cape tutorial

i finally got to it! sorry to those of you who have requested this that it has taken me such a long time to put this together. anyone not interested in making a cape, stop reading now, because this one is l o n g and boring! when i’ve made these capes before i thought they were pretty easy. but as i was detailing the steps i realize now that it doesn’t seem that way in a tutorial. i took lots of pictures in case my words weren’t enough. hopefully its helpful!

here’s a look at the final product:

first gather supplies. i used 3/4 yard of inexpensive solid cotton in 2 colors, totaling in 1 1/2 yards. i also used scrap fabric for the letter, maybe 1/4 yard. also 1/4 yard of wonder under, a fusible webbing that holds the letter to the fabric. coordinating thread. scissors. chopstick, or other pointy but not sharp object.

lay the two 3/4 yards of fabric on top of each other with their folds lining up. the folds will be the center of the cape.

next grab the selvage edge (the finished edge opposite the fold) of the top fabric and pull it towards the fold so that there’s about 4 inches at the top (see red fabric below). this part will become the neckline, and that fold of fabric you just made will become the sides of the cape.


cut along that fold. no need to iron or measure, just cut.


then cut the bottom fabric (blue) along the same line as the top fabric (red).


at the top of the cape, draw in a curved line for the neckline.


cut along that line.


look closely at the picture. there’s a faint curved line for the bottom of the cape. this is just freehanded, not rocket science. cut along the line, both fabrics.


now get the triangle scraps from the initial cut. this will be cut to make the straps for tying around the neck. you can have the straps with a color on each side, which i did this time, or you can have them as a solid color.


my 4 straps are about 16 inches long, 2 1/2 inches wide. a longer length is fine, but no narrower than 2 1/2 inches.


put the wrong sides of the fabric together. in my case, there is no wrong side, so it didn’t matter. i don’t pin very often. this fabric sticks together pretty well, but pin if you need to.

next sew along the 2 long sides and 2 short side, leaving one short end open.

snip the corners.


turn right side out. use a chopstick to make pointy corners. repeat steps for second strap. iron both straps flat.

now work on the letter. follow the directions on the wonder under. i was running out of mine, so i just used scraps, but normally i would iron a piece of wonder under to my fabric then draw the letter with pencil onto the paper side, then cut out along my lines.

after you cut out the letter, peel back the paper.

i also added a few stars this time.

once the paper is peeled its a little sticky which helps with positioning it onto the back of the cape. i use the fold line of the fabric as a center line. place a damp cloth over the shapes and press with an iron, no steam. then remove the cloth and press again.
now is also when you’ll want to stitch around the letter and shapes. i forgot to do this before i assembled this cape so my stitching shows through both layers. no big deal, just not as clean looking.

next lay the straps on top of the cape piece with the initial. be sure the unfinished short ends are the ones sticking out. also make sure the colors match up (the blue side of the strap is against the blue fabric). i placed the straps about 1 1/2 inches down from the neckline. after completing this cape i realized i should have done them higher, more like 1/2 inch down.

lay back piece of cape over this, lining up edges as good as you can. mine never are perfect, so after sewing i just trim back any extra fabric around the edges.

its probably a good idea to pin the straps in place, because they’re the most likely to move. start sewing at the neckline, just off center (where i’m pointing). be sure to back stitch first and also over each strap, for a stronger hold. stitch around the entire cape, finishing at the neckline leaving about a 5 inch opening, enough to turn right side out.


snip off all four corners and strap tails. turn right side out and use the chopstick again for sharp corners. press cape flat. also press a 1/4 inch fold in at the neckline opening.

detail of neckline opening:

as close to the edge as possible, stitch the opening closed.


find a very cute super hero to tie this onto, then you’re done!

here are a handful of other ideas for you!

edited to add: i don’t do the ties anymore, but this velcro closure instead.  rather than making the strips for the ties, i make arched strips then add the velcro.  just to make things a little safer!

Comments

  1. 1

    dang! you work fast! already posting a blog? thanks for the tutorial except now i might actually have to make a cape (or two)–i know the boys would love one. maybe for Easter.

  2. 2

    Thanks for sharing! You are AMAZING!

  3. 3
    Lisa Leonard says:

    Matty has been ‘flying’ off the couch with his new cape. so fun! you rock!!

  4. 4
    the girl whose kids will love these says:

    Thanks so much Linds!! I can’t wait to make these for Wyatt and Amaiah (and I’m sure all their friends). xoxo

  5. 5
    Us as we Are says:

    Amazing creativity! I’m Andria, I emailed you a awhile back. Thats for respongding! :) Love checking out your new crafting, super fun. Take care Andria

  6. 6

    this is great! I can’t wait to make one for my Spider Man, Superman, Batman addicted 4 year old son!
    Thanks for the tutorial! :)

  7. 7
    Tara @ Feels like home says:

    Thanks for a great tutorial. This was the first cape tutorial I found that I liked. :) My daughter (who thinks she's one of the Wonder Pets) thanks you, too!

  8. 8

    i loved this! thanks so much for sharing! i just started blogging myself and mentioned you today!

    http://remaincalmhaveacupcake.blogspot.com/2010/05/super-d.html

    love your blog!

  9. 9

    Hi there! I am wondering if you could show us how you make the new -improved “arched” ties for the capes?

    Thank you!

  10. 10

    Thanks for sharing this.
    I am doing one right now as I type this.
    ANN

  11. 11

    I found your tutorial on Pinterest and made a cape for me son this afternoon. Your tutorial was great and very easy to follow. Thanks!!

  12. 12

    Thanks so much for this step-by-step tutorial! I am wanting to make my son a batman cape for Halloween this year and this will just be Perfect! ( I found this threw Pinterest) :)

  13. 13

    Thanks, I was looking for an easy cape pattern. My little man is wanting to have a super hero party with all his frinds receiving their own personalized cape! FUN FUN!!

  14. 14

    came across your cape tutorial via Tip Junkie, thanks so much, have only just started sewing but found your tuturial really easy to follow. Have made my little boy a batman cape for his birthday, am sure he’ll love it.

  15. 15

    Okay, I guess it’s just me being a novice sewer, but did you mention how to fold it in the first step? I didn’t see it and went back several times! I tried this but it didnt’ work out the same way because I guessed the wrong way to fold it! Also, is there specific measurements for the starting pieces? It says about half a yard (18″), but is that a square (18×18) or some other length? Sorry, as I said, I’m just learning and I’m sure a more skilled sewer would just know! Thanks!

    • 16

      Leah-
      Good question! Did you get an answer?

      Fabric generally comes in a standard 44-45″ width, that is folded, length-wise on a bolt. You’ll need .75 yard (a 27″ long piece). So at the store, it will look like you’re buying a 22″ wide x 27″ piece of fabric. When you open up the fabric, completely, the piece will measure about 27″x 44″. Make sense?

      To follow the tutorial, fold color of fabric individually. Fold so that the “finished” edges (the “selvage edge” or ones that don’t look frayed, or cut, at all) are touching each other. Then stack one folded color on top of the other. If you measure your top piece, will be about 22″ wide (because it’s folded, remember) and 27″ long. Then proceed to folding back the corner, as shown in Step 2.

  16. 17

    This looks like so much fun!

  17. 18
    marisol bonilla says:

    Thanks so much so awesome. My son will be six and my daughters first birthday are in December. He wants a super hero party. I don’t sew. Well not hey any ways. But I will be making these and mask. I hope. If you have. Any ideas. For me fir goody bags please let me know. Thanks. I plan to have a sped hero summer. Party. I cant. Wait. Mom would love an idea for a super hero apron and cape fir adults. Definitely email me please. Thanks. DomesticDiva

  18. 19

    I made one as a test and thought it was so easy and cute that I have the task of making 7 more before Christmas. Thanks for the tutorial!

  19. 20

    Thanks so much for the great tutorial! I just made this for my nephew’s birthday and your instructions were very easy to follow. Much appreciated!

  20. 21

    Great blog! Do you have any suggestions for aspiring writers?
    I’m planning to start my own website soon but I’m a little lost
    on everything. Would you recommend starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option?

    There are so many choices out there that I’m totally overwhelmed ..
    Any ideas? Many thanks!

  21. 22

    I was wondering what age kid this cape would fit?

  22. 23

    Thanks! Sorry for all the questions, but I have been enlisted to make these for a birthday party for about 8 three year-olds so I want to make sure I get it right. So this length works for your 2 1/2 y/o? I just don’t want anyone’s dragging on the ground.

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