How to Make a Fashion Cape

Capes are good for more than Halloween costumes. The fashion cape is a trendy piece that makes the perfect addition to your fall or spring wardrobe. A simple fashion cape simply drapes over the shoulders, like a poncho, and can be made with blankets or other heavy ravel-resistant fabrics.


  1. 1
    Choose the right type of fabric. For this project, a nice fleece blanket will suffice. If you want a more elegant look, you could also choose any ravel-resistant fabric that is thick and double-sided. A ravel-resistant fabric works best to prevent the edges from fraying, and a double-sided fabric works best so that you do not need to sew an underside into the cape.
  2. 2
    Measure the width. Use a soft cloth tape measure to measure your arm span from one set of fingertips to the other set. The fabric will need to be twice as long as this span.
  3. 3
    Measure the length. The length of the cape can vary depending on your own personal preference, but a good length to start with would be to your upper or mid thigh. Use a soft cloth tape measure to measure the distance between your shoulder and your thigh, or from your shoulder to whichever stopping point you choose. Add about 1 inch (2.5 cm) onto this measurement for a seam allowance.
  4. 4
    Cut out your basic measurements. Use the measurements you took to cut out a large rectangle. The width should look notably larger than the length.
  5. 5
    Mark the center of your rectangle. Use your tape measure to locate the center top of your cape, along the width or arm span of your fabric. Make a small mark with a fabric pencil at the exact center.
  6. 6
    Fold the rectangle of fabric widthwise. Lay the rectangle out flat. Bring each top corner of the width or arm span in toward the center, matching both top corners with the center mark. Your fabric should be half as wide now, and there should be a line down the exact center if the garment. Pin and iron the fold in place.
  7. 7
    Temporarily fold the cape in half again. Fold along the width or arm span of the garment. The fold should be where the two halves of your fabric come together, and the arm span should be halved once more. Pin in place but do not iron.
  8. 8
    Round out the bottom. Position the fabric so that the newly folded edge is on your left and the intended top of the cape is at the top. Use a fabric pencil to draw a curve or semicircle from the top right corner to the bottom left corner. Cut along this line to round out the bottom of the cape.
  9. 9
    Unfold your temporary fold. The last fold you made, which reduced the arm span of your fabric to a quarter of its original size, should now be unfolded, revealing the center line once more. The bottom of the cape should look rounded while the top should remain a straight line.
  10. 10
    Measure your neck. Use a tape measure to measure the diameter of your neck. Add 1 or 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm) to this measurement to allow for a little extra comfort room.
  11. 11
    Cut out a triangle for the neck. From the top center of the fabric, measure out the distance needed for your neck. The center of the neck measurement should be the center of your cape. Cut out two short triangles from the top, with the height of each triangle being about 3 to 4 inches (7.5 to 10 cm). Only cut the triangles out from the top layer of the fabric.
  12. 12
    Measure out the hood.[1] Find a free hood pattern or fold a hood from a hoodie in half so that the back seam is to the right and the opening is to the left. Trace the pattern or hood onto two layers of your fabric, pin the layers together, and cut along the outline.
  13. 13
    Sew the hood together. Sew from the top left corner of the hood, or the top corner above the opening, all the way down along the curved back and the bottom corner, where the neck should be. Allow for a 1/4 inch (0.5 cm) seam allowance.
  14. 14
    Attach the hood to the cape. Fold the cape in quarters again, placing the fold toward the right and the opening toward the left. Match the back of your folded hood to the back top of your cape and the opening of the hood toward the left, or the front of your cape. Sew the bottom of the hood to the top of your cape.
  15. 15
    Apply bias tape to the edges.[2] Even if your fabric is ravel-resistant, bias tape is a good idea because it hides any uneven cuts and ensures that no unraveling will take place. You can use bias tape that matches the color of your fabric or tape that contrasts with it for a nice eye-catching pop. The tape should be applied to the bottom edge, up along the center, and around the hood.
  16. 16
    Pin the bias tape to the edges. The tape should naturally be folded in the center when you buy it. Make sure that this fold fits over the edge of the cape.
  17. 17
    Stitch along the lower edge of the bias tape. You can either use a sewing machine or a straight hand stitch. Either way, the tape should be securely fixed onto the edges.
  18. 18
    Sew snaps along the center front of your cape. Sew-on snaps are easy to apply and can be sewed by hand. Apply one snap at the top of the cape and as many as you need to close the cape up in front, spacing the snaps about 4 inches (10 cm) apart.
    • You can also use a zipper or buttons, but buttons will require extra work since you will need to sew in button holes, as well.
  19. 19
    Measure out arm holes. Arm holes are only optional, but they will help the cape stay centered and may make it easier to move around. Lay the cape out flat with the front facing out. Draw a small mark with a fabric pencil about 1/3 of the way down from the top of the cape along the curved bottom.
  20. 20
    Stitch the armhole. Make a straight stitch from your two arm marks about 2 inches (5 cm) in length, running parallel to the top of your cape.
  21. 21
    Pin a decorative brooch at the top front of the cape to finish it. You can either center the brooch or leave it a little off-centered. Either way, a brooch makes the perfect finishing touch to an otherwise plain cape.


  • You could also try making a capelet. Capelets are shorter versions of the fashion cape and usually extend down to the elbow.[3]

Things You’ll Need

  • Several yards of fabric
  • Soft cloth tape measure
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Sewing needle
  • Thread
  • Bias tape
  • Sew-on snaps
  • Decorative brooch

Article Info

Categories: Creating Fashion Wardrobes