Introduction: Cozy Reversible Hooded Capelet

About: I'm a professional writer and an amateur sewist, builder, hot gluer, dremel user, crocheter, painter, paper crafter, and baker.

There's something about a cape that adds a powerful but delicate, 19th-century touch to any outfit. Capelets are so versatile, too -- they can go with dresses, jeans, skirts, anything really. And for extra versatility, this particular capelet is reversible -- one side features a tartan plaid and another side is a solid forest green. The hood makes it extra cozy for the winter months. In this Instructable, I'll show you how I made this capelet and how you can make one yourself, including some different alternatives.

Step 1: What You'll Need

Here are the supplies you'll need to make a capelet:

  • 4 yards of flannel fabric (a solid and a pattern that complement each other, 2 yards of each)
  • Matching thread
  • Four large buttons
  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors
  • Pinking shears
  • Sewing pins
  • Measuring tape (or a piece of yarn)
  • Sewing needle
  • A fabric marker/pencil

Step 2: Cut a Circle

An easy way to cut a perfect circle of fabric for your capelet is to first cut a square. Since the fabric is 45" wide, cut the length to 45" so you have a 45" x 45" square. Then fold the fabric in half and then in half again. Cut a piece of yarn that's 22.5" long and hold it with both hands -- one hand stays put at the corner (the middle of the square, soon to be circle) and the other hand also holds the marker and moves, making a curve from the bottom corner to the top. Look at the photos for a more clear instruction, as it's hard to describe it in words. Cut where you just marked.

Unfold your fabric and now you have a perfect circle.

Step 3: Cut Another Circle

If you have pets, you know that cutting fabric on the floor is like a summoning spell. So if you have cats, remove the cat from the circle you just cut and place the circle on top of your other fabric and cut, following the edge. I folded mine so I didn't have to cut as much. Now you have two 45"-diameter circles. Put one on top of the other, making sure they're right sides together.

Step 4: Cut a Neckhole

Fold the circles in half and cut down the middle just to the exact center of the circles. Then fold again and cut a 2.5" curve, making a 5" neckhole in the middle of the 45" circles.

Step 5: Sew Around the Perimeter

Pin the circles together. You can now try it on to see approximately how it's going to fit.

Sew around the perimeter, following the red, dotted lines and avoiding the neckhole area. Make sure to leave about 3/4" for seam allowance. When you're done sewing, trim around the edges with pinking shears. Turn the capelet right side out and set aside so you can make the hood.

Step 6: Make the Hood: Part 1

With your fabric folded in half, lay one of your favorite hoodies on top. Cut around the hood of your hoodie, leaving about 1 inch for seam allowance. Cut two more pieces of this shape, but from your other fabric. So you should have four hood pieces. With the plaid hood pieces, place right sides together and sew around the curved edge. (Follow the dotted red lines in the photo.) Do the same with the solid fabric. You can try it on your own head to see approximately how it's going to fit.

Step 7: Make the Hood: Part 2

Place one hood inside of the other, right sides together and sew around the front edge, leaving the bottom open. Turn right sides out.

Step 8: Sew the Hood to the Cape

Admittedly, this part is a bit tricky, and even trickier to take pictures of.

Place the hood inside of the cape about 1 inch in. Fold the cape edges in, cutting notches if needed. Pin in place really well, making sure both sides have the edges folded under at the same place so you won't miss any parts when you sew.

Step 9: Sew in Place

Here are some photos to show what the hood should look like after it's been sewn in the cape.

Step 10: Top Stitch

To make the capelet look professional, you'll need to top stitch around the entire perimeter, including the hood. Before you start sewing, pin around the edges. (You can see the difference between pinning and not pinning in the first two photos.) I top stitched mine very close to the edge.

Step 11: So? Sew Buttons!

Try on your capelet and figure out where you want your buttons to be and mark the spots with sewing pins. Start sewing on your first button with a needle and thread, but before you get too far, start sewing on another button in the same spot on the other side. Do the same for the other side. I used light green-yellow buttons for the plaid side and olive green buttons for the solid green side.

Step 12: Fashion a Fastener

Cut two pieces of fabric about 2" x 6", one from each pattern. Place right sides together and sew, leaving a gap in the middle of one of the long edges. Turn right side out and top stitch around the perimeter.

Cut two small slits, just big enough to go fit your buttons, and use your sewing machine (or hand stitch) around the raw edges, creating a button hole.

Step 13: Finished!

This cape can make me feel like an old-school lady detective or a hobbit depending on my mood. It makes me feel so fancy and dignified. And it wasn't really that hard to make. It's essentially like making a Christmas tree skirt but adding a hood.

Instead of making button closures, you could sew in some wide ribbons when sewing the capelet circle fabric together. That way you could have a tie closure instead.

Step 14: Make a Smaller One!

One of my favorite things to do is sew felt stuffed animals and dolls. I had some fabric left over from my own capelet, so I wanted to make a small one for this bear I made. His is also reversible as I made it the same exact way I made mine, except in much smaller proportions obviously. He looks so cute!

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