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Subject: Attaching Capes

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Date Posted: 09:48:06 08/03/02 Sat
In reply to: 's message, "Capes" on 09:46:08 08/03/02 Sat

My daughter has a new velvet dress and we like the look of a cape that hangs straight down the back. (The cape is the traditional upside-down-kite shape). We tried hooks and eyes, but when she jumps it can bounce up and become unhooked. I'd rather not attach Velcro. How do you recommend attaching it at the top, on either side of the zipper, and how do I anchor it underneath to keep it from swinging out when she turns?

-This works best for me: Velcro at the shoulders and elastic looped around a button at the waist.

-I'm not crazy about Velcro either, but as a seamstress who's repaired quite a few, and made quite a few, it's your best bet. I don't know how many dresses I've seen with tears into the shoulders because of snaps and/or pins. Just check out your Velcro every so often to see if it needs replaced. Also, on this style of cape I'd suggest a ribbon sewn onto the waistline and one on the cape at the same level to keep the cape from flying out like some kind of weapon ;) You can tie it loosely enough for the cape to hang perfectly straight, but it'll be secure. (Just my two cents;)

-Would it help if there were some sort of interfacing on the inside of the dress to reinforce where you put the snaps? Also, would it make more sense to have more snaps, taking the pressure off just two?

--I've had good luck using three gigantic, about 3/4 inch across, snaps arranged in a triangle at the top of the cape. These capes are the "one shoulder with turned up tail" variety. I sew them through the dress, interfacing and lining using regular waxed thread. The three snaps seem to spread the strain over a larger area -- think back to high school geometry -- two points determine a line, three points a plane. They haven't come loose when dancing or torn the dresses. I've seen too many attached with Velcro come off during a competition.

-The Velcro didn't hold for me. I sewed snaps ON TOP of the Velcro.

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[> [> [> Subject: Ties on Shawls

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Date Posted: 08:49:55 11/08/04 Mon

Can someone please repost how they put the tie on the shawl and back of the dress to keep the shawl from flopping everywhere.

-Loop of ribbon sewn onto the underside of the shawl, doubled-over ribbon sewn into the back seam opposite loop with ends sticking out so they will tie through the loop.

- I hand sewed a white plastic circle (like you use for curtains) on the middle back of the shawl, and then sewed a ribbon onto the dress at the back waist / zipper area. I can tie my daughters shawl at her waist, and it doesn't flop all over.

--Sorry, I'll try to be more clear--loop of ribbon sewn on the underside of shawl, facing the back of the dress, and ribbon "strings" sticking out of the back of the dress, tie them through the loop on the shawl to secure it to the back of the dress; just like plastic ring idea in above post.

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[> [> [> Subject: Attaching Cape

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Date Posted: 09:58:49 11/08/04 Mon

What is the best way to attach a cape to the shoulder. On my daughter's first dress, we pinned it with a special pin but I see that it was causing some damage to the fabric. I've read about attaching snaps, Velcro, etc. Personally, I don't care for Velcro as Iíve seen the damage it can do to a dress if you aren't careful so I'd rather avoid it if possible. Does anyone ever attach the cape permanently?

Many people get the cape sewn at the shoulder. One of the biggest problems with this is if you use the "lemon slice" dress bags. The cape is then folded in half and this can distort the line. Also, do not sew it into the shoulder seam. I had to alter a dress like this and the dressmaker had trimmed the bulk out of the seam, making it very difficult to get it back together after i had removed it. It was also too difficult to alter with the cape attached.

--I agree with above poster, alterations are difficult when the cape is sewn in the seam. When I have people that want it sewn on, I do it on the outside of the dress. Place the cape on the dress right sides together with the cape going towards the front, sew the cape to dress on shoulder seam and then flip the cape back over the shoulder. You can then attach at the waist any way you wish. I usually use a ribbon tie.

-I use a large safety pin on the underside (at the shoulder and at the hip). Then we just gently pin the decorative pin on top through the first layer of material. I never unpin the cape once it is pinned underneath.
-I am NOT a sewing expert, by any stretch, but I have attached capes to my own dress, and my daughters by just using a bunch of snaps. The capes are the "two shouldered" kind, and you can't get out of the dress without taking at least one shoulder off. Originally, they were just pinned on with our broaches...but it seemed like over the years that will really damage the dress material. So I pinned the broaches onto the cape permanently, and added 3 or 4 snaps at each shoulder, and a couple across the back. I unsnap them carefully, so hopefully they will not start to "pull" at the material. I suppose even the snaps could start to cause wear eventually, but it must be less than pinning and unpinning every time we use the dress.

-When I attach capes to the class costumes which I sew, I use clear snaps. They are great for easy removal (it makes is much easier for the girls to get their dresses off and on, and yet, does not look back when the cape is off as you do not see the snaps.
--how large are they. i tried it with smaller snaps and they came off when I had my daughter jump around. Maybe I need bigger snaps?
---Try the big ones, we call them wopper poppers from my days doing theater costumes.

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