DIY cape with hood for women

How to Make an Easy Hooded Cape

I may just have a flair for the dramatic. In fashion, that is. I don’t necessarily dress the part outwardly, but I do on the inside. 😉  I have always loved a good statement piece. A bold coat, a crazy purse, or a wild skirt. Or what about a standout cape? Today let me show you how to create your own drama, by making yourself a really easy hooded cape.

Capes seem to come in and out of fashion, but to me they are classic. Unique and stylish, I think, the bolder the better. YOLO. They are very easy to make. No sleeves, cuffs, or zippers. No kidding.

Cape Inspiration

I’ve gathered lots of beautiful cape inspiration for you from around the web. The examples below may not all be current this year, but I do feel they stand the test of time and do not look dated. Just FUN to wear!

Check out these southwestern style capes.

source | source | source | source

I just love, love, love the simple solid color capes but look at these awesome stripe numbers too! Yikes, I may need to make that hood cream number next. It’s simple, striking and beautiful!

source | source | source | source

If you’ve never made clothing before, this is a great beginner sewing project to try! I’ve prepared this simple pattern just for you. There are so many different ways to make it your own.

It’s so fun to choose your fabric and all of your cape’s details. There are many options to consider; go with or without a hood, add a decorative trim or faux fur around the hood. For the hem, you can add a simple hem, a fringed edge or decorative trim. It would also be a nice finishing touch to use colorful buttons or a decorative clasp for the front closure.

Are you ready to begin? Below are the items you will need to make this project.

Materials and Sewing Supplies

Fabric for Cape
Matching Thread
Sewing Straight Pins
Scissors or Rotary Cutter
Sewing Machine
Trim, Fur or Ribbon, or Contrasting Fabric (Optional)
Front Closure (Optional)
Cutting Board (Optional)

Determine the Amount of Fabric You Need

I used one and a half yards. There are only 3 pattern pieces. Determine ahead of time, if you want to change the length or width and then adjust the amount of fabric you purchase. If you are having trouble, ask the employees at your local fabric store. They are always ready to help with questions like this!

THE CAPE BODY

Sewing Instructions

1 PREWASH FABRIC
First of all, prewash your fabric to help prevent any shrinkage in future washings that would compromise the fit. After it is dry, press with an iron.

2 CUT OUT FABRIC
Next, lay out your fabric on a cutting board or a surface that is safe to cut on. Measure and cut your pieces out. Refer to the drawing and measurements above. You may want a shorter or longer cape, etc. Feel free to adjust according to your preferences. To help you decide on length and width before you cut your fabric, try wrapping the fabric around you while looking in a full-length mirror.

3 FINISHING RAW EDGES
If your fabric has ends that easily fray, you may choose to finish some the raw edges before you sew. In this project, some pieces may be easier to finish before you sew. This is optional.

You can finish the raw edges any way you like. There is no finishing necessary for polar fleece or fabrics that don’t fray, but if you have a fabric that frays easily or if you just prefer a clean finish (like I do), see suggested finishing options below.

These are all great options for finishing raw fabric edges:

  • Serge with a Serger or Overlock Machine
  • Overcast Stitch on a Regular Sewing Machine with an Overcast Foot
  • Zigzag Stitch on a Regular Sewing Machine
  • Trim with Pinking Sheers

(Refer to your sewing machine’s user manual for these special stitches)

4 HOOD & DECORATIVE HOOD DETAILS
With right sides together, sew the two sides of the hood together with one straight stitch. Turn. Press seam open.

Below, I’ve included instructions for finishing your hood. Choose your favorite design; add fur, decorative ribbon or keep it plain & elegant.

FUR TRIMMED HOOD

To attach the fur to the hood, first, with right sides together, sew the fur facing to the fur. Open up the two pieces you sewed and lay flat. From the back side, press the seam towards the facing. Use a pressing cloth or a clean cotton dishtowel to protect the fur from the heat of the iron.

NOTE: If your fur fibers have a distinct direction, decide if you want them to face forward or back. I chose to face mine forward.

Turn the facing over the seam to create a clean banded edge. Topstitch.

This next step is a bit of a mind bender and a little counterintuitive. With the right side of fur facing the wrong side of the hood edge, sew the long side of the fur strip to the front edge of the hood. When you turn the fur out, it will be on the outside edge of the hood. Pin first, to be sure you have it correct. 🙂 Optional: Machine or hand tack the fur panel in 3 places so it stays back.

DECORATIVE RIBBON TRIMMED HOOD

For this design, you simply finish the hood front edge by turning under. Press first and then topstitch around the front edge of the hood. Next, position your decorative trim in place along the top of the hood where you like it. Pin in place. Topstitch with your machine or hand sew in place on both sides of the ribbon.

PLAIN HOOD

For this simple style, finish the hood front edge by turning under. Press first and then topstitch around the front edge of the hood.

5 ATTACH HOOD TO CAPE
With right sides together, sew the base of the hood to the cape body. Press the seam down.

Turn finished sides over on both the left and right sides of the hood and sew all the way across in one continuous stitch. Tuck the hood seam under as you sew through the center section. Finish the bottom edge of the cape the same way. Fold over, press and topstitch all the way across the bottom hem.

6 FINISH FRONT EDGES
I’ve chosen to fringe the two sides of the cape. These are the ends you actually see in the front. First, decide how long you would like your fringe. I chose to match the approximate length of the fur, so it has a consistent look as the hood.

Stitch a straight line across the sides you will be fringing. Using a scissor, take short vertical cuts, every 1/4 to 1/2 inch up to that horizontal stitch. Open up the strands with a long pin and unravel until you have the look you like. If you like popping the small bubbles in bubble wrap, you may enjoy this! It’s tedious but therapeutic. You may also hem this edge if you’d prefer a clean edge.

That’s it. Congrats! Your hooded cape is ready to wear! I hope you enjoyed making this project! Please share a picture with me in the comments below or tag me on Instagram.

Happy Sewing!

xo,
Cindy

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2 Comments
  • Kim Byrne
    Posted at 00:16h, 17 March Reply

    Super cute idea for Spring…which we hope is right around the corner🌷

    • cindy munson
      Posted at 00:01h, 18 March Reply

      Thanks Kim! ☺️ Ahhh Spring, yes the sooner the better!

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