x

How to Sew Armholes in a Cape

Make your cape more user-friendly with armholes.

A cape is a versatile, multifunctional piece of clothing that can serve as a coat or a fashionable dress. Capes can have hoods, button, zippers and a variety of other adornments, but by design, they don’t have sleeves. While this gives the cape a chic, posh look, it also lacks practicality. You can fix this by adding armholes to your cape. This project takes only an hour or two and can be completed by those with basic sewing skills.

Turn your cape inside out and put it on in front of a mirror. Use one hand to place a mark on the opposite side of the cape where you want the armhole to go. Repeat with the opposite hand on the other side of the cape. Remove the cape, place it on a flat, hard surface and inspect your marks to ensure the marks are even on both sides of the cape.

Measure the upper circumference of your arms, approximately 5 inches below your shoulders. Add 2 inches to this measurement. Draw a circle of this circumference on both sides of the cape, using a saucer or small plate as the template for your circle. Inspect your circles to ensure they are even on both sides of your cape. Cut out your circle shapes with scissors.

Cut 1/2-inch v-shaped notches about 1 inch apart around the entire circumference of each circle. Fold the notched area back against the wrong side of the cape and iron; pin between the notches to keep it in place.

Thread your sewing machine. Sew around the circumference of each armhole with a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Clip off the excess threads. Sew another seam using a 3/8-inch seam allowance and clip off the excess threads.

Iron your cape and turn it right side out.

About the Author

Based in the Pacific Northwest, Arin Bodden started writing professionally in 2003. Her writing has been featured in "Northwest Boulevard" and "Mermaids." She received the Huston Medal in English in 2005. Bodden has a Master of Arts in English from Eastern Washington University. She currently teaches English composition and technical writing at the university level.