A Different Kind of Mystery

Sometimes I have to go off-topic. I hope we’re all okay with that, because there is a mystery that needs solving!

I saw this “Create your Own Child’s Cape” thingie in a store and I thought, wow, a cape kit? How cool.

cape I don’t know why I thought it was cool. I have no need for such a thing. My kids have no need for such a thing.

Maybe I was briefly lured in by the “sew easy” part of the promise on the package.  Or perhaps I was momentarily enticed by the alluring spiderweb pattern on the cape.

Anyway, long story short, I thought wow, a cape kit! But then I noticed the “Just add fabric!” part.

Wait, what?

Isn’t a cape pretty much…um…fabric?

According to the “see side panels for kit contents” instruction on the bag, this is a self-identified “kit.” But the term “kit” typically implies that all required elements are included. Thus, shouldn’t this “cape kit” include cape ingredient number one–i.e., fabric?

(If it’s just a “pattern,” it should say so; in that case, supplying one’s own fabric is a given. But I think we can all agree that a “kit” raises a different set of expectations.)

What’s next? Water kit: just add water?

I’ll admit: I’m mystified.

What are your thoughts, readers? Or…have you had a perplexing project material experience?


9 thoughts on “A Different Kind of Mystery”

  1. Should I say that’s a hoot, or is that too low a pun? One would think a kit is complete, but when you stop to think about it, in the cooking section there is always an add your own element, too. Taco kits, “just add your own chopped meat, vegetables, and cheese of your choice.” OK, so whats in the box? Taco shells and seasoning. Even in the frozen food section where you would think the addition of frozen meats would be no problem–they’re frozen. I brought home a kung po chicken mix and didn’t realized until I got home that the chicken part was on me, what I bought was a bag of frozen veggies with an added frozen little bag of sauce. I’m thinking that the words “kit” or “mix” are code words for we’re charging you more for convenience, but you’re still bringing your own items to the table. Funny stuff!!! The cape is adorable. I hope you did make it.


  2. Too funny. Yes, on the one hand, I would think the word “kit” implies inclusion of all the necessary parts, including fabric. On the other, Kait is right. Lots of “kits” require you to buy other parts – like meat in those frozen entree thingies. But for those of us for whom words mean something yes, definitely a little misleading?

    Did you make the cape?


  3. Weird. Makes me wonder where the packaging is being printed. Or for what market it was intended. Maybe somewhere else “kit” means “pattern”. My last adventure in sewing was a Hallowe’en costume for my granddaughter of Rapunzel. I could have bought the completed costume for 1/3 the price and have finished an entire draft of WIP during the time I spent making it.


  4. I’m mystified, too. What were the “kit contents”? If there’s anything besides a pattern (thread? ribbon?), then it probably qualifies as a “kit.” To me, a kit implies more than one item but not necessarily a promise that it’s complete. Is that the suspicious mind-set of a mystery fan?


  5. I would have bought it. Between the graphic cover and the costume element and the “sew easy” (I’ve been suckered in by that phrase many times over the years!), yes. BUT I agree. “Just add fabric” ??? Um, no.


  6. Hahaha! What a great observation, Cynthia! I mean, isn’t a cape essentially just a large piece of fabric? Arguably, nothing else is technically needed, apart from maybe a cool broach to pin the two ends together. I almost forgive them because of their smart use of the word sew in “sew easy” 😉

    Did you end of making the cape??


  7. Thanks, all! I did NOT buy/make the cape. I just took a picture and ran away.

    Ellen, me too! I should have bought it just to see.

    Kait, that’s an excellent point about code words…

    Mary, yes, exactly. Words mean something! 🙂

    Keenan, that’s funny (but she surely loved that you made it for her by hand)!

    Sue…maybe that IS a suspicious mindset, but I love it.

    Diane, I did have to restrain myself…something about it was so enticing until I saw the just add fabric part.

    Sam, ha!

    Kate, indeed! I should have bought some fabric and a pin instead. 🙂


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