It’s almost that time of the year again – yes, Hallowe’en is creeping up and if you’re a parent, or even if you’re not, costumes will be on your mind. There are a fair few costumes that require a cape, from superheroes to vampires and witches, but often, the choices in stores can be limited, or over-priced for their dubious quality. Making a cape yourself is easy, and when the Halloween festivites are done, it can go into a dressing up box to be played with over and over.
You will need cotton fabric in your choice of colours (this cape will have a lining, so you can make it red and yellow for Superman or maybe black and purple for a particularly style conscious witch – this example is red on both sides), about 1 metre of matching ribbon, tape measure, scissors, needle and thread or sewing machine, a bowl or plate, an iron and a fabric pen or chalk for marking.
1. Measure the child who will be wearing the cape from their collar to just below their knees. Add 1 inch to this measurement for seam allowances. Cut your fabrics to this length, lay on top of each other and fold in half.
2. At the top, measure 5 inches from the fold in your fabric and make a mark.
At the bottom, measure 10 inches from the fold and make a mark. (These measurements were for a 3 year old – you might need to make the neck measurement (the top one) bigger, depending on the age and size of the wearer. As a rule of thumb, always make the bottom double the top measurement.)
Join these two marks with a diagonal line.
3. Place your bowl or plate on the top folded edge, like so, and draw around it.
I used a bowl with a diameter of 6 inches – you may want to use something larger or smaller, depending on the size of the wearer.
4. Cut along the lines and unfold the fabric. Pin your two pieces of fabric together, right sides facing in.
5. Cut your ribbon in half and seal the edges with clear nail polish. Insert each ribbon between the tabs at the top of the cape, with the majority of the ribbon hanging down betwen the two layers and about 1/2 inch visible at the top.
6. Sew up the edges, leaving a 1/2 inch seam, starting at the bottom, and leaving a two inch opening to turn the cape in the right way. Take care to not catch the inside ribbons in the seams. Snip the seam at the collar, perpendicular to the stitching so it will lie flat when turned. Take care not to cut into the stitching
7. Turn the cape in the right way, poking out the corners and press with an iron. Sew up the opening by hand.
And there you have a cape, tailor-made for your child.
And ready to complete any costume. In this case, mini Thor.