Inverness Cape From Garbage Bags

About: I liked Sriracha before it was cool.

Inverness Capes are a Sherlock-esque Scottish overcoat. They're also expensive and not that waterproof. I decided to combine the old garbage bag rain poncho idea with this elegant cape style to create the project here. It didn't cost me anything, took about an hour, and turned out pretty well. Hope this inspires you to make one, and let me know if you have any questions!


Step 1: Supplies

- 2 black garbage bags

- scissors

- tape (I used Gorilla Tape, but something more movable and waterproof would be good if you really want to use it as a raincoat. I was just having fun with this, and so used what I already had.)

- pins (I didn't have any accessible, so I used a needle and safety pin that were laying around. As a rule throughout, use pins whenever you're having a hard time cutting the bag because it's moving. Do note that I didn't get them out until I had done a lot of the project, so even if the pictures don't show pins, you might still need to use them. That way the finished project will end up better.)

That's it!

Step 2:

Lay out your first garbage bag as shown. This will be your main body piece.

Cut a head hole in the "bottom" of the bag (which is the end sewn shut) centered on the center line (it's important get the ends right). Then cut arm holes near the top on the sides (I adjusted mine slightly after I took these pictures). I eyeballed it. You don't want the openings too big, so err on the small side.

Keep the section you cut off for the head hole, as you'll need it later.

Step 3:

Take your other garbage bag and lay it flat. This will be your capelet piece.

Fold in half.

Cut in half.

Take the section with the "bottom" on it and reflatten it.

Cut a head hole centered on the center line (pin that piece from the first bag's head hole to the same spot on the 2nd bag and use that as a cutting guide).

Step 4:

Fold over the "shoulders" at 90-degree angles and tape in place as shown (the white paper is just a visual aid). Try to make it symmetrical on both sides.

Flip it over, turn inside out, and cut down that center line ON ONE SIDE ONLY (this is like the zipper part of a coat, so you don't want to cut it through on both sides).

Step 5: My Stupid Moment

Remember how I stressed the importance of cutting the head hole on the sewn up end of the bag? I did the opposite on the main body piece, so I had to tape it up. Not optimal, even though it worked.

Step 6:

Stick the capelet over the main body piece as shown. Cut down the center line of the main piece ON ONE SIDE ONLY. Stick some tape on the breast part to hold the capelet in place. Refer to the pictures to help with this step.

Step 7: Finished!

There will be parts where your new cape looks weird, so have a fashion consultant (a.k.a. your younger sister) fix it up for you. If you want to use this as a raincoat, it will need more tape around the joints and openings. You could also add a hood to make an even better poncho substitute.

Hope this adds some sophisticated flair to your desperate attempt to stay dry. If it did (or you just liked it), please vote for it in the contests. Can't say you've seen this before, anyway.



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    5 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Now that you got your cape sized right you can use the pieces of garbage bag as a template to make one out of duck canvas :)

    is that the gow modern hunting tartan?

    2 replies

    Great idea! I thought a Kevlar one might be cool too, but not any more authentic than the garbage bags. :)

    The tartan is the Modern Hunting MacInnes. It's not my clan, it's just what the band issues.


    If you make it out of Kevlar you can add a Nomex liner .. that way you'll be fireproof and bulletproof .. lol