I have fond memories as a child jumping around my living room as a child in my Wonder Woman underoos. Jumping off the couch and pretending to be a superhero. If only capes were popular back in the early 80’s, I wouldn’t have had to resort to playing pretend in my underwear. But, here we are in the 21st century and kids superhero capes are hugely popular. About a year ago I made my first superhero cape for a friend’s sweet boy on his 1st birthday. I have made many capes since then and the pattern has evolved into the one I will be sharing today. I currently love making these capes with natural materials. I use 100% linen suiting and premium cotton on all my capes. There are so many fun prints out there! This Michael Miller print is definitely one of my favorites. Before I move on with the tutorial, if you are interested in purchasing a custom linen superhero cape instead of making one yourself, you can do so on my Etsy Shop. I would be so happy to make one for your little one! So, let’s get started with that tutorial.
- Superhero Cape Pattern
- 1 Yard Fabric 1 (I used 100% linen suiting)
- 1 Yard Fabric 2 (I used this premium cotton by Michael Miller)
- 2 1/2 Yards Piping (I make my own. Someday I’ll share that tutorial)
- Fabric 3 (Amount dependent on appliqué you choose). I used Kona Cotton in Sunflower
- Wonder Under (amount dependent on appliqué you choose)
- 1″ of 3/4″ velcro
- Button (optional)
- thread & embroidery thread
*Make sure to prewash all fabric and piping to prevent shrinkage. If using linen, I recommend 2 or even 3 washes. Linen can shrink more than cotton and you don’t want any weird puckering after washing the constructed item.
First, print out the Superhero Cape pattern. Make sure you print the actual size of the document. Do not print to fit! Before you put the pattern together, check to make sure the 2″ x 2″ test square is the right size. Follow the instructions on the printout to put the pattern together.
Once your paper pattern is put together you are ready to cut into your material. Cut 1 cape on the fold in Fabric 1 and another on the fold in Fabric 2.
Next, preparing the applique. I have 3 different appliques I use. The flower, the star and the lightning bolt. I used the star template for this tutorial. Print out the appliqué, cut it out and use it to trace out the shape on the paper side of the wonder under. I usually use a sharpie here because many other pens slide off this paper. Cut out the shape outside of the line. No need to be perfect here, just trying to preserve materials. Now, iron on the wonder under to your solid material. Flip it over and iron on the fabric side for extra measure, making sure there are no air bubbles. Once the material cools, cut out the shape carefully. Peel off the paper backing.
You are now ready to iron on your applique to the main side of your cape. I keep the crease from the fold when cutting the pattern pieces to assist in centering the appliqué. Before ironing the appliqué, place the applique on your material where you would like it to go. Use chalk to mark the top and bottom center of the placement. Then, set the applique aside and iron the main cape material prior to ironing the applique on. If the material isn’t ironed smooth, your applique will not look as nice. Your chalk marks should remain on the material, so you can iron on your applique once your main material is ironed smooth. To remove the chalk marks, simply wipe clean with a clean wet washcloth.
Once the applique is ironed in place, you are ready to topstitch the applique. Go ahead and topstitch about 1/8″ from the edge.
Next, is adding the embroidered initial. Follow the instructions on your machines embroidery unit to place a centered initial on the appliqué. If you do not have a machine that can do embroidery, you can always applique a letter in a contrasting color.
Go ahead and give your applique and main fabric one more good iron. It’s now time to attach the piping. The seam allowance on the pattern is 1/2″, so if your piping is 1/2″ wide it will make things easier. Go ahead and line up the piping to the front edge of your main fabric starting at one end of the neck strap and finishing at the other. Pins are your friend here! Sew the piping to the right side of the linen as close to the cord as you can get (I use my zipper footer).
Now, you can add the velcro. I prefer to sew the velcro on now instead of waiting till the end. This way the stitches don’t go all the way through two layers and are hidden on the side people will see while the cape is being worn. Sew the velcro on the left side about an inch in from the edge. Sew the rough side of the velcro on the main fabric and the softer hoops on the lining. This way, the rougher part of the velcro will be facing away from delicate skin while the cape is being worn. Use the picture below to help with velcro placement.
Here is a picture of what you should have at this point with the main fabric. You are now ready to sew together the two cape pieces.
Remember how you already sewed the piping to the front of the main fabric? Flip the cape over and notice the stitching on the back. This will be the line you will use to sew the two capes together. You will want to stay slightly in from this line or right on top of it at the most. Because you will be using this line, you’ll need to pin your pieces on the main fabric side. Place your lining and main fabric right sides together and pin, pin, pin! Pay extra attention to the neck ties, making sure everything is lined up nicely.
Go ahead and sew the two pieces together, leaving a 3″ gap at the bottom of the cape.
Trim off the edges of the neck ties to reduce bulky corners.
Now, the fun part! Turn your cape inside out. It’ll be a bit of a struggle getting the velcro out, but keep working at it, you’ll get it. Iron the seams flat, making sure the 3″ gap you left is tucked in ready to be topstitched. Topstitch all around the cap 1/8″ from the edge. Iron again. If you like you can now add a button for decor. I made mine using the same material as the lining. If your cape is going to be for a child under 3, do not include the button, as this can be a choking hazard.
And, you are done! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Please, let me know if you have any questions. I would love to help you! If you are interested in purchasing a custom linen cape made by Lace & Pine Designs you can purchase one in my Etsy shop.