Friday, June 3, 2016

A Bearskin Cape

I was asked to make a bearskin cape for our Dagorhir event coming up tomorrow. It came out decent enough that I thought I'd throw together a quick tutorial for those interested. 

I started with a length of faux fur. This is approximately one yard by two yards. 

From it, I cut three pieces. The small pieces are roughly 6-8 inches by the width. The large piece is the Everything Else. I didn't worry about straightening the bottom edge - this is a barbarian cloak after all.

Stitch the small pieces to the top of the large one so that it looks like a long sleeved shirt. 

Next, I fitted the shoulders a bit.

How it looks without fitting
Just create a fold (right side) and stitch the dart
When both sides have darts, it looks something like this.

Note that the neck is still too tall in the back. Just take a pair of scissors and trim off the excess.

With neck line trimmed
The last step is to add the ties. I did this with criss-crossing straps for the chest. I used a very soft faux leather that I had in my stash. No idea where it came from but I could easily tie it in a knot. I cut two inch strips and sewed them together until I had a length that was about 120 inches. Keep in mind that I made it really extra long on purpose, to fit a couple football player sized friends.

Stitch it to the inside of the collar with the right side of the strap against the wrong side of the collar. You want the stitching to go until just below the collar bone.

Inside out cape with strap showing on collar.
The last step is to fold the strap so that it crosses the chest at about a 45 degree angle and stitch it down at the correct height. It should cross the chest comfortably, not digging into the neck and not too low.

In the following photo, the left side is angled and the right side isn't. You can tell that the right side does not lay correctly.

With both sides of the strap done, you are finished!

The straps wrap around the back and tie in a knot underneath the cape. The sides are completely open to allow for freedom of movement.

Now I put this together in about half an hour just because we needed something fast. A little more time and care and you can probably get a really nice bearskin cape made. Please let me know if you have any questions. 

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