design. So if your design is very small (say, 1″) and you want to make it much larger (say, 5″) it will increase the stitch density and pattern to fit. That way you don’t lose quality!
  • My kids can use it – so it’s pretty straightforward and intuitive! Basically – tap to select, drag to move and use your thumb and forefinger to make a design larger or smaller. There are very specific buttons for moving around once stitch at a time as well if you need to be more accurate.
  • It has an undo (and redo) button with multiple levels. So, not to worry, you can always go back.
  • Resize your graphic to the hoop size automatically. Instead of guessing how large the design can be – then resizing and placing it yourself – just use one button!
  • Real-Time Simulation. Showing my daughter the “movie” of how her embroidery design would stitch out bought me 10-15 minutes of free time to make dinner! Plus, it’s fun to see how it works, complete with realistic sound. (Though you can turn it off if you’d like!)
  • It’s cute design! Love the cork board background and clothesline. It feels fun and crafty.
  • It’s bigger and does so much more than I thought. I’ve only scratched the surface of this app’s capabilities! It is so much more powerful, I’m sure you will hear from me again on this topic! You can also find more detail and videos on the Janome website.
The only thing that surprised me was the number of graphics that were for sale – even though it is mentioned in the app details. And they are mixed in with the Free ones – so sending my kids in to choose a Free design to work with was tricky when they could see the purchasable ones as well. That said, the pricing is reasonable, and I can see buying them once I get better at this – especially when they are designed by my favorite fabric designers. You can find Bonnie Christine and Bari J among them. (And you might need a tuna sandwich to sustain you while you acciedentally browse through your morning!)

AcuDesign Mini Tutorials:

Choose a Design: Tap on the design you like to move it into Editing Mode.

Choose a Hoop: Many different machines are listed. Choose your machine and choose the hoop you wish to use. In my case, the Skyline S9 is not in the app as yet, so I chose a SQ14 hoop from the MC 15000 folder.

Change Size, Rotate & Skew:  The photo below shows the handles/arrows you can grab to skew, rotate or size the design. It also shows what happens when you make the design too large. The light pink box indicates the largest size available within the hoop you have chosen.

Move the Design: Tap and Drag the design to move it around the hoop area.

Thread Colour: You can view all of the pre-set colours in the thread toolbox. Click the part of the design you wish to change on the clothesline and choose a new colour. Or, you can choose the colour itself from the list and then choose a new one. There are several pre-set lists of popular embroidery threads.

Change the Background: A handy way to view what your actual design will look like is to change the background fabric and colour. Choose from things like faux fur and knitted wool!

Help Interface: This part of the app was really useful. Tap on the help button and then tap on the section you need help with for a description of how to use it.

Export a Design: There are many types of files that can be exported or imported into this app. Choose which one you need and then Tap “Export”. I chose to save mine to my Dropbox folder.

An Hour in the Life of the Skyline S9

(ie. How to Embroider using AcuDesign, AcuSetter and AcuMonitor)

Prep: Choose your design & edit it in AcuDesign, use the features mentioned in the mini tutorials above. My oldest changed the colour of the wings I had chosen. (I thought the pink wings looked amazing, but apparently not!) Check out how much difference the new colours make, it’s a totally different design!
      1. Open the saved Design. My unicorn was saved under the Imported Files section. Check out how realistic the stitches look!
      2. Select the Hoop size. Choose your machine and choose the hoop you wish to use. In my case, the Skyline S9 is not in the app as yet, so I chose a SQ14 hoop from the MC 15000 folder.
      3. Size the Design by Hand or Automatically. Use your thumb and forefinger to make the design larger or smaller. You can also choose the hoop button to automatically resize the image to fit the hoop.
      4. Find the Correct Embroidery Thread. The list of thread colours is listed under the thread toolbox. You can change the thread options to match your brand of embroidery thread.
      5. Remove Small Stitches. There is an automatic button that will remove stitches smaller than .4 mm. This helps to prevent skipped stitches or a broken thread that needs re-threading.
      6. Upload the Design. When the Janome Skyline S9 is turned on you can directly connect to it and send the design straight to the machine. Otherwise, you can save it. (See Exporting a Design in the Mini Tutorials above.)
      7. Check it out! The design is on the machine and ready to stitch. And it was so painless to get it there. Love wifi!
      8. Fill the Bobbin. Since this design takes about an hour to stitch, I made sure to fill a new bobbin to start with. I also checked that my needle was still sharp and changed it to a brand new one.
      9. Hoop the fabric. In my case, a towel! I hooped the stabilizer, then used the magnetic clips to attach the towel on top. I also added a clear stabilizer topper. (More about the topper in week 1.
      10. AcuSetter app. I wrote about this specifically in week 2 of these Diaries. This time, though it didn’t work so well because the little black lines on the hoop were covered up becuase I did not hoop the towel. This is a rare occurrence since most of the time fabrics would be in the hoop and lining it up would be easy. I ended up hacking it by matching and drawing the marks on my towel. Not great for accuracy – but for this project it wasn’t critical. (Also, I didn’t need to use the app, it would have been fine to use the design as I had it straight from AcuDesign.)
      11. Connect AcuMonitor. This real-time monitor shows you what the machine is doing so you can walk away! It has a nice sound that chimes when you are needed to change thread colours. It will also stop to let you know if the thread breaks, or something goes wrong.
      12. Stitch your design.
      13. Check with AcuMonitor. (Read, go relax!) Since the design takes about 1 hour to stitch, this promotes good exercise while I go up and down the stairs to change thread! I do love being able to do things while it is working. I did make sure to pin up the extra towel so it wouldn’t jam the machine, and double-check that everything else was working properly first.
      14. Embroidery in Progress.
      15. Finished Project! Unfortunately in the process of changing the bobbin, I bumped the top of the design (newbie mistake), so the ears don’t quite line up on the final pass. That’ll teach me not to mess with the placement! Plus, I may have needed more/different stabilizer. I’m chalking it up to the learning curve.
I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about machine embroidery! I know I have, and I’m excited to continue to play with it and get better at it. (Read: Christmas presents here I come!)
Don’t forget – there are six more Sewing Diaries posts on Getting to Know your New Machine! Lots of tips and tricks for sewing different types of common fabrics and techniques on any machine.
How do you feel about Machine Embroidery? Love it, Hate it – find it confusing?

Drawstring Backpack Tutorial {The Sewing Diaries – Embroidery Edition: Week 2}


Dear Diary, Week 2 of playing with the machine embroidery functions on the Janome Skyline S9 has been so fun! I’ve written a brand new beginner friendly tutorial for a simple lined Drawstring Backpack today. (Plus have one very happy girl who gets to use it!) This bag makes a quick gift and you don’t need an embroidery machine to sew one up.

This post is sponsored by Janome Canada

Ever since Janome asked me to be one of their Artisans I’ve had the amazing chance to try out their Skyline series machines. I’d love so much to be able to let you try them too – but I’ll have to settle with telling you about them instead. Through today’s free Backpack tutorial I’ll be showing you the Skyline S9 – just released a few months ago! Here are a few exciting features I’ll be highlighting:

  • Tapering – automatic settings to create unique designs with decorative stitching
  • AcuSetter app – Amazing super-simple to use Apple app designed to allow for crazy-exact embroidery design placement. Check out the machine embroidery section of the tutorial for more details.  (Trust me, I was grinning like crazy when I used it!)

The Sewing Diaries: Embroidery Edition started last week with an introduction to how machine embroidery works with videos and lots of photos.

On with the tutorial…

Why a Drawstring Backpack? My 4th grader needs a change of clothes for gym class and asked for a bag to put them in – the perfect project for some machine embroidery and embellishment! She chose the design and the colours. (Still enamoured with pink!) I would have loved to use another Anna Maria Horner butterfly design in blue, pink and teal…. but you don’t argue with the 9-year-old. I’ve learned that she loves things she designs. When I don’t ask and make the decisions, handmade items tend to sit around unused.

Drawstring Backpack Tutorial

This lined backpack is easy to make and wear. It lends itself to all kinds of fabrics and embellishments – machine embroidery, hand stitching or applique! Of course you could use that gorgeous fabric you’ve been saving and skip the extras too. Using only 1 yard of fabric in total, the finished size is about 17″ x 14″. The straps are fully adjustable to fit anyone from a child to an adult.

This tutorial will assume you are machine embroidering your backpack. You can also add your own embellishments, omiting the parts of the tutorial that you do not need.

As usual, please feel free to use my patterns/tutorials for your personal projects and gifts and for charitable fundraising events. Please do not sell anything sewn with this pattern. If you are interested in making this item for sale, please contact me and I will set up a license for it in the shop. Thank you!



  • 1/2 yard/metre outer fabric
  • 1/2 yard/metre lining fabric (I used outdoor slicker fabric I had on hand)
  • 160″ total (about 4 1/2 yards) 1/2″ ribbon, clothesline or double-fold bias tape
  • Two 1″ grommets
  • machine embroidery supplies such as stabilizer, appropriate needles, and thread

Prep and Cutting:

  1. If you will be washing this bag, prewash and press it before beginning to avoid shrinking the fabric later on.
  2. Cut the outer and lining. You will need one piece cut to 30″ wide by 18″ high.
  3. Prepare the straps by cutting your bias tape/ribbon or clothesline rope into two equal pieces 80″ long each.
  4. Mark the outer fabric as indicated below: 
  1. Stitch a 3/4″ buttonhole in the area indicated on the diagram above. This will be where the straps feed through the casing.

Decorative Stitching (with the tapering feature!):

My girl loves frills and so I decided to add some stitching near the top to simulate frills and lace. Just to make it prettier!

  1. Choose your stitches. I wanted to play with the tapering feature on the S9. You can choose from any of the purple marked stitches on the machine and it will automatically taper the stitching for you using several angles. This would be great for the ends of collars or a tapered space like the angle on a sash.
  2. Mark a line on the bag outer that is parallel to the top of the bag – you will use this to keep your stitching straight. Add a line of stabilizer behind your stitching line. This will not show, so you can use any type you’d like.
  3. Set up your stitches. I chose an heirloom stitch with a 30 degree angle on each end to make the stitching look lacy and “ruffled”.
  4. Begin stitching and the S9 will automatically taper the beginning of the stitch. When you wish to start the ending taper, press the auto-lock button.
  5. The machine will memorize the stitched length and ask you if you’d like to repeat it. I used this repeat function to stitch to the other side of the bag.
  6. I added a few other stitches. It was really handy to attach and use the guide bar to keep everything straight.
  7. Here are the finished stitches, along with a few practice ones I made.
Machine Embroidery (using the AcuSetter app):
  1. Choose and set up the design you would like on the machine.
  2. Mark the center of your design on the fabric and hoop it. I did not center the hoop on purpose to show you the AcuSetter app. This app is free for Apple users – and Janome loaned me an iPad mini so I could use it. It’s absolutely amazing!
  3. “Recieve” the design from the machine – it will show up right on your screen!
  4. Take a photo of the hooped fabric within the app. Match up the small black lines using the magnifying circle in the center.
  5. The design from your sewing machine shows up on the photograph for reference. You can move things around and resize it if you want! I tilted the heart and lined it up the center markings I made earlier.
  6. Send the design back to the machine. It is automatically precicly placed exactly where you want it!
  7. Run the machine to embroider your design. This heart took about 19 minutes + threading time and has 7 different colours!
  8. Adding a Monogram exactly where you want is easy with the same steps. Program the monogram, hoop the fabric, receive the design, line it up and send the design back to the machine. Now, embroider it in the exact place you put it!

Sew the Backpack:

  1.  Change the machine from Embroidery mode to Sewing mode. Press the toggle button on the LCD screen and close the embroidery arm.
  2. Match the top edge of the outer and lining with right sides together. Pin and stitch with a 1/4″ seam. Finish the raw edge if desired with serging, zig-zag stitch or pinking shears.
  3. Open flat and press the seam allowance towards the lining. I used low heat because the slicker fabric melts easily.
  4. Fold the lining and outer right sides together matching the sides and the seam you just sewed. The outer and lining sides will match up with themselves. Stitch with a 1/2″ seam and finish the raw edges if desired.
  5. Fold the lining into the outer with wrong sides together, creating a tube. Press and pin along the finished seamline and match the bottom raw edges.
  6. Edgestitch along the pinned edge about 1/8″ away from the fold. Also stitch along the pre-marked line (aprox. 1 1/4″ down from the top edge) to create the casing.
  7. The buttonholes should be centered from top to bottom within the casing.
  8. Turn the bag wrong side out and align all 4 raw edges. Flatten and pin the bag bottom with the back seam centered on the back of the bag. Stitch through all 4 layers with a 1/2″ seam. Trim to 1/4″ and finish the raw edges if desired.
  9. Turn the bag right side out again. Push out the bottom edge and the corners and press well. Mark 2″ out from each corner and connect the lines to create a triangle in each corner. Also mark a stitching line 1/2″ up from the bottom fold. Stitch on the marked lines to enclose the raw edge and create a sturdy corner for the grommets.
  10. Attach the grommets in the center of each stitched triangle as per the manufacturer’s directions.
  11. Insert one strap through the right buttonhole, around the entire casing and out the same buttonhole. Match the right side strap ends and bring them through the grommet from the back. Knot to hold in place.
  12. Insert the other strap through the left buttonhole, around the entire casing and out the same buttonhole. Match the left side strap ends and bring them through the grommet from the back. Knot to hold in place.
  13. Fray-check or finish strap ends if desired. They can be re-knotted at any length appropriate to the wearer. Remove all markings and press well.

Enjoy your new Drawstring Backpack!


I’d love to see your project! You can share your project on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram (links below) using the  hashtags #alongforthreadride and/or #threadridinghood. Thank you!

How to Add a Side Zipper to Any Garment

Check it out! This is my awesome new sewing shirt, with an added side zipper (a new tutorial!) to make it fancy. Plus, it’s this sewing nerd’s most fun thing to do to wear my hobby. #youknowit

zipper, tutorial, union st tee

Today’s tutorial will show you how to add a side zipper to a garment with a side seam. (Yes – the bottom of pants too!) I used my trusty Union St tee pattern as a base for the embroidery and zipper. This will be my 5th I think!

zipper, tutorial, union st tee

zipper, tutorial, union st tee

zipper, tutorial, union st tee

zipper, tutorial, union st tee

This post is sponsored by Janome Canada. I am a Janome Artisan and have been loaned a Janome Skyline S9 sewing and embroidery combination machine as part of this program.

zipper, tutorial, union st tee

To sew the zipper, I used the Janome twin Dual Feed holder with the AD twin foot. My zipper was flat enough to topstitch it without using a zipper foot! This foot hooks into the AcuFeed system in the Skyline S9 to feed the top and bottom fabric layers through your machine at the same rate – creating amazingly flat and accurate seams, especially when sewing knits and quilting.

Embroidering on the Skyline S9 is an amazing bonus! I’ve wanted to put this saying on something for a long time and I was thrilled to be able to design and execute my very own embroidered sewing shirt. Guess how many other things I want to embroider this on now? #lol #embroiderallthethings #andsewonandsewforth

You might like these previous posts! 12 Tips and Tricks for Sewing with knits, Machine Embroidering, and more projects on the Janome Skyline S9.

Thanks for reading Thread Riding Hood. Don’t miss a post – come #alongforthreadride!


zipper, tutorial

How to Add a Side Zipper to any Seam!


You will need:

  • Pattern and supplies for a knit garment with a side seam
  • Ballpoint needle (for sewing knits)
  • Zipper (in your desired length)
  • Fusible Interfacing scraps
  • Removable Marking Pen
  • Sewing Machine and Supplies
  • Optional: Serger

Prepare the garment

  1. Sew your garment, according to the instructions, until you reach the step requiring you to stitch the seam where you’d like to add your zipper.
  2.  Mark where the garment’s hem will finish on the seam you’d like your zipper. My hem is 1″ deep.zipper, tutorial
  3. Place the bottom zipper teeth at the hem mark. With the slider open and away from the hem, mark just above the zipper stop.zipper, tutorial
  4. Measure from the bottom of the fabric to the top mark and add 1″. Cut 2 pieces of interfacing 1″ wide by your measured length.zipper, tutorial
  5. Fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric on each marked edge.zipper, tutorial

Stitch the Seam

  1. Stitch the seam as per your instructions, stopping at the top mark. Press sewn seam allowances open or towards the back. NOTE: If serging, stop 2″ above the mark and stitch to the mark with a sewing machine. This allows the zipper area seam allowances to be pressed open.
  2. Draw a line on the back of your zipper just under the zipper stop. Also, mark two lines on either side about 1/4″ from the center of the zipper teeth. Place the zipper right sides together with the sewn seam (over the unsewn area) with the zipper slider away from the hem and the zipper stop along the previous zipper stop marking (shown here in blue). It is very important that the zipper teeth are well centered along the side seam!zipper, tutorial
  3. Sew along the marked line on the zipper from one 1/4″ marking to the area. Don’t worry that the zipper seems oddly placed, this will all work out!zipper, tutorial
  4. Turn the garment wrong side up and open the seam allowances. Mark two 45 degree lines from the center opening to the edges of the line you just sewed. Cut along these marks being careful not to cut through or past the stitches.zipper, tutorial

Finish the Zipper

  1. Press each interfaced seam back 1/2″. Fuse or glue them down if desired.zipper, tutorial
  2. Fold the excess zipper tape on each side of the bottom of the zipper to the wrong side at a 45-degree angle (left in photo), and then fold it up and out of the way (right in photo). Baste each side in place.zipper, tutorial
  3. Lay the shirt right side up on a flat surface. Pull the zipper down from the wrong side of the shirt until the zipper slider near the shirt hem. Align each folded side seam evenly on top of the zipper tape. Glue or pin in place.zipper, tutorial
  4. Topstitch around the zipper about 1/8″ away from the folded edges. Start at the bottom of one side seam and stitch around to the other side seam, pivoting at each corner.zipper, tutorial

Finish the garment

  1. Finish the shirt as per the instructions. When hemming, make sure the hemline and stitching match on both sides of the zipper for a professional finish.zipper, tutorial


Congratulations, you’ve sewn a Side Zipper!


Sewing Machine: Janome Skyline S9 (on loan from Janome Canada as part of their Artisan program)

Knit Fabric: Heather Grey – 10 oz Cotton/Spandex Jersey Knit from Fabric Snob

I sewed a Boronia Bowler

And what is that you ask? It’s another purse… (insert down-looking bright-cheeked emoji here, lol) Yup – of course, I needed another one after my long-wearing Chobe was finally looking a bit worse for wear.

Blue Calla, sewn, handmade, purse, cotton + steel

Blue Calla, sewn, handmade, purse, cotton + steel, boronia bowler

Blue Calla, sewn, handmade, purse, cotton + steel, boronia bowler

Blue Calla, sewn, handmade, purse, cotton + steel, boronia bowler

Blue Calla, sewn, handmade, purse, cotton + steel, boronia bowler

Blue Calla, sewn, handmade, purse, cotton + steel, boronia bowler

Blue Calla, sewn, handmade, purse, cotton + steel, boronia bowler

Wanting, of course, to try something new I landed on the Boronia Bowler Bag pattern from Blue Calla. The shape was similar to many of the Coach and Kate Spade purses I’ve been seeing around, which was nice as I always aim to make things as professional as I can, so they don’t look handmade.

I took this bag to the Creativ Festival a few weeks ago and it was met with lots of interest. Everyone was especially impressed by the side gussets that hold all of your things in when the zippers are open. Very convenient! (You can see what I added to my fabric stash on Instagram.) I was able to visit the Janome booth and show them as well since I sewed the entire bag using my on-loan Skyline S9 machine.

Things I love:

  • The shape. The double zipper allows the bag to open up fully so you can actually find the things at the bottom of your purse.
  • The hardware. It’s so pretty! All of the hardware and the zipper were brought from Emmaline Bags. Online shipping is the best! I love the handmade tag and the purse feet make it all very professional.
  • A simple sew. It was a fairly simple bag to make with a few things that took a little bit more time. It was not very fast – but making a good bag shouldn’t be. The construction was simple and easy to put together.
  • Adding the selvage edge to the inside bottom of the purse – Have I mentioned that I love sewing?!
Things I changed:
  • My sewing machine was needing a trip to the spa (read: a good cleaning!) so it was having trouble top-stitching consistently through many layers of vinyl for the handles. I added a fabric layer to the back – which looks super cool! And I also added fabric tabs on the ends of the handles to finish them. This made the handles thinner and so much easier to sew.
Things I’d change next time:
  • In my opinion, the double straps should be at least 2, maybe 3 inches longer. I find they are very close to my armpit and am worried that heat mixed with sleeveless summer shirts will create trouble and a sweaty purse. They also barely fit over my winter jacket. I did make the removable crossbody length strap because I like the shoulder-free option and I use it that way the most.
  • The bottom contrast piece does not have finished edges. I am finding the faux vinyl frays on the edges and it’s not wearing super well. I’d maybe use real leather or add a facing so the edges are finished.
Hope that helps if you’re thinking about making this bag. I really, really love mine and already have a fun Artisan project with Janome Canada planned for later this year with it. ‘Cuz, of course, I need another one!
Have you made a purse or bag? Which pattern should I try next?!
Pattern: Boronia Bowler Bag from Blue Calla Sewing Patterns
Outer Fabric: Cotton and Steel Canvas Picnic Baskets from (now closed) Fabric Spot
Lining Fabric: Cotton and Steel Add it Up from my sponsor Fabric Spark (sold out, other colours here)
Vegan Leather (read – vinyl): from my local big box fabric store
Hardware: Emmaline Bags

Free Cape Pattern (sizes 18m – Adult)

Are you ready for Halloween? It’s October and I’m excited to be posting a series of 10 Halloween Costume Sewing Tips, sponsored by Janome Canada. To start the series with a “Boo!” (hee hee) I’m relaunching my popular Super Hero Cape pattern – updated with new photos and 2 new larger sizes!

The smile on your child’s face when they see their handmade costume is the best! Be your kid’s Halloween costume hero and sew it yourself! Find the first Janome Halloween Costume Tip in the instructions below and follow along on InstagramFacebookTwitter and Pinterest so you don’t miss the others. You can also find great sewing information, contests and free patterns on the Janome Life blog.

When I made the first Super Hero Capes for Christmas (2011!), they were a huge hit. My girls flew all over the house solving mysteries and doing super hero business. Usually they were saving someone, sometimes a prince in distress. (You go girl!) Sometimes they’d stop to save kittens from trees, or rescue babies from mean monsters and other things of that sort. Since then they’ve grown up a little, but the capes are still in good use during their creative plays and shows.

Many of you have asked for a cape in larger sizes and I’m excited to be able to upgrade the free pattern and tutorial below! The old post was looking pretty dated with tiny, dark photos – I hope you like the new version!

Free Cape Pattern and Tutorial

As usual, please feel free to use my patterns/tutorials for your personal projects and gifts and for charitable fundraising events. Please do not sell anything made with this pattern without a license. Thank you! (P.S. Buy a Seller’s License or a tidy printable PDF version of this Cape Pattern in the shop.)


  • 1 yard (child sizes) OR 1 1/2 yards (adult size) fabric for the cape outer
  • 1 yard (child sizes) OR 1 1/2 yards (adult size) fabric for the cape lining
  • optional: felt for the hero applique
  • optional: fusible web (or a glue stick!) to attach the applique
  • matching thread
  • hook and loop tape (1″ piece each)
  • sewing gear – scissors/sewing machine/pins/ruler/iron etc.


Before you begin:

  • Print the pattern piece pdf on letter size (8.5″ x 11″) or A4 paper. Important: Do not select “fit to page” when printing, make sure you print at the original size. Once you have printed the pages, measure the 1″ test square to ensure the pattern is correct.
    • Want to save paper?
      • Size 3m-3 – Print only pages 1-7
      • Size 4-8 – Print only pages 1-7
      • Size 9-12 – Print only pages 1-9
      • Adult size – Print all 11 pages
  • Cut on each page’s outer gray lines and tape them together, matching the letters in the gray half-circles.
  • Cut the pattern pieces out (with paper scissors!) along the line that corresponds to the size you would like to make.

Cut your fabric:

  • Pre-wash your fabric before cutting to ensure it will not shrink in later washes.
  • If you need a longer cape – here is a tutorial on how to lengthen the pattern pieces.
  • Cut one cape shape per fabric colour using the pattern piece. * Be sure to place the pattern piece on the fabric fold before you cut it out!
Let’s Sew:
I recommend that you read through all instructions before sewing, so you don’t miss something important!

Step 1: Cut out the applique that will be on the back of the cape. Be creative! I used stars, hearts and letters to make each cape unique. Each logo was sized between 6″-9″ tall, depending on the size of the cape.


Halloween Sewing Tip #1:

If you are making a long-term project, make sure your layers have fusible web on the back. If you are sewing a one-night Halloween project, use a less-expensive approach! A regular school glue stick will adhere an applique while you sew around the edges.

Center the applique on the outer cape fabric piece approximately 3″-7″ down from the neck opening.

  • Fusible web: Iron on the applique following the instructions on your fusible web. Use a press cloth if necessary so you do not melt the felt.
  • Glue Stick: Attach the applique in place using the school glue stick, press with an iron on low heat from the back of the cape to set the glue if necessary.

Top-stitch the applique as you wish to tidy up the edges and make sure it stays on. I used the Blanket Stitch and Satin Stitch Foot F included with my on-loan Janome Skyline S9 to make the one of the appliques extra-nice!

Step 2: Lay the two cape pieces right sides together matching all of the edges. Pin. Mark a 6″ opening on the cape’s bottom edge by putting 2 pins in the same spot on each side. Leave this opening when you sew, it is where you will turn the cape right side out.

Stitch around the cape with a 1/4″ seam allowance, starting at one double-pin. Pivot around the corner on the neck opening. Finish at the other double-pin with a back-stitch.

Step 3: Clip the corners and trim around the curved edges of your neck opening to allow the cape to turn more easily. I use my pinking shears to trim tight curves.

Step 4: Press the seam allowance up on the bottom opening before turning the cape right side out. This creates an easy finished edge once the cape is turned.

Step 5: Turn the cape right side out and top-stitch. Push out your corners and edges neatly, press the cape flat and top-stitch 1/8″ or so away from the edge all the way around the edge of the cape. You can pin the opening shut before stitching or just wing it, the top-stitching will close the opening.

Step 6: Cut a 1″ piece each of hook and loop tape.

Use a zig-zag or straight stitch to sew the hook side of the tape onto the outer piece and the loop side of the tape onto the lining. This way the rough hooks are facing away from the neck when the cape is worn.  Note: I like to cut off the corners of the tape when sewing for kids so they don’t get “stuck” with the pointy edges by accident. (* Don’t accidentally sew both hook and loop to the outer side of the cape, it won’t be able to close properly. Not sure why, but I have managed to do this more times than I would like to admit!)

Step 7: Sew a label or hero-worthy piece of ribbon onto the side of the cape.

Congratulations, give your cape a good press and you’re done!

I’d love to see your project! Please share your cape on InstagramFacebookTwitter and Pinterest using the  hashtags #alongforthreadride and #threadridinghood. Thank you!


You can purchase a full Super Hero Cape PDF Pattern for any donation! 

The 16 page instant PDF download of this tutorial includes these extras:

  • The full tutorial and pattern pieces, in a tidy and easily printed form.
  • Cutting layout diagram and glossary of terms.
  • Granny’s Sewing Basket – highlights Notes and Tips to make sewing this cape easier. ()
  • Extra tips not included in this free tutorial.
  • Check boxes, for those of you who love to get a sense of accomplishment when checking off each step!

Aside from these great features, you can choose to purchase the PDF to support this blog and help Thread Riding Hood continue in its goal to create more free content. Thank you for your support!

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P.S. Here’s the original Super Hero Cape Photo from 2013. My daughter still comments on how cool it was to look like she was really flying! #photoshopforthewin