Play Cape Costume Tutorial

on October 7 | in Sewing Tutorials + Patterns | by | with 26 Comments

You may recognize Cherie Killilea as the smiling face toting duffles at StudioCherie. In addition to selling her sewn items and PDF sewing patterns, Cherie is the mother of three– 2 boys and one fairytale character. You can learn more about Cherie and her work on her blog, and watch for StudioCherie sewing patterns in the Simplicity catalog starting this December. Today she’s here to share this easy and fun Hooded Cape Costume tutorial. The tutorial helps you create a one size fits all 26” long play cape 
with pointed hood!

In our house, we love fractured fairy tales. Take a classic story and tell it from another perspective. For years we ate those up at bedtime. One of our recent favorites came out in film format, Hoodwinked.

Inspired by Red’s costume, I made this super quick pointed hood and cape for my daughter. The costume is completed with a blue mini skirt over bell bottomed jeans and a plain tee shirt. It really doesn’t get any easier than this. As you can see, dressing like an animated movie star is a big hit with Gabrielle.


  • Cutting mat, long quilters ruler, and rotary blade OR
  • Large table, measuring tape, straight edge, non-permanent 
fabric marker, and sharp scissors


  • 1 yard of 44” wide red fabric

Using the cutting layout as a guide, cut as indicated by dashed lines
. Round the bottom of the cape (optional– the cape in the photos was not rounded). Cut the top triangle off of the cape piece so that the top edge of the cape measures 12”.

After cutting, finish all edges of your three pieces. I used a rolled edge on my serger for a narrow hem all around. If you do not have a serger, you can do any kind of narrow hem or none at all.

I also turned the hood front under another 3/4” along the long (bias) edge, and hemmed it there.

1. The front of the hood is stitched to the back of the hood, right sides together. Use a narrow seam allowance. (Red dotted lines indicate stitches.)

2. The top of cape is centered on hood back and stitched right sides 
together with a narrow seam allowance. Turn right sides out, and it is ready to tie on.

All you need to finish your Hoodwinked-style costume (if you want to go all out like we did):
1. Add some trim to the bottom of denim bell bottoms
2. Pull a blue mini skirt over the top of the jeans.
3. (My favorite part) Wear a plain tee shirt.

Have fun with your costume!

StudioCherie ©2010

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26 Responses to Play Cape Costume Tutorial

  1. studiocherie says:

    Ooh, I want to see the green capes too Kelly! Michelle, yes! He devoured those books. My son said it needed it needed to be a cloak with a cowl. Then he asked, “what’s a cowl?” I better get started, so your son doesn’t beat me to it.

  2. Michelle says:

    Cherie, is your son by chance reading the Ranger’s Apprentice series of books?? My almost-12 year old is sewing his OWN cape and cloak from green and grey mottled camo-ish cotton because I was taking too long to get it done. I think if he could live in that book series, he would…

  3. studiocherie says:

    I hope you will post photos of your little Reds. I would love to see them!

  4. Kelly Zehr says:

    great tutorial. I might have to make a green one and call it a Robin Hood Cape for my boys.

  5. Seul says:

    Just came home with fabric for daughter’s red riding hood cape for halloween, reading one pretty thing & putting off sewing … *smiles* thanks so much for the easy pattern, guess I have to get started on it now!

  6. Wellmom says:

    Thank you for responding so quickly to my question. I bought the fabric yesterday and can’t wait to make this cape. My little red is gonna be the cutest in my neighborhood. Thanks again for such a great post.

  7. Papgena says:

    I have to do this, defenitly!!!

  8. Laura says:

    I’m a fan of Cherie’s…she’s creative and makes a project seem easy. I have two grandaughters and maybe another on the way (baby is due in December – then I’ll know the sex). I can see some capes in the near future. Add a little applique, or use a boyish novelty fabric and I can see a cape for my young grandson too. Thanks Cherie!

  9. Emily S says:

    IIIIIII love it!

  10. Megan says:

    This is so adorable! I wish I had a little girl to dress up this Halloween! Great job Cherie!

  11. StudioCherie says:

    For WellMom, I would take off 4″ for a 2 year old size. So the hood back would be 22″ instead of 26″ and the front 14″ instead of 18.” Take 4″ off the length as well. I don’t know how petite your little one is, but that would be my best guess at a good fit. Keep the top of the cape at 12,” don’t make that part any smaller.

    For Rebecca, watch my blog. I also have a 12 year old son. He wants a camo cloak with a cowl so he can completely disappear. I bought a couple of yards of realtree camo at JoAnns the other day. I will post the how-to for you on my blog when I get to it. It will have to be soon, and it will have to be quick to make, so it should be in time for you. I have to get my Christmas stockings done first though…

  12. Valerie says:

    This is so darling-and leave it to Cherie to create something this cute, and using such a little bit of fabric, and fast to make too! I only wish I could make one for my own daughter-but she’s almost 15!
    Well done Cherie!

  13. What an easy way to make a cape. I love that you use almost every inch of fabric.

  14. Angie S. says:

    Very Cute!

  15. Amber says:

    This is so perfect – my daughter has been asking to be little red riding hood!

  16. Heidi says:

    Thanks for the tutorial

  17. Mama Lusco says:

    Cute! Thanks for the great tutorial.

  18. Banana says:

    So cute! Thanks for the great tutorial!

  19. Jennifer says:

    Thank you! This will be incorporated into my daughter’s witch costume for Halloween!

  20. Katy Yo says:

    Great idea, thank you! My daughter could use one of these!

  21. Rebecca says:

    I have a problem; I have been sewing card table tents and felt growth charts for my young grandchildren. BUT. now my 12 year old grandson is upset with me because everything I find is for younger kids. Do you have anything for boys -12 yrs and up to make?? that wouldn’t seem to “babyish” for them?
    I appreciate any feedback you have.
    Love seeing what great things you have on your blog. Thanks

  22. gail says:

    This is much better than using an old sheet to have a cape!

  23. jes says:

    thanks for the tutorial. II plan on using it next halloween for my little gal.

  24. Wellmom says:

    I just decided to have my little one be Little Red Riding Hood for Halloween, can you tell me how to scale this down for a 2 year old? I love your diagram and instructions though, I’ve been looking for a few days for a good cape pattern to no avail. They were all so confusing.

  25. Linda says:

    This is great!! Thank you!

  26. Maybe I can talk my daughter into being little red riding hood for Halloween, she really has her heart set on Strawberry Shortcake though. Any tutorials for the particular costume? Lol…

    Great tutorial, every super hero is always better with a cape! I foresee many Superman costumes made with this help 🙂

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