8 types of capes & How to make them

Learn how to sew capes - 8 different types - DIY sewing patterns

Why should you wear a cape ? For some people this question is as banal as hearing why do you wear jeans ?  Capes are the new shawls. They are effortless cover ups, casual fashion statements , great for layering, can even be worn as tops over a camisole. Need I say more?


Can you not see yourself wearing a casual top and jeans and a cape on top and end up looking like Elizabeth Taylor. Maybe not! 

Cape sewing Patterns

1. Make an easy cold-shouldered circular cape

This is a very easy cape to make . This is just a fabric with a hole. You need a wide enough fabric  ( 45″); this will give you a 17″ long cape

Fold a 45″ square fabric twice, lengthwise and width wise through the center

how to sew a cape

Mark 5″ from the mid point ( the same way you do for a circle skirt) Mark this point every one inch.Join the dots .Mark 22 inch from the center, to mark the hem. Mark every 2 inch. Join the dots.

Cut through the lines, so that you will get circle with a  hole in the middle

how to sew a cape


I have added a simple fake fur trim. To make this trim, I cut a 40″ long  fake fur strip of 1 inch and made small darts ( 1/2 inch ) every 6 inches of this strip.

sew an easy cape

I then joined this strip at the end. Gave me a hexagon like this.

I finished the fabric edges of the top hole and the hem.

Kept the trim near the edge and top stitched in place. You can add satin ribbon or lace trim the same way. Done

cold shouldered cape

2. Make a fitting cape


This type of cape is made in a sheer/ transparent fabric and let me tell you making anything in sheer thin fabric is almost always a pain. Checkout this post on tips to sew thin sheer fabric.

Take 2 pieces of fabric length – 16 inch & width – the full width of your cloth ; Fold by the middle. Mark the following pattern. Cut out the two pieces for back and front with the pattern. The back is cut in one piece; you can give a front opening by giving 1 inch extra at the center fold and cutting.

Sew the sides and join. Stitch the neck and hem the bottom and finish the front edges 

The shoulder slope is a little tricky. You will have to trace the outline of a fitting bodice for to make this pattern.Make a bodice following this tutorial



3 Make a Knit cape with a hood

Because it is made in a knit fabric you do not have to do anything with the fabric edges, unless you specifically want to.

Make a hole in the middle of the 45 inch sqaure  fabric as per the picture below. Join the 2 hood pieces at the side seams . You have a small tube now. Keep the shorter edge together with the opening in the main piece. Stitch with right sides together. Easy hooded cape

4 Poncho capes

Checkout the tutorials to make some cool poncho capes / jackets 

How to sew poncho - 20 patterns free

5 Faux fur cape

Faux fur gives real distinction to a cape. You can make a cape like this one at weallsew – it is super easy and looks great

Or make a collar scarf  in fauxfur like this one following the tutorial

faux fur scarf


6 Simple blanket cape

This is the easiest cape you can make – if you have a blanket or a long scarf.
Checkout the super simple tutorial to make this beautiful cape here.

diy blanket cape

7  A line Cape Pattern 


The back pattern is one piece but the front pattern is in two parts.For the back pattern you  need 40″ wide  and 20 inch long piece. Fold by half and mark.

And for the front patterns you need two 20″ square fabric pieces.

Cut out the pieces and join at B-G for left and right front pieces to the back piece.

Bind the neckline/ Hem the edges with a rolled edge finish. You can add ribbon ties at F of the front patterns .

8 A Super hero Cape

This is the most common type of cape you see around – an unavoidable sewing project for mommies who make costumes for their kids.

You can make one for your kid with a velcro fastening with the following pattern.Take a fabric of length – measure length from shoulder to knee (or till ankle if you want ankle length cape)

To make super hero cape with a lining Just cut 2 pieces of the pattern on fold. Stitch together at the outer edge, right sides together. Leave a 2 inch opening for turning the cape inside out.   Turn the whole thing inside out through the opening. Close the opening shut with hand stitching. You can paint or applique your super hero logo on the cape if you want to. Attach the velcro under the extended piece. 

Sewing tutorial for a hooded cape

hooded cape

Related posts  :  No-sew shrugs – 2 sewing tutorials ; Make a drapey open front jacket – easy tutorial; Make a bolero jacket


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Author: Sarina Tariq

Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.

14 thoughts on “8 types of capes & How to make them”

  1. calling anything that doesn’t reach at least the knees a cape is foolhardy and evidence of deeper character flaws. If you aren’t wearing a flowing cloak worthy of an elven king with your mom jeans and art kid sweater you are a coward and history will forget you

    • Ben, your comment was the best comment in the history of comments. I came here looking for designs for a REAL cape. To WEAR REGULARLY. Thanks for giving me some hope in humanity lol

    • I was looking for ideas for a cape for bunch of small but important people and truly the only respectful option will be a lower than a knee design.
      Thank you!

    • I wear an animal hide cape. It’s just something to drape over my shoulders so when it’s raining my shoulders don’t get soaked. But it also helps trap in heat around your neck and stops all the heat from escaping from your torso, some. I also have a black cape that keeps me warm. It’s more of a poncho, but it has a hood. Goes all the way down to my socks.

      Ben, if you would like we could have a contest to see who can pin an alligator on their back first. Then, one of us could say we are a “REAL MAN.”

  2. Wow wonderful post but as a beginner I floated and wrongly cut some of my learning cloths but the out come did not make any sense to me. If you don’t I would want more guide

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