For Christmas, my husband came up with the idea to make a personalized superhero cape for our nephew, who is obsessed with all things superhero. We wanted the neck to be comfortable, since we expected him to be wearing it for hours on end, so we wanted to avoid a tie closure. After some research, I found a pattern on The Long Thread, which had a velcro collar. Perfect!
We tried to covertly ask our nephew what his favorite color was, but apparently that changes rather quickly for a 3, almost 4, year old. So we settled on a basic red cape with a blue lining. My husband came up with the personalized superhero logo (complete with Lightning McQueen-ish lightning bolts) and I appliqued it to the red fabric. It was my first time machine appliqueing, and after a few frustrating starts (such as my machine eating the fabric mid-applique...), I think it came out pretty... super.
I also made him an art kit using the pattern in Craft Hope. It was surprisingly easy and quick to put together—I think I finished it in under 2 hours. Lately I've been going extra slow when sewing things because in the past I tried to speed through and made stupid mistakes. So far going slow is working for me! The hardest part of making the art kit was sewing slots in a piece of fabric to hold markers or colored pencils. It was difficult for me to judge how much slack to leave in the elastic—I didn't want the slot to be too loose or too tight. The slots are slightly loose, but since the kit is folded up in thirds, the markers are protected from falling out. Plus, with them loose, it's easier for our little guy to slide the markers in and out.
For the fabric, I went to one of my nephew's other obsessions: cars. He has about 5 million Hot Wheels and other varieties of cars, and I was able to find a really awesome print of the Hot Wheels label on fabric.com. Like I mentioned before, the kit folds up into thirds: the left side holds markers, the middle holds the drawing pad, and the right side includes a pocket for completed art work. Once folded up, a piece of elastic holds the kit together so nothing falls out.