Reversible Cape Coat With Arm Holes




About: I love crafting and creating ... especially when it's simple, affordable, and useful.

I love capes, but I find it annoying when my arms are "inaccessible." So I created this cozy cape with armholes, and at the last minute decided to make it reversible (two capes in one piece!). It's easy to make, it's comfy to wear, and it's a chic addition to any winter outfit. It's also a great gift for the women in your life this holiday season.

Step 1: Gather Materials

Here's what you need:

3 yards (or more) of any flannel cotton fabric in two colors (make sure none of them will bleed on the other)
Paper to make a pattern
Magnetic clasp
Dress form
Basic sewing supplies
--Sewing machine
--Fabric scissors
--Chalk or fabric marker
--Matching thread for both colors

Step 2: Create Cape Pattern

Using a dress form (mine is made of duct tape!), trace the outline of your shoulders on the pattern paper.
From the tip of your shoulders, using a straight-edge ruler, draw a straight line at a slight angle, creating an A-line effect from your shoulders. The length of the cape is at your preference.
Draw a straight perpendicular line for the bottom edge.
For the neck hole, I used a plate from my kitchen to create the curve of the front neck hole and the back neck hole. The back neck hole should be higher than the front neck hole.
Finally, using a straight-edge ruler, draw a straight line near the edge of the A-line to mark the place of the armholes. I made mine 18 inches long.

Step 3: Cut Out Fabric

For the front pieces, place pattern in the middle of the fabric (not on any fold) and cut out. Make sure you cut the neck hole with the deeper curve on the pattern.

For the back pieces, fold the fabric, place the pattern on the fold, and cut out. Make sure to cut the neck hold with the upper curve of the pattern.

Transfer the end points of the arm hole line onto the front pieces of the fabric only.

Step 4: Start Sewing

Attach the front pieces to the back--first along the sides and lastly connecting the shoulders. Press open all seams with an iron. Repeat for the second set of fabric.
You should have two capes now.
Try on each cape and make sure the cape drapes nicely on the slope of your shoulders. Alter if necessary.

Step 5: Create Fabric Pieces for Clasp Closure

Measure the opening of the clasp with a ruler.
Using the leftover fabric, create two rectangle pieces on each fabric. The length doesn't matter as much as the width, but the width must measure twice the width of the closure opening.
For each rectangle piece, fold the piece in half length-wise, right sides together, and sew using a 1/4 seam allowance. Turn inside out and press.
Place one fabric piece inside the other--right sides together-- and sew on one end only.
Turn inside out and feed it through the clasp.

Step 6: Sew the Capes Together

First, press the bottom edge of each cape 1/2 inch, wrong sides together (but do not sew, only press).
Place the fabric of the clasp 1/2 to 1 inch down the vertical edge of the front piece and pin in place. Right sides should be together and the magnetic clasp should be in the body of the fabric.
With right sides together, pin and then sew the two capes together along the sides and neck hole of the capes. Do not sew yet on the bottom edge of the cape.
Turn everything right side out when finished.
Then hem along the bottom edge of the cape.

Step 7: Create Armholes

To create the armholes, I basically made two really big buttonholes.
I switched the settings on my sewing machine to a zig-zag stitch with a setting of 4 for the width and 0.4 for the length.
The top stitch thread on the sewing machine should match the color of the fabric on top, and the bottom or under stitch (the bobbin) thread should match the color of the fabric on the bottom.
Match up the endpoints of armhole and pin through all layers of fabric to hold in place.
Create a long rectangle using the zig-zag stitch.
When finished, using fabric scissors, carefully cut out the fabric inside the rectangle.
You should now have armholes for your cape.

Step 8: Try on and Enjoy

Hope you like it! And Happy Holidays!!

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    10 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Fabulous cape. I can see myself cycling in this, maybe with a collar. Thankyou, great instructable.

    1 reply

    5 years ago

    Nice outfits... The model is just right for them too. Nice style and the model looks great.... ;)

    1 reply

    5 years ago on Introduction

    Do you have an instructible for the duct tape dress form? I would be interested in one. Love your cape, and I know what you mean about the invisible hand holes.

    1 reply

    I'm sorry. I don't have an instructable for the duct tape dress form. I took a class at my local fabric store where we made it in 4 hours. I didn't take actual notes on the steps, and my mental notes from that day are so foggy that I'm really not the best source. My instructor did have us watch this video to get a glimpse of what we were in for: Sorry I couldn't be more helpful.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Fantastic cape! You are very talented, and I hope you will continue to post more of your creations! I'm attempting to make a "military" style cavalry cape, so any hints that you could provide would be most appreciated!

    1 reply

    Thank you so much! I can't wait to see your military cape. I've actually never made anything in a military style, but I imagine the color/type of the fabric and the finishing touches (buttons and stitching) are key elements in pulling off that kind of look.


    5 years ago

    Very nicely done! you did a great job, nice instructable. what "had me at hello" was the duct tape dress form, that was about the coolest use of duct tape I've seen! keep up the good work!

    1 reply

    Haha. Yes, my duct tape dress form is quite the conversation piece. It was pretty fun to make too. I did it with my mom and it was quite a bonding experience (literally).