A simple cape is an elegant and timeless cover that can be for costume or regular wear. Not much more than a half circle with a hood, a cape is a simple garment to sew. Whether you choose a functional fabric like wool or something elegant and mysterious like velvet, the pattern is the same. Add details as you wish to embellish the cape, and you'll have a classic piece of outerwear.
Cut 1/2 yard of the fabric away and set aside to use for the hood. Fold the remaining fabric over once, right sides facing together. If using a pattern, lay the pattern for the cape body on the fabric and pin. A simpler method is to place a pin at one corner of the top fold (it doesn't matter which). Attach a piece of string that you have measured to 57 inches long, and tie a pencil at the end, using 1 inch of the string. Draw an arc, or semi circle, from one side of the fabric to the other. Now reduce the string to 8 inches long and repeat the arc. You now have your bottom and top cut lines for the cape. Pin the fabric together and cut along these two lines.
Fold the bottom edge in 1/2 inch and iron flat. Hem by hand or with a sewing machine to keep the fabric from unravelling. Fold in the front edges in the same manner, at 1/2 inch, iron and hem.
Fold the remaining fabric over once with the right sides together and cut a rectangle measuring 17 inches by 14 inches. Open the piece and using a 1/2 inch hem, iron and hem one long edge of the fabric. Fold back over right sides facing in again. Pin together, and using a 1/2 inch seam allowance, seam one short end together. A seam allowance should be measured in from the raw edge of the fabric where you will be hemming or sewing, giving space for an even seam or hem and keeping it from being too close to the edge and unravelling.
Open the hood, and lay it against the top of the open cape piece, right sides facing together, hood laying on the cloak. Pin together along the unseamed edge of the hood and the top edge of the cape. Use a 1/2 inch allowance and seam together. Remove the pins and clip any hanging threads. You can add a ribbon closure to the cloak if you wish by stitching two pieces to the front where the hood and cape sections meet.
Line the cloak with a second layer of fabric if desired, using the same method but sewing the inner and outer pieces together before sewing the hood on the cloak.
Tips and warnings
- Line the cloak with a second layer of fabric if desired, using the same method but sewing the inner and outer pieces together before sewing the hood on the cloak.
Things you need
- 60 inch wide fabric, 3 1/2 yards
- Cape pattern (optional)
- Measuring tape
- Needle or sewing machine
- Ribbon or fastener