DIY / fashion

DIY Costume Cape


A cape is a staple part of anyone’s costume wardrobe.  Add a hood and you have a piece that can be used for more then just costumes.  Red riding hood, dark witch, the guy from Assassin’s Creed, a cloister monk or nun, etc.  It’s just such a versatile piece that is only limited by your imagination and the color of the cloth used.  Ok, so lets get started, shall we?


Materials: measuring ruler/tape, scissors, pins, a chalk pencil, and 1 1/2 – yards of any fabric.  You can even use a table cloth or curtains(don’t go tearing down the curtains off your windows unless you really want to =))!


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Ok, so the first step is to spread your cloth out on the floor.  We will first work on the hood of the cape.  The size of the hood can be defined by the size of your head or how loose you want the hood to be.  I like to have a slouchy hood to give it an air of mystery when I have it draped over my head.  I used the measurement of 22 inches long by 17 inches wide.

After measuring it out, I cut out the rectangle for the hood.

Ok, now it’s time to start working on the body of the cape.

Make sure the fold of the fabric is facing you.

2) Measure the body of the cape 30 inches *long (the video mistakenly said wide).  Now I used 30 inches for the length that I wanted.  This length fell to above my knee.  If you want a longer cape or something that is floor length, you will need to adjust your measurement.   Just as a point of reference, measure from the bottom of you neck to where you want the cape to fall and you will have an approximate length to measure to.  Trace out your hemline and cut.

 Sew in you raw edges(rough cut edges if you’re using a woven material) of both the hood and the cape body.  I like to use an iron to press the seams in first then sew to give it a neater look.

Ok, it’s time to sew the hood together.  Sew one edge from the fold together.  The hood when opened should resemble a cone of fabric.

Next, we are going to base stitch the hood to make the gathering in the fabric.  A base stitch is basically a stitch that is not used to sew multiple pieces of fabric together.  You are just sewing the base layer.  This will allow you to gather the top of the cape to fit the hood.  Make the base stitch about 1 inch below the finished edge.  Make sure to leave a few inches of thread on the end of the stitch.  Ok, now, pull one end of the thread to gather the fabric.  Do it slowly and carefully as you don’t want your thread to break.  Evenly disperse the ruffled fabric so it’s even on all sides.

Time to connect the hood to the cape!  Ok, first pin the cape to the bottom edge of the opened hood.  Make sure the gathering is all lined up and not folded up below the sewing line.

Ok, when sewing the cape to the hood, go slowly and allow for a 1 inch seam allowance.  Take your time and watch to make sure the fabric is not bunching up under your sewing machine’s foot.

Once you have sewed the hood to the cape and you iron out the seams, your cloak is pretty much complete.  This is a great time to style it to your costume or add embellishments like seam tapes on the outside edges to get the look you are going for!

Have fun with it!



12 comments on “DIY Costume Cape”

  1. Hej!
    I would love if you did a styling video on how to style my summer maxi dresses for winter without looking like my grandmother 🙂
    Love your site and Youtube channel by the way!

  2. Hello, I am on my second cape/cloak from your tutorial. Thank you! Question: how WIDE (I know it’s 30 inches long) is the body fabric BEFORE you baste it? Mine seems extraordinarily long/wide. Thank you!

  3. Thank you very much for sharing this. Really needed a last minute costume and I made this beautiful cape so fast.

  4. I know this post is over 3 years old but I found it through a google search and it was perfect for what I needed! Easy enough for a beginner to follow and since I used a bedsheet found at a thrift store, there weren’t that many raw edges to sew. I now have a beatiful cape that cost me under 5$ and didn’t take too long to make. Thank you!

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