When my daughter requested a dragon cape so she could run wild pretending to be Elliott from "Pete's Dragon", she had a very specific look in mind. I managed to create her entire cape from recycled materials - here's what I used.
Elliot needed to be green, fuzzy, and friendly - but powerful and able to hide easily in the forest. As it happened, I had been hoarding this old 100% wool blanket, knowing that sooner or later I would have a use for it - little did I know when I bought it, that it would transform into a dragon!
Paired with a soft old forest green sweater sporting a wee hole in the sleeve, some 50c balls of wool and a new tartan remnant found in the the thrift store, we had ourselves the fabric for a dragon coat for next to nothing.
Elliott's spikes and wings were made of felted wool from the sweater. To make the sweater suitable for using as felt, you need to wash it in the washing machine on the hottest setting and the fastest spin cycle, then pop it in the dryer on hot. This shrinks the sweater and "felts" it by bonding the fibres close together. You might need to do this a few times to get the desired result, which is basically so that the fabric doesn't fray.
Look out for sweaters which have 80% (or higher) wool content or other natural fibre such as angora, mohair, merino, possum, cashmere etc. If it has less than 80%, then it will not felt well. Garments marked as "super wash" or "machine washable wool" will also not felt.
Elliott's mane was made from a few odd balls of yarn. One was super thick, another was hand-spun, and the last was a rather fine furry mohair. I wasn't sure how it would turn out, but it was all I had on hand - but I was so happy with the end result. All three blended together beautifully through the length of the mane.
Lastly, the toggles were cut off an old coat (which I had previously re-purposed into a Pathfinder Vest for our little boy).
Of course, our girl declared that her little brother needed one too - what sewing Mama could say no to that request?! It turned out I managed to get a cape and a vest from these materials with some left over for another project in the future.
So there you have it - a fun Dragon Cape and Dragon Vest made from recycled materials.
Download FREE Dragon Pattern