DIY super hero cape {from the archives}

another tutorial pulled from the archives – enjoy!

super hero capes

when i first opened my shop, i used to take on lots of custom orders.  while i loved making each product differently and special for its intended owner, it was a lot of work!  and since i had 3 very small kids at the time, streamlining things was essential.  one of my more popular custom products were these adorable super hero capes!  i was sad to let them go from my product line, but that meant i got to share the tutorial with you!

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. press both straps flat.

now work on the initial (or whatever design you want here). 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!

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

    I got a sewing machine recently and would love to try something like this. My boys would eat it up. Thanks for sharing!

  2. 2

    Those are too cute! I can’t get over your craftiness! : )

    Kayla
    http://www.lovelucygirl.com

  3. 3

    So awesome, thanks for sharing! And love how detailed your tutorials are:)

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