March 2, 2010

Superhero Cape Tutorial

It's a bird, It's a plane, It's...
Superhero Capes!

I made these four superhero capes for the preschoolers to use in the drama area at school. It was very exciting to use up some of my scrap material. Plus, I LOVE making superhero capes; they are so much fun! And, guess what - I've written my very first tutorial on how to make one.

I started out by cutting out this trapezoid shape. The dimensions are based on my son's height and shoulder width. I arched the bottom edge in order to make the corners more pointy and comic-book-superhero-like.

After cutting out the back of the cape, I laid it (with wrong sides together) on top of the lining fabric. Then I traced the cape onto the lining fabric and cut the lining out. Here I used denim for the back and a light-weight cotton for the lining, but I actually like the satin lining (on the light blue capes) better.

I used a bowl to trace a circle onto some orange felt, then used my pinking shears to give it a fun little edge. Luckily, I still had the HUGE heart cookie cutter I borrowed from our neighbor to make Valentine cookies a few weeks ago (yikes, have to return that!), so that's what I used to make a perfect heart.

After centering the circle and heart onto the back of the cape, I sewed it on using a zig-zag stitch. Contrasting thread!

Next I placed the back of the cape on top of the lining (wrong sides together) and matched them up and trimmed where necessary. Then I pinned on one about 2.75 yd long piece double width bias tape around the perimeter (except for the neckline) of the cape.

I was careful to fold the bias tape over neatly at the corners.

Then I sewed the bias tape on, paying close attention to sewing all the way to the end at the corners, then backstitching and continuing around the corner. Ooops - cut that corner a little close.

Time for the collar! I used flannel for this part so that it would be soft and fuzzy around a superhero's neck. I cut a 20x4 inch rectangle.

To the ironing board! I made a crease down the center (lenthwise), then I folded the short ends in and pressed them flat. Next I folded the long edges in towards the center crease and pressed those flat. (Please forgive the sad appearance of my iron - I am very clumsy and often have to tape things back together after I drop them.)

Basically, the collar is a very wide piece of bias tape. I pinned the collar to the top of the cape and sewed it on, stitching all around the collar.

Then I affixed two pieces of velcro, one to the interior of the collar and one to the exterior so they velcro together. I love velcro because it makes everything adjustable (and do-it-yourself for a preschooler, too!).

Not the neatest handiwork, but not too bad! And, that's it! One well-suited superhero!

This pint-sized crusader is about to destroy a large, menacing box. And, you know what?! On this blog I've tried calling him "Little Guy," "My Younger Son," and "Little Brother," but it just seems too weird to me. His name is Marcus... or Super Marcus in this particular photo. I figure most of you who are reading this already know me and my children. And if you don't, how likely is it that you'll stalk me? I'm guessing pretty unlikely since you are cool because you sew.

And this man of mystery is Charlie - check out that cape twirling action! You might think I brought an electric fan in for that effect, but it was all Charlie!

So, how was the first tutorial? Feedback would be so appreciated. And become a Follower, please! Especially if you are related to me - you know who you are!

If you make a cape, I'd love to see it. Feel free to use my tutorial just for personal use! Thanks!


  1. I love it! I have two sons and I homeschool them with my niece and two nephews. They would love this! How awesome would it be to applique their initial on the back! These kids are gonna have a ton of Christmas gifts if I keep looking at all these cool blogs.

  2. These capes are great! I bet the kids have a blast.
    P.S. I love your pin cushion owl! =)

  3. I love the pin cushion owl too! Maybe you can tell us how to make it in another blog. Great directions for the capes. I'll add it to the long list of things I'll never get to....

  4. I love the capes. I found your post from Teacher Tom and I can't wait to make these wonderful capes for the boys in my care... and I know at least 2 of my own 4 boys will love them!!! Thanks for the tutorial, I think I can actually make it now :)

  5. Awesome! I found this tutorial via Teacher Tom's blog. I'm going to make some for my son's cooperative preschool. Thank you for taking the time to share this with the world.

  6. Ok Shelly....Ella and I are heading to the fabric store to find the PERFECT fabric for her cape. Wish us luck!

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  8. Love these!! I will definitely have to make these for my two littles.

  9. Also followed the link from Teacher Tom...What a great tutorial!

    Can I make a tiny suggestion regarding the velcro?
    Since the scratchy hook side can feel pretty rough, maybe put that on the facing outward side of the collar?

    Some sprouts might not want to have the neck fastened tight enough to prevent any overlap from touching tender neck skin, and flipping them will remove two potential sensory issues in one fell swoop.

    1. Thank you for the comment and the tip! And thank you for visiting my blog. I've moved over to My new address is :)