The dress is that stretchy velour/velvety stuff, so there was no way I could work with it on my machine. Ahem. My old machine (technically my mom's, but whatever). I finally got to it yesterday in my cutting frenzy.
First thing, I measured my daughter from shoulder to floor and then cut that length plus a couple inches off the bottom of the dress. The couple of inches was because I wanted it to still be long on her in a few years. Then I opened up one of the side seams on the dress. It was pretty much a big rectangle. I didn't cut any of the width off because I wanted it to be nice and full.
For the cape/cloak hood, I used the top part of the dress. I found a hood template online and then just eyeballed it. I made it much taller than my daughter would need because I wanted it to be all droopy and loose. Like this:
Then you put your two hood pieces wrong sides together and sew along the curve (the green line in the picture).
And that's the only picture I took of the process. Nice. I didn't get to sewing until after dark, so I didn't even bother taking pictures because I knew how poorly they would turn out. I am not a good tutorial-izer.
Then I took my cape piece and sewed a basting stitch along the top, about a quarter inch down. I gathered it until it was the same length as the bottom part of the hood, then pinned wrong sides together and sewed. Maybe this picture will help:
Then I hemmed up one side, up and over the hood, and down the other. No bottom hem needed because I used the existing one on the dress. Done.
Here's the finished product on my little uncooperative model:
It's a good addition to her dress-ups, I think. Even though right now it's definitely in second place to either of her princess skirts, I'm betting it will get a lot of use over the coming years. I know I would have loved a cloak like that when I was little. My husband said he probably would have thought it was pretty cool, too.