Leggi questo post in: Italiano
I am a big fan of versatile Halloween costumes that can be used for different characters. This way we can get lots of use out of each piece and be creative in using them different ways. Today I’m going to show you how to make a hooded cape for a child or adult just by using your own body measurements!
I made this DIY hooded cape for my daughter a couple of years ago and she absolutely loves it, to the point where she sometimes dresses up and goes out with it even on days which are not traditionally “costume days”. She also wore it a few times during school video lessons in Covid lockdown last year. 😂 I always love it when my homemade creations are appreciated to the max!
One awesome thing about this hooded cloak is that you can use it in loads of ways! Dress up as a wizard, witch or superhero at Halloween or Carnival. Or, if you love cosplay, you can adapt it to your favorite character!
Don’t think it can only be black; consider all the colors of the rainbow! For example, sew this hooded cloak from red fabric for a perfect Little Red Riding Hood costume!
This cape is basically a circle (or two joined semicircles) of fabric with a simple hood attached. The circle shape is so swirly and fun to play in!
So, are you ready to learn how to make a hooded cape for a child or for and adult? Watch the following video or continue reading for the full tutorial!
- Black fabric (I used satin lining fabric*. The exact amount depends on the length of your cape. I used 4 meters of 1 m wide fabric. Consider that you’ll need to cut out a circle with a roughly 2 meter radius. If your fabric, like mine, is narrower than that, you’ll have to cut out two semicircles and sew them together, like I show in this tutorial.
- Flexible tape measure*
- Tailor’s chalk (traditional white or white chalk roller*
- Fabric scissors*
- Black polyester thread*
- Size 80 universal machine sewing needle*
- 1 snap (I used a 25 mm [1”] hand sewn snap*
- 1 decorative button (optional, to cover stitches for snap)
- Optional: my free circle skirt template. This helps mainly to make sure that your fabric is folded correctly at a 90° angle and to help you gauge the 1 cm (3/8″) seam allowance at the selvages if you need to join two semicircles, like I show. You can easily make this project without the template.
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How to make a hooded cape for a child or adult
Look at my notes below to understand these calculations.
First, measure loosely around your neck. In my daughter’s case it was 35 cm. Then measure the distance from the shoulder down to the point where you want the cape to go to. I wanted mine knee-length. For my daughter it was about 90 cm.
Divide the neck circumference by 6. This is a simplified equation to find the radius. In my case, 35/6 = 5.8333, which I rounded up to 6 cm. This is the number you’ll need for drafting the cloak neck opening.
Add that number to the cloak length you measured before, then add 1 cm (or 3/8″) for seam allowance. In my case, 6 + 90 + 1 = 97 cm. This is the number you’ll need for drafting the cloak hem.
The drawing at the bottom of the page above shows how we will cut the fabric with these measurements, which I’ll now explain.
Draft, cut & sew the DIY hooded cape
If your fabric is at least as wide that twice your second calculation (in my case, 97 x 2 = 194), you can directly cut out one circle. Fold the fabric in half once in each way so you have four layers of fabric with the two folds meeting at the top left corner. Then follow steps #1-5 just ONCE. You’ll have to then cut straight up one fold to open up the circle. Then skip to step # 8.
If your fabric is LESS wide than twice your second calculation, you will need to cut out two semicircles and join them, as I show in the tutorial.
1. Fold the fabric right sides facing so that the top layer is a little longer than your second calculation (in my case, 97 cm). Pin the fold and the selvages together so they don’t slip out of place.
If you want, you can position the circle skirt template (see the “Materials” section above to find out how to download it) at the top left corner to help make sure the fabric is folded correctly, but it’s completely optional. Notice I left 1 cm (3/8″) of space between the template and the selvages at the top (red arrows). This is to account for seam allowance.
2. Hold the zero of the tape measure at the top corner and mark your first measurement (neck opening radius, in my case 6 cm) with chalk. Hold the zero down as you swivel the tape measure from side to side, making marks every time you move it.
3. Join the marks made in step #2 with chalk to make a curve.
4. Repeat steps #2-3, but with the second measurement (in my case, 97 cm).
5. Keeping the fabric pinned, cut along the two lines.
6. Fold the large piece of fabric again like you did in step #1. Position the cut piece of fabric on it, matching the selvages together and the folds together. Pin all four layers together and cut out around the first piece.
Remove the pins and open up the pieces. You now have two semicircles.
7. Position one semicircle on the other, right sides facing. Match up one set of selvages and pin them together. Sew down with a 1 cm (3/8″) seam allowance. If you used the selvages, you don’t need to finish off the edges. If those edges are cut, you need to finish them off with a zig zag stitch or serger.
Draft, cut & sew the hood
8. Open up the cape piece and lay it flat. Measure around half the neck opening, from the center seam to the edge. Start with the zero at the center seam, and pivot the tape measure, holding each point in place with a finger. Half of mine measured 24 cm.
9. Add 1 cm (or 3/8″) to the measurement from step #8. (In my case, 24 +1 = 25 cm.) This will be the base of the hood piece.
10. Measure roughly from your shoulder to the top of your head. This can be a little tricky because the hood for a cape like this should be oversized. I found that 50 cm was a good amount. Add 1 cm (or 3/8″) to that measurement (in my case, 50 + 1 = 51 cm). This will be the side of the hood piece.
11. Draw a rectangle with the calculation from step #9 as the short side and the calculation from step #10 as the long side. Position a plate in the top left corner so that the top and left of the plate touch the sides of the rectangle. Trace around the plate for a perfect curve. Cut out the pattern piece.
12. Pin together two pieces of fabric, right sides facing. Pin the hood pattern on top of that and cut around it.
13. Sew from the top right corner to the left, around the curve, down to the bottom left corner with a 1 cm (3/8″) seam allowance. Finish off the raw edges with a zig zag stitch or serger.
Join the hood to the cape
14. Match the bottom center seam of the hood (the seam joining two short sides) up with the center seam of the cape neckline, right sides facing, and pin them together.
15. Moving from the center outwards, continue matching the edges of the hood to the cape neckline, pinning as you go. (top image above)
16. Sew along the pinned edges with a 1 cm (3/8″) seam allowance, then finish off the raw edges with a zig zag stitch or serger. (bottom image above)
When you lift up the hood, you should see a perfect cross of seams. (I love looking at perfectly matching seams!)
Now just for the finishing touches!
Finish the edges and add a button
17. Finish off the edges all around the entire cape and hood. I just serged all the edges, but you could also sew a zig zag stitch on the edges or fold the edges over twice and straight stitch them in place.
**Note: If you used the fabric selvages when cutting out the two semicircles of fabric, you really only have to finish off the hood opening and the bottom of the cloak, but I chose to finish off everything anyway for a more regular finished look.
18. Sew a snap at the base of the hood. (top picture above)
19. I suggest sewing a vintage or other decorative button over the stitches holding the snap in place so that it looks like a brooch. (bottom picture above)
Now try on your amazing new DIY hooded cape and work some magic!
You (or your child) will have so much fun swishing your arms around, watching the fabric spin and billow out around you!
Now that you know how to make a hooded cape for a child or adult, make another for the rest of the family! Or instead make a vampire cape with a stand up collar, as you can see in the picture below! Have lots of spooky family Halloween fun!
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