Homemade Dress-Up Clothes (Part 4: Cape)

Every Princess or Superhero needs a cape. It’s one of those essentials of childhood. Many children will spontaneously create their own cape with a tied blanket or towel.

But it can be especially enjoyable to have a “real” cape! However, affordable costume capes often display objectionable cartoon-themed characters.

Here is how to make a simple and frugal lined cape using repurposed materials, with the design of your choice! This project is the perfect solution for upholstery/decorating fabric remnants, old sheets, etc.

I used a piece of brocade fabric (also seen in our princess/bridal hat) for the outside of the cape. Then I lined it with an old scrap of a sheer curtain panel. (The curtain panel scrap was in a bag of fabric scraps that I picked up from Freecycle.)

  • Using a large, stiff piece of paper for your pattern, fold it in half (a “vertical” fold, which would go down the child’s backbone). On the paper, draw half the desired shape of your cape, making sure to allow for seam allowances. (This is like when you would draw “half a heart” for those childhood valentines!)

For our princess cape, I gave it rounded corners; for a superhero cape, you may want to make it a bit longer, and more square.

  • Then, cut out the shape and unfold it. You should now have an entire, symmetrical shape of your cape. Lay your chosen fabrics right sides together, and pin the pattern on top to cut out. 
  • Once your fabrics are cut out, keep them right sides together, and straight stitch them around the edge. Leave an opening to sew in a fastener around the neck, as well as allowing for turning it right-side out. 

To fasten the cape, I chose a button & loop closure. (Gen was too young to be able to tie a bow.)You could also use snaps or velcro. I pulled a large button off of an old jacket (also in the Freecycle fabric scrap bag), and selected a matching ribbon remnant from my sewing stash.

  • Making a loop with the ribbon, insert the raw ends into the opening in the seam of the cape. Folding the edges of the cape seam in, so that you don’t have any raw edges sticking out, sew the opening closed, making sure the ribbon is securely fastened. (Make sure the ribbon loop is the appropriate size to fasten over the button you’ve chosen.) 

That’s it! Your superhero is born. (If you want, you can embellish your cape with applique, embroidery, etc., such as with your princess’ favorite decorations or your superhero’s initials.

Have fun! Let me know if you try this out. I’d love to see your creations!

This is the final part in our Homemade Dress-Up Clothes series. You can supplement your homemade costumes with some fun items from thrift stores, garage sales, or cleaning out your own closet. Some fun suggestions are scarves, ties, hats, shoes, purses, etc.

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