Are you ready for Halloween? It’s October and I’m excited to be posting a series of 10 Halloween Costume Sewing Tips, sponsored by Janome Canada. To start the series with a “Boo!” (hee hee) I’m relaunching my popular Super Hero Cape pattern – updated with new photos and 2 new larger sizes!
The smile on your child’s face when they see their handmade costume is the best! Be your kid’s Halloween costume hero and sew it yourself! Find the first Janome Halloween Costume Tip in the instructions below and follow along on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest so you don’t miss the others. You can also find great sewing information, contests and free patterns on the Janome Life blog.
When I made the first Super Hero Capes for Christmas (2011!), they were a huge hit. My girls flew all over the house solving mysteries and doing super hero business. Usually they were saving someone, sometimes a prince in distress. (You go girl!) Sometimes they’d stop to save kittens from trees, or rescue babies from mean monsters and other things of that sort. Since then they’ve grown up a little, but the capes are still in good use during their creative plays and shows.
Many of you have asked for a cape in larger sizes and I’m excited to be able to upgrade the free pattern and tutorial below! The old post was looking pretty dated with tiny, dark photos – I hope you like the new version!
Free Cape Pattern and Tutorial
As usual, please feel free to use my patterns/tutorials for your personal projects and gifts and for charitable fundraising events. Please do not sell anything made with this pattern without a license. Thank you! (P.S. Buy a Seller’s License or a tidy printable PDF version of this Cape Pattern in the shop.)
- 1 yard (child sizes) OR 1 1/2 yards (adult size) fabric for the cape outer
- 1 yard (child sizes) OR 1 1/2 yards (adult size) fabric for the cape lining
- optional: felt for the hero applique
- optional: fusible web (or a glue stick!) to attach the applique
- matching thread
- hook and loop tape (1″ piece each)
- sewing gear – scissors/sewing machine/pins/ruler/iron etc.
Before you begin:
- Print the pattern piece pdf on letter size (8.5″ x 11″) or A4 paper. Important: Do not select “fit to page” when printing, make sure you print at the original size. Once you have printed the pages, measure the 1″ test square to ensure the pattern is correct.
- Want to save paper?
- Size 3m-3 – Print only pages 1-7
- Size 4-8 – Print only pages 1-7
- Size 9-12 – Print only pages 1-9
- Adult size – Print all 11 pages
- Want to save paper?
- Cut on each page’s outer gray lines and tape them together, matching the letters in the gray half-circles.
- Cut the pattern pieces out (with paper scissors!) along the line that corresponds to the size you would like to make.
Cut your fabric:
- Pre-wash your fabric before cutting to ensure it will not shrink in later washes.
- If you need a longer cape – here is a tutorial on how to lengthen the pattern pieces.
- Cut one cape shape per fabric colour using the pattern piece. * Be sure to place the pattern piece on the fabric fold before you cut it out!
Step 1: Cut out the applique that will be on the back of the cape. Be creative! I used stars, hearts and letters to make each cape unique. Each logo was sized between 6″-9″ tall, depending on the size of the cape.
Halloween Sewing Tip #1:
If you are making a long-term project, make sure your layers have fusible web on the back. If you are sewing a one-night Halloween project, use a less-expensive approach! A regular school glue stick will adhere an applique while you sew around the edges.
Center the applique on the outer cape fabric piece approximately 3″-7″ down from the neck opening.
- Fusible web: Iron on the applique following the instructions on your fusible web. Use a press cloth if necessary so you do not melt the felt.
- Glue Stick: Attach the applique in place using the school glue stick, press with an iron on low heat from the back of the cape to set the glue if necessary.
Top-stitch the applique as you wish to tidy up the edges and make sure it stays on. I used the Blanket Stitch and Satin Stitch Foot F included with my on-loan Janome Skyline S9 to make the one of the appliques extra-nice!
Step 2: Lay the two cape pieces right sides together matching all of the edges. Pin. Mark a 6″ opening on the cape’s bottom edge by putting 2 pins in the same spot on each side. Leave this opening when you sew, it is where you will turn the cape right side out.
Stitch around the cape with a 1/4″ seam allowance, starting at one double-pin. Pivot around the corner on the neck opening. Finish at the other double-pin with a back-stitch.
Step 3: Clip the corners and trim around the curved edges of your neck opening to allow the cape to turn more easily. I use my pinking shears to trim tight curves.
Step 4: Press the seam allowance up on the bottom opening before turning the cape right side out. This creates an easy finished edge once the cape is turned.
Step 5: Turn the cape right side out and top-stitch. Push out your corners and edges neatly, press the cape flat and top-stitch 1/8″ or so away from the edge all the way around the edge of the cape. You can pin the opening shut before stitching or just wing it, the top-stitching will close the opening.
Step 6: Cut a 1″ piece each of hook and loop tape.
Use a zig-zag or straight stitch to sew the hook side of the tape onto the outer piece and the loop side of the tape onto the lining. This way the rough hooks are facing away from the neck when the cape is worn. Note: I like to cut off the corners of the tape when sewing for kids so they don’t get “stuck” with the pointy edges by accident. (* Don’t accidentally sew both hook and loop to the outer side of the cape, it won’t be able to close properly. Not sure why, but I have managed to do this more times than I would like to admit!)
Step 7: Sew a label or hero-worthy piece of ribbon onto the side of the cape.
Congratulations, give your cape a good press and you’re done!
You can purchase a full Super Hero Cape PDF Pattern for any donation!
The 16 page instant PDF download of this tutorial includes these extras:
- The full tutorial and pattern pieces, in a tidy and easily printed form.
- Cutting layout diagram and glossary of terms.
- Granny’s Sewing Basket – highlights Notes and Tips to make sewing this cape easier. (Meet Granny here.)
- Extra tips not included in this free tutorial.
- Check boxes, for those of you who love to get a sense of accomplishment when checking off each step!
Aside from these great features, you can choose to purchase the PDF to support this blog and help Thread Riding Hood continue in its goal to create more free content. Thank you for your support!
Would you like to sew and sell the Super Hero Cape Pattern?
Please purchase a Seller’s License in my shop and receive an instant pdf download!
P.S. Here’s the original Super Hero Cape Photo from 2013. My daughter still comments on how cool it was to look like she was really flying! #photoshopforthewin