In this tutorial I am going to show you how to make a very fancy wide hooded cape with minimum effort and funds, that can be used as a cool addition to any fantasy or larp costume, or as a base for your cosplay. I’ve used this cape as an accessory to my existing Wonder Woman cosplay moving it to the next level (while staying warm and cozy on winter cons or chilly photoshoots)
We all know the struggle of searching for a cape for our costumes.
If you want to buy it, you usually receive a piece of a cheap thin and sometimes even see-through fabric, that is so small you can even wrap your body in it and the hood is too small for your head.
If you want to make it yourself, a decent fabric costs a fortune plus folowing patterns is not always easy without a prior sewing knowledge.
I’M HERE TO SAVE YOU!
Because we’re going to make a cape from two blankets, that actually looks good and believable without much sewing knowledge needed.
THE TYPES OF CAPES
First of all, you need to decide what type of cape you need to do. I’ve already shown in my Apollyon tutorial how I made a super simple cape from one blanket, but that one was very narrow and will fit just a certain type of costumes (the cape I selected for that costume was something between the first and the second type of cape on the picture)
Here’s also a link to an interesting article about different types of capes you can make.
As you can see from this picture, the amount of fabric used is important for which look you want to achieve. In this tutorial, we are going to create the 4th version of the cape, which can be used for example for the Wonder Woman movie costume:
I’ve used 2 very cheap fleece blankets in black color, that I bought for cca 3,5 Euro each. The size was 130×160 cm. Be careful about what size you buy – in my case the width – 130 cm was ideal for a costume like this, but I wouldn’t recommend buying a shorter width if you are a normal sized person. If you are plus sized, or have wider shoulders, I’d recommend for going for 150+cm wide blankets. The same goes for the length – 160 cm length is ideal for people up to 180 cm. If you are bigger than that or plan to wear heels, the cape won’t reach the floor or you’d need to buy a longer blanket 170+ cm.
- Sewing gear
Black thread, needle or sewing machine, seam ripper, pins or pegs, (fabric) scissors, measuring tape
- Printer, paper (only for hooded cape), (black fabric for lining)
If you want to create a hooded cape, you’d need a printer, so you can print out my pattern for it. And if you want the hood to look cleaner, a cca 80×100 cm piece of black fabric to put in the hood as a lining will do – I’ve used and old black skirt for this.
- Fake fur (only for Wonder Woman cape)
Fake fur can definitely be the most expensive part of this depending on which one you select. I’ve used just 40 cms of it on my build though, so it didn’t hurt me that much financially. I bought a black llama fur from this link with a 30mm long hair (eventho if you have the possibility a longer one would look better, but I didn’t have luck finding the exact fur type) in black color and the size was 40×147 cm. Ideally it would be great to have 160 cm long fur to match the blanket’s length, but the fur I purchased was easy to stretch out without shrinking again, so I didn’t really need to adjust anything, but even if you couldn’t stretch out yours, there will be still some fur left to eventually use it as attachement or filler where needed (my leftover was cca 75×14 cm). For Wonder Woman cape, due to it’s curly/messy nature matching the fur in the movie, I really recommend going for black llama/alpaca fur, ideally at least 6 cm long.
MAKING THE CAPE
Start with the first blanket. Lay it like on the picture, fold cca in 1/3 of the width on one side, and on the other side of the width fold cca in 2/3. The shape of the blanket should look like the one on the picture. Cut in the fold and sew together, so the longer sides are touching and the shape is mirrored. This will create the back of the cape.
Then lay the second blanket folded in half (fold is on the shorter side of the blanket – width), lay MY FREE HOOD PATTERN in one corner next to the fold and then cut along the line going from one corner on the fold to the other side just to leave space for seam allowance (usually half inch/cca 1,5 cm) around the hood pattern.
Sew the shorter side (the one on the left on the picture) of each of the created panel to the back of the cloack created from the first blanket.
Now pin the base of the cloack to your mannequin. You need to adjust the size of the cape around the neck and shoulders. You have 3 options how to do it:
1) Make pleats (that’s how I did itC – PIC LEFT)
2) Sew the front and back together forming the cape around the shoulder (PIC RIGHT)
3) Fold the top of the cape to create a tube for a strap and tighten it around the neck with a strap (you can have a strap even if you’ve selected option 1 and 2, I eventually added a strap in my cape too)
Make sure, that after gathering the fabric around the neck and shoulders, the size around the neck should be the same or slightly bigger than the neck area (bottom) of the hood pattern. Sew the gathers in place.
Transfer the hood pattern on the fabric and cut the fold. Even it seems like I did not create seam allowance in front of the hood on the picture, please, create the seam allowance around the whole pattern.
Sew the hood pattern sides together (just the big rounded shape one the left). If you wanna line the hood, take a different fabric, transfer the pattern onto it making the straight side 1 cm shorter, sew together and insert into the fleece cape, so the undersides of both pieces touch. And as I wanted to be sure the lining sits properly, I’ve sewn those two fabrics together through the main seam with a decorative stitch. Then I’ve folded the fleece fabric over the lining fabric on the outer side (the straight side) and sewn in place. Folding should be possible thanks to the lining fabric being slightly shorter than the fleece. Then pin the hood to the cape like I did on the pic and sew in place.
I decided to kill two birds with one stone and added a tunnel for the strap, which serves as an elegant cover of the seam connecting the hood to the cape. It is an optional step, but it will sure make a lot of difference in the overall look and feel of the cape. To make the tunnel, take the rest of the fleece
fabric from the second blanket and cut out a rectangle shape, that is long enough to cover the seam around the neck. Fold it around the seam and sew in place. Run in a cord or a string using a safety pin. The cloak should look like this now:
Now the course of action will differ depending on what type of cape you wanna do:
1) I am doing a generic cape, not Wonder Woman’s cape:
You can now just cut the bottom of the cape to the desired round shape (I left the back a little pointy on mine -you can literally make any shape, but rounding it up will create the classic shape you probably look for) and overcast the front and bottom of the cape (fold it inside and sew in place).
Your finished cape should look something like this:
2) I want to create Wonder Woman’s cape:
Now it is time to create cutouts for the arms, which will be in the side seams. Measure where your arm bends and mark it with a tailor chalk. My cutouts start 28 cm from the neck and are cca 40 cm long. First sew over the side seam in the marked places to reinforce the seam and prevent it from unwinding. The use a seam ripper and rip the side seam between your marks and reinforced places. Try the cape on and see if you can comfortably move your arms in the cutouts.
Now we will add the fur.
Be careful by buying fur, because the orientation of the hair might create a weird effect on the cape. Each fur’s hair behave differently and lays differently, but it is important to keep that in mind, since you might end up having to buy more than 40cm like I did, but the whole length needed (160 cm).
I did buy only 40 cm, took a risk and it was fine – first of all the fact, that the grain of the fur ended up being horizontal on the cape, helped me to stretch it slightly using the grain (imagine a knitted welt and its stretch). The hair isn’t really having a laying position as it is all over the place, so it didn’t really matter it wasn’t laying „on the grain“ down.
I bought 40cm wide piece of fur, which I divided into 3 straps, so each one was 147 cm long and cca 13,5 cm wide. Two of them will be used on each side of the front, one will be divided and used in the cutouts.
Be careful by cutting fur! Always use a sharp knife and cut the fur from the backside – it will damage the least amount of hair that way. Do not use scissors, or you would end up having a lot of hair fallout and the fur will look „shaved“ on the sides.
As you can see on the picture, the fur is pinned on the front of the cloack and it will be folded around the front edge. Sew in place and then use a blunt needle or something pointy to fluff up the fur again around the seam. When sewn in place, fold the edge of the fur inside, so it looks better around the neck. You can sew the fold in place, but mine hold just folded in like that.
As a last step, divide then last 13,5 cm wide and 147cm long strap of fur into two 40 cm long segments and cut these in half leaving cca 7 cm width for each. Fold those around the arm cutouts and sew in place. Don’t forget to fluff the fur around the seam again.
And that’s really it! You’re done! If everything worked out, your Wonder Woman’s hooded cape should look something like this:
If you happen to use some of my patterns/models/files/ideas, don’t forget to give credit!
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