Introduction: Gorgeous and Warm: Hooded Capes & Cloaks!

Picture of Gorgeous and Warm: Hooded Capes & Cloaks!

Capes or cloaks are amazing!
They can be formal and classy, they can be rugged and not much more than a poncho.
They are easy to make and make a statement--
Great for costumes, fancy dresses or keeping warm!

We've been watching 'Once Upon a Time'...any other mildly obsessed fans out there?
When we first met Belle, we loved her!
We love her awesome accent too!

Step 1: Tangent About Belle...

Picture of Tangent About Belle...

Belle decides to travel to the village...and this is what she wears.
At this moment of the show...I froze.
I paused the show.
I ran to my craft room and dug through my old material...identical!
I had purchased this fabric at a yard sale years ago for around $1.
It's a thick, almost upholstery material with some glimmer.

I knew it was destiny!
I was to have my own Belle cape!

This tutorial is how to make a hooded cape, you can do it with whatever fabric you like,
but I will spotlight the Belle cape, because the fabric match was just too perfect.

Step 2: Back to the Cape!

Picture of Back to the Cape!
Here's what you will need to construct your own.
I consider myself a "costume" sewer.  I don't know all the fancy lingo.  I can follow a pattern, but I usually don't.
  • Sewing machine and basic sewing skills.  (you'll need to sew 3 straight lines, a slightly curved hood line and do a little gathering)
  • Fabric of choice  (I used 3 yards of fabric for Belle's cape...but 5 for my RED Riding Hood cape)
  • Some type of cape clasp or button and cord.
Easy right?

Let's talk fabric.
If you get fabric that frays, you'll need to do hemming on the edges to finish it the robes I did.
If you pick out something that doesn't fray, you don't even need to hem those edges!  Imagine how warm you'd be in a fleece cape! we go!

Step 3: Pattern Guideline!

Picture of Pattern Guideline!

I used my mad photoshopping skills to make a basic pattern guideline.
Because I was making these to fit adult sizes, I used large amounts of fabric...but you can scale it down for any size person.

Keep your fabric folded in half like when you buy it.
(the right side of this picture is the folded edge)

60 inch width fabric made this perfectly flowy!
I used all the width at the bottom and tapered it up to the top.
2 pieces are separate and cut on the selvage edge.
1 piece was cut on the fold.
3 pieces for the cape.
Measure from the base of the neck to the floor for the length measurement.

Step 4: Sewing!

Picture of Sewing!

Then take the 3 big pieces and sew the diagonally cut lines together.
2 long straight stitches.

Stitch on the tapered edges to sew all 3 pieces together.

Then I rounded off the bottom edge and hemmed it.
As well as rolling that selvage edge and hemming the sides.
(again, not necessary unless your fabric frays)

Step 5: HOODS

Picture of HOODS

I knew I wanted a giant hood.
I'd wear it down mostly, so I wanted it big and impressive.
I traced my hoodie hood and made it very exaggerated.

Sewed it and flipped it right side out.

There has been a lot of confusion on this part.

Please please please check out my Monster Hoodies to get a better idea of how to sew a hood.

Then it's just a matter of attaching the neck of the hood to the neck of the cape.

Try the hood on your head and make sure you know how it should lay before sewing it to the cape.

Pins are helpful too!

For my RED cape, I did a pointy hood.
For the Belle cape I did a round hood.

Step 6: Attach the Hood to the Cape!

Picture of Attach the Hood to the Cape!

I gathered the top edge of the cape just enough to fit the width of the hoodie.
Then I pinned it in place...yes, I rarely use pins...but this is a must!
Pinned so that the 2 pieces are the same width.  With just a subtle amount of gathering to make up the difference.

Then I sewed them together on the underside.
I knew I wouldn't wear the hood up all the time and I didn't want the seam to show at the it's on the backside, but even with the hood up it covers the hem.
If you are a more skilled sewer you can do some kind of reversible stitch, but I'm not going to go into detail in this instructable.

Step 7: Cape Clasp...the Crowning Piece!

Picture of Cape Clasp...the Crowning Piece!

The crowning piece, I knew would be the clasp.
Belle's was a cool Celtic knot of pewter.
I bought one just like it on ebay for about $10.
I really just typed in "Celtic knot clasp"
It just hand sews on like a button.

For Red's cape, I used an old belt buckle and sewed it on with some ribbon.

You could get fancy and make one with wood or clay...
or just use a button on one side and a loop of cord on the other. 

Because the cape doesn't have sleeves, it needs a clasp.

Step 8: Enjoy Looking Awesome!

Picture of Enjoy Looking Awesome!

Best part about these capes is they can fit a WIDE range of sizes...
my daughter and I can both fit this and it looks glorious either way...
it's just a little shorter on me!

I made a whole slew of capes and used them in our church's Nativity story for Christmas.  (of course, no pictures...)
The capes I made were all adult size, but fit the kids great (just a little long)...the little girl who played Mary didn't want to take the cape off because she was so much warmer!  I constructed costumes for shepherds, kings and Mary and Joseph all the same...they worked great and were very believable for each part...just pick the right fabric!

Totally love the way they turned out...and from start to finish it was well under an hour!
I even gave my bestie one for a Christmas present!  She loved it, but really--who wouldn't?

If you aren't totally inspired to make a cape now...go watch Once Upon a Time!
Ha ha, and favorite this instructable so you can find it around Halloween time!

Check out my blog Doodlecraft for more awesomeness.
And please vote for me in the Sew Warm contest--I really need a dress form!  :)


Kyoko Kerasaki made it! (author)2017-08-05

Found this way back before I had an account, years ago when my boyfriend and I dressed up as Little Red and The Wolf, and was very pleased with how simple and easy it was to follow. Will be using this again very shortly for some Harry Potter themed costumes I have to make for my friends and myself.

Tyra-jay (author)2017-03-25

Can you do this with leather?

SammiR1 (author)2017-03-07

And also how many yards would it take to make one of these robes for someone about 5'7?

LaurenR55 (author)SammiR12017-03-10

If you're using 60" wide home decor fabric like I did, it took approximately 3 yards for my cloak and close to four yards of flannel lining -- the width didn't match up and there was more waste/scrap fabric when I cut out the pieces.

SammiR1 (author)2017-03-07

Could you give the measurements you used to create the capes?

biscuits1 (author)2017-02-26

is it posible to hand stich

biscamulan (author)2017-02-03

how do I download the pattern

Bobobelle made it! (author)2017-01-02

thank you so much for his instructables. I am by no means experienced at sewing, but I was able to follow your instructions and make my teen daughter her long wanted cloak for Christmas. She loves it. I found it hard to find material in Ireland. I ended up buying curtains and cut them up. Could have done with a bit more material. I added some nice purple lining.

liz_darcy (author)2016-12-11

Does anyone know how to adjust the pattern so that when the cape is closed in the front, the front length will be even with the back all around? I made one of these a while back and it currently slopes upward more than I would like. I would like it to be more just touching the floor length all the way around. Thanks for any help!

tanaya43 (author)2016-11-24

I am going to make five or six of these for my wedding. I am using a number of different fabrics. I am attaching fur lining. Ill share a pic when they are finished. If they turn out, you have saved me 500$! I love you for that.

balloondoggle made it! (author)2016-10-06

They did it! The hoods are big enough to shoplift with, but they love them.

hblair1 (author)2016-10-03

Omg! I just found this! I so hope I can make this! Thank you x's 1,000,000!

Lizzan made it! (author)2016-07-03

Thanks so much for this instructable! I just made my own cloak, inspired by the Tardis from Doctor Who. I haven't sewn anything since school, but your instructions were really easy to follow. I've also ordered fabric to make a similar fleece cloak for the winter. :-D

grace6 (author)2016-05-29

Roughly How many yards of fabric would you use for someone 5 ft tall?

thelonelybench (author)2016-05-27

Do you think this pattern would be appropriate to recreate this (minus the horns)

I was thinking about maybe just changing the taper on the two front panels to make room for the arm holes, making the cape a little shorter, and adding elastic on the inside...

It would be interesting to get your opinion, I'm somewhat of a novice sewer... Although I will be getting help

BrandyS7 (author)2016-04-23

I will be using your pattern to make some simple cloaks for my family and clan in the SCA....ty for the turtorial.

Noble090 (author)2016-04-13

I do have a question... many yards does it take to make a hooded cloak for someone that is 5 foot 11in?

doodlecraft (author)Noble0902016-04-13

I generally figure on 4-6 yards for a good cape/robe. It depends on how full you want it and how long. Darth Maul's costume used over 50 yards of that's the comparison. :)
I'd go with 6 if I was making one for my husband, who is about that tall. :)

RedGeranium (author)2016-02-13

I don't sew often and I surprised myself by making two small cloaks to this pattern in one day, for my kids. The second turned out better than the first, but the kids picked their own fabric and they both are thrilled. I used a fleece that I didn't hem. Very pleased with the pattern. You do need a lot of fabric though if you want to make the full width.

JoyJayKai (author)2016-01-20

That looks AWESOME! And no offense, what you are calling a cape is actually a cowl!

KatieK35 (author)JoyJayKai2016-01-22

Cape is correct (or less ambiguously, long hooded cape). Cloak might be more accurate because of the length (cape can be short or long, but usually short). Cowl generally refers to an entirely closed garment with sleeves. :) It is a little confusing, since the words are often used interchangeably.

JoyJayKai (author)2016-01-20

WHAT! I just read your bio and my mom homeschooled me and my two siblings!

Rollingstarr made it! (author)2016-01-12

I stumbled upon your tutorial on google before I signed up here. Just wanted to say thanks! It helped me out for my costume. I used polar fleece and it kept me warm enough. :)

3elephants (author)2016-01-01

A tutorial for those reversible seams (known as French seams), can be found here...

Celestine7 (author)2015-11-22

Beautiful cape! I'm an amateur cosplayer and this tutorial looks doable for me. :) I do need a warm, practical cape for winter.. thank you so much for sharing!

TheCraftMaster419 (author)2015-11-15

Wow I am obsessed with Once Upon a Time, (like to the point where I NEED to have everything that is very authentic) this will be perfect for me!

TheCraftMaster419 (author)2015-11-15

Wow I am obsessed with Once Upon a Time, (like to the point where I NEED to have everything that is very authentic) this will be perfect for me!

Pinski made it! (author)2015-11-01

I was lady death for halloween, and made my cloak out of an old duvet cover. I fell so in love! I wish I had a proper photo of it all but unforetunately the selfie is all I have of it. It was super easy to make, and it is beautifully made. I hand sewed the hood and machine sewed everything else - it was all a breeze! I think I'm going to be wearing mine casually :3

Mary-Lily33 made it! (author)2015-10-29

Haha, I clicked the "made it" button, but my sister and I are actually making it right now. :) I a sewing it red, for Red Riding Hood for Halloween.

loloponyjumper (author)2015-10-25

What kind of fabric is the beautiful green cape in?

AmandaM60 (author)2015-10-03

I'm currently obsessed with Once Upon a Time and am making a Snow White when she was a runaway in the Enchanted Forest inspired costume. I'll be using your tutorial for my cape!

NightRain1 (author)2015-09-27

I loved the once upon a time red riding hood cape and that is going to be one of my firsts :)

OceanMama made it! (author)2015-09-22

Thank you so much for the easy to follow directions! My daughter LOVES her cloak!

sparklygnomes (author)2015-09-19

I was wondering if you could post the measurements of all the pattern pieces for your red cape? Thank you!

AlyciaRianne1 (author)2015-09-19

I'm going to make one for everyday use and one for my Harry Potter costume:)

cmmitschke (author)2015-05-11

Is there a way that you can make me one and I could pay you for it? I would love that!!

nisha.parikhscullino (author)2015-04-08

Thank you for the pattern. I made this with drapery fabric and lined it to hide the seams, so it's reversible. My daughter loves it, and now I want one too. :)

AGenericShadow (author)2015-02-17

Traveling cloak, Here I come! I've been looking for something like this for a while... THANK YOU

onecrazystitch (author)2014-12-27

THIS!!! This is exactly what I was looking for!!! oh thank you for posting. You're wonderful!!!

Nightsong1771 (author)2014-12-14

Do you know where I could find this fabric?

epaulis (author)2014-12-11

Really easy and fun to make. Utilized your pattern twice to make a lined cloak. Used micro velvet and crepe satin. It's a surprise for my sister-in-law for her wedding.

puppiezrool (author)2014-11-30

I watch Once Upon a Time too!!!!

WilmaB1 (author)2014-11-16

I have this cape, I had it made yrs ago and it is beautiful. I live in Georgia and it never gets cold enough to wear it.. it is so beutiful Im looking for a pattern to make one. Someone gave me 7 bolts of wool fabric I can not let it just sit there. Im going to find someone that lives where it snows and give them a nice gift. I do not understand how to get patterns from this site. If anyone can help please let me know. my email is

aj123ps4 (author)2014-10-26

OMG u like once upon a time so do I. I love it :-)

MaryCC (author)2014-10-26

I have 3 yards of fabric for this cape but i am terrified of cutting it wrong, would you be able to recall measurements by chance. Ive jist started sewing patterns and I'd love take this for Halloween

kpumphrey (author)2014-10-10

I have a question about the hood. from the pattern, it looks like the opening for your face is along the folded edge. Did you cut the folded edge before or after sewing the back of the hood. I am sort of confused on this part.

doodlecraft (author)kpumphrey2014-10-10

The face opening is on an open edge...the top of the hood that goes over your skull and down the back of your neck is the folded edge. Sorry the pictures for attaching the hood to the cape are lacking!

Please, please rectify the missing picture problem by just saying what edge to attach to the cape!! I had to cut two hoods, I attached the wrong end to the cape, and finally just sewed one of the hoods on in a way that made it sort of work. The hood also needs more precise dimensions to fall correctly.

AmandaB2 (author)2014-10-22

I love this idea, these are so beautiful. I'm thinking about making myself one with two layers of crushed velvet. But I had a question. How tall are you and your daughter? I'm 5'4" and if you're more of an average height (5'7" or so?), I would need less fabric. Thank you and again I love these cloaks.

doodlecraft (author)AmandaB22014-10-23

Hi AmandaB2,
I'm 5'2" and my daughter is probably 4 inches shorter. A phenomenal robe has lots of yards of material...Darth Maul had over 50 yards in his costume! :) 2 layers of crushed velvet would be glorious! :) Take pictures and post one when you make it!

About This Instructable




Bio: Hi! My name is Natalie! I have an awesome husband that lets me be a Play-at-home mom of 3! We homeschool and do projects daily ... More »
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