Gorgeous and Warm: Hooded Capes & Cloaks!





Introduction: Gorgeous and Warm: Hooded Capes & Cloaks!

About: 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! Check out my blog Doodlecraft for more awesomeness!

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...

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!

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 off...like 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!

Okay...here we go!

Step 3: 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!

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

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!

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 neck...so 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!

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!

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!  :)

Sew Warm Contest

Second Prize in the
Sew Warm Contest

10 People Made This Project!


  • BBQ Showdown Challenge

    BBQ Showdown Challenge
  • Stick It! Contest

    Stick It! Contest
  • Backpack Challenge

    Backpack Challenge

84 Discussions

Can you do this with leather?

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

1 reply

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.

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

is it posible to hand stich

how do I download the pattern

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!

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.

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


2 years ago

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

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

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

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

1 reply

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 material...so that's the comparison. :)
I'd go with 6 if I was making one for my husband, who is about that tall. :)

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.

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

1 reply

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.

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

A tutorial for those reversible seams (known as French seams), can be found here... http://www.tillyandthebuttons.com/2013/02/how-to-sew-french-seams.html

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!