How to Make a Hooded Cape Costume

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You never know when you might need a quick hooded costume for a theater production, Halloween costume, or any event that requires a medieval hooded look. It's the perfect Little Red Riding Hood, or make it in brown for a monk's costume. A longer length is good for a Renaissance fair. No pattern is required.

Cut the material. Your material should be 60 inches by 72 inches. Lay the piece out flat and cut a 32-by-16-inch rectangle from the long edge of the fabric. This will make a finished hood of about 15 by 15 inches. Adjust for very large or small sizes.

Hem the hood. Turn under 1/4 inch along each short side of rectangle you cut out in the first step. Iron this down, turn again and stitch to create a hem. This will be the front opening of your hood.

Sew the hood seam. Fold the rectangle in half, inside out (hems facing out) and sew a 1/2-inch seam along the long-top edge of the rectangle. You should have a square with the hemmed side creating the front opening of the hood. Press the seam open and turn the hood right side out. The remaining fabric has the rectangular piece missing from one long edge.

Even the material by cutting off the rest of the 16-inch piece. You should have a 72-by-44-inch piece of fabric.

Hem one long side of this rectangle, and the two short sides, in the same way you hemmed the hood. One long edge of the this rectangle should be unfinished.

Gather this edge by stitching two lines of basting stitches (about 1/4 inch apart) along the length. Do not back stitch the ends or tie them off. Pull on the bottom, or bobbin, threads of each line to gather the material. Or sew the basting and gathering thread by hand.

Gather the fabric until the edge matches the width of the unfinished edge of the hood. Pin the hood to the cape, right sides together, and adjust the gathers to fit. Sew the two together. It's usually best to sew your seam between the two gathering threads.

Add tie strings by sewing on ribbon or bias tape at the point where hood and cape meet. Or use the remaining fabric to make ties, cutting 1-inch strips the length of the fabric and folding together. Overlap two sides to create a narrow strip, then run a single seam for a casual tie, or fold in half, seam three edges and turn inside out.

Press your finished cape and trim any loose threads. You are now ready for the stage, costume party or Renaissance fair.

Things You'll Need

  • Two yards of medium weight, 60-inch material such as cotton polyester or twill
  • Matching thread
  • Ribbon or bias tape
  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors


  • Wash cotton fabric first to preshrink.

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Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/ Images