Finally Some Progress on Red Riding Hood

It’s been a while since I posted anything related to my Little Red Riding Hood costume photoshoot. But I did a lot of work on it these last three days, as part of my Summer Sewing Challenge, so I thought I’d do one big post.

Just for a little refresher course: this photoshoot is going to have a two parts. The first is Little Red in this white dress (an antique wedding dress gifted to me courtesy of my grandmother’s awesome friends) and, of course, the red cloak (all I’ve posted about so far). The second part is the Big Bad Wolf, which I haven’t posted about before.

Let’s start with Red Riding Hood.

Last time I posted, the body of the cloak was done and all that was left was the hood and finishing details. Embarrassingly, I actually did all of the work on the hood a while ago and never got around to posting it. So just pretend you knew the hood existed, okay?

Here’s what it looks like.

little red riding hood

On Monday, I finished the side edges and evened out the hem. Because of how the cloak is constructed, the edge initially ends up as a jagged polygon that must be smoothed out into a clean arc.

Now, I knew this cloak was huge. It’s around 300° of fabric and close to six feet long from the shoulder (long on 5’1″ me). But I didn’t realize how huge it was until I tried to lay it out to cut the hem. It’s stupid how big it is. Even in my grandparents’ spacious living room, I had to do it one or two panels at a time.

Look at that.

cutting the cloak

I couldn’t resist the urge to try it on, so I had my grandfather take some pictures of me in the cloak.

I’m in love with how it moves. Most importantly, it is super fun to wear.

For now, this cloak is done. All that’s left is the hem.

Now onto the wolf.

Last weekend, I spent another day in the LA Fabric District, buying fabric for the wolf cloak and my next project (which you will hear about next week). I went into the day with only a vague idea of what fabrics I wanted, but I instantly fell in love with these two fabrics.

In my mind, the wolf is this anonymous enemy, fearsome but controlled. I want the effect of a cloak with all the mystery it lends, but with the grace of a wolf. For some reason (possibly including my wallet’s reluctance to buy another nine yards of fabric), I translated my vision into a knee length cloak, under which will be worn an outfit of all black.

Because it’s shorter, this cloak is simply a semi-circle with a neck opening cut into it. After my experiences with Little Red’s cloak, it felt like insta-cloak. Mark an arc and whoosh, you’re done.

Cutting the fur was less instant. In any other fabric, it would have taken me five minutes to cut out the 4.5″ strips I needed, but instead it took me the better part of half a grueling hour. Fake fur is definitely not on my list of favorite fabrics.

Fabric troubles aside, the cloak itself went together quickly. On Tuesday, I drafted a (much smaller) hood using the same method as Little Red’s and sewed it to the cloak. I had to add an extra strip of fabric to lengthen the hood, but it ended up looking intentional so I don’t care. Then I sewed the strips of fur along the front edge of the cloak and hand stitched it to the other side.

Et voila.

Today has been filled with trying to make wolf ears for the wolf cloak.

I started with some reference photos.

I should note that I started this process with a how hard can it be? attitude. So I jumped straight into some paper models.

And seeing how well those went, I went into some fabric tests.

This is when things started going downhill. Remember my this is going to be easy assumption? Well, when you assume you make an ass out of you and … your wolf cloak.

wolf donkey ear

Seriously. Every ear I tried ended up looking like a donkey ear. In the change from paper to fabric, all the carefully-crafted triangular shaping was lost.

I think the problem lies in how thick the fur is, so I’m going to try to fix that in future models. For now though, I’m taking a break.

What do you think of the cloaks so far?



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