Reversible Superhero Cape (tutorial)

by ilene on June 20, 2011 · 27 comments

in baby, sewing, tutorial

I made this reversible superhero cape for my little friend Mikey. Mikey is one of my favorite little boys- so sweet, smiley, and easy going.  He laughs at everything and his girlish high-pitched squeals and giggles capture my heart.   If I have a little boy, I want my child to be just like him, he’s just adorable.  He loves the Disney movie Cars and when I babysit him, he often zooms all around the house whispering “Focus. Speed. I. Am. Speed,” running around with his little clenched fists in front of him.   He sits in his little carseat behind me while I drive, keeping himself entertained by repeating “I am lightning. Ka chow! Ready, set, go!”  It’s hilarious!  He has an extra special place in my heart because I babysat his older sisters while his mom was at the hospital giving birth to him so I can’t believe that he just turned 3 years old!  It was fitting that he had a Cars-themed party. He was a superhero for Halloween last year, so I thought I would make him a cape for his birthday that combined both of his loves.  What little toddler wouldn’t love their very own superhero cape?

I had a rough idea of how I was going to sew this cape in my head but I mostly made it up as I went along. All I had to go off of was this very precise pattern that I doodled:

I started with this nice blue velvet fabric, which I folded in half and pinned in place. (If I had red fabric on hand, I would have done the Lightning McQueen side using red fabric just to make it more different) I was going to draw one half of the cape against the fold and cut out so that when I unfold it, both sides would be even:

For the neck hole, I traced a 5.5″ bowl, lining half of it against the fold:

Then I drew out the basic pattern for half of the cape:

Cut and unfold the cape so that it looks like this (I added the rough dimensions for a cape sized for a 3 year old):

I used this piece as a pattern for the backside. I traced and cut out an identical piece so that I had two matching pieces, one for superman and other for lightning mcqueen.

I drew a superman logo with an “m” for Mikey using photoshop about 8″ wide and printed it out. It took a few tries to get the size of the logo just right. I placed the logo on the cape to get a good idea of what it would look like, made adjustments and reprinted:

For the Lightning McQueen logo, I found one by googling and printed it out to the right size:

I then cut out the logos from the paper and used them as patterns to trace on felt. I cut out the felt logos and placed on the cape (sorry for the dark picture, by this time, it was getting late into the evening):

Then machine stitched the logos in place on each side:

“95” for Lightning McQueen:

To put the whole cape together, pin the two pieces right sides together and sew all around the edge, leaving a 5″ opening to turn inside out. Turn the cape right side out and then top stitch all around the cape, sewing the 5″ opening shut.  (Sorry, no pictures of this because it was approaching 1am in the morning when I finished) I sewed velcro on both sides of the neck ties so that it would be easy for a 3 year old to put on and take off:

I wish I got a picture of Mikey “vrooming” around the house with his cape on!! He looked super cute!  And now he has an outfit to wear when his older sisters want to play dress up! He won’t be stuck wearing one of their many princess dresses and tutus!

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1 Gracie June 23, 2011 at 5:09 pm

Thanks so much for this post! I used your steps to complete my first super man cape this afternoon!

2 ilene June 23, 2011 at 11:19 pm

Gracie- Yay, I’m so glad you made a cape and were able to follow my vague instructions!

3 Kathy July 13, 2011 at 3:05 pm

Thanks this worked out wonderfully for my three year old son 🙂 He wanted a cape that was just like Batmans…minus the design on the bottom of his. He said it looks funny. None the less I have it all cut out and ready to be sewn…but first I need to learn to use a sewing machine <_< Always hand stitched everything but that might take a bit more time. Thanks again!

4 ilene July 14, 2011 at 11:48 am

You can do it!!!

5 Sewing Tutorials Library October 4, 2011 at 10:34 am

Thanks for this great tutorial! I’m adding your link today to Sewing Tutorials Library. 🙂

6 Jean October 5, 2011 at 9:22 pm

I’m just seeing this post now (after being drawn to your Asian chicken salad recipe!). 🙂 Mikey loves his cape!
Miss you!

7 Jessica January 20, 2012 at 4:04 pm

I’ve made a super hero cape before, but was looking for a refresher tutorial so I could make one for my younger daughter. You made it so easy! I don’t even remember how I made the hole for the neck, but I remember it being a pain in the ass. Tracing a bowl would be so much easier! Thanks 🙂

8 Ursula March 6, 2012 at 9:47 pm

Hi ilene!
Thank you so much for this tutorial! I am so glad to have found it. So easy to do! I am making about 20 of these for my little boy’s 4th Superhero Birthday Party as favors for the kids. I appreciate you sharing your knowledge here on your blog. Thanks a bizillion 🙂

9 Christa March 26, 2012 at 6:40 pm

Thanks so much for the great tutorial! I made one for my niece and my daughter for my daughter’s first birthday. Then I got lazy and I made a simplified version for the rest of the her cousins. I wrote about your tutorial on my blog. Thanks

10 margaret October 29, 2012 at 4:58 pm

Thanks for your tutorial! I used it to create a superbaby cape for my 14-month-old’s Halloween costume. For those wanting to scale the pattern down, I made the cape about 18″ long and 18″ wide at the bottom. I used a 5″ diameter bowl for the neck hole, but that was a little too big. I could have used 4″.

11 Paula November 18, 2012 at 1:04 pm

Thanks for the tutorial! I am making superhero capes for my Grandsons for Christmas! I have all kinds of fabric so they can change from Ironman, to Spiderman, to Transformers (I know they don’t wear capes but the kids LOVE to wear capes) to Superman to Star Wars. Just a few inch change and I made one for a three almost four year old and one for a two year old. I am making several so their friends can wear them. Thanks so much!

12 Sandee October 30, 2013 at 11:51 pm

thank u saved my life today, with my last minute fancy dress, for kindy!!!

13 Julie November 27, 2013 at 10:33 am

If you still have your photoshop file? would you mind emailing it to me please? I would like to make one for my daughter. And she has the letter I in her name. Thank you so much.

14 Rachelle December 27, 2013 at 5:40 am

Thank you! Just made a bunch for my son’s 5th birthdy party.

15 Peggy May 16, 2014 at 7:49 am

Thanks so much for the tutorial. Very informative. My daughter just asked me to make a Superhero cape for my grandson for his 5th birthday, she found this and sent it to me. Will have to get some velvet, red and blue..
Thanks again.. Is velvet hard to sew? Does it slide or stretch?

16 Pamela May 16, 2014 at 10:35 pm

this was awesome! i used it to made a double-sided batman and superman cape for a three year old’s birthday present. your tutorial worked very well! thank you for sharing!! loved your idea of using the child’s initials on the superman side. 🙂

17 Anonymous December 20, 2014 at 6:39 pm

So cute! Going to make one of these for my 2 year old “Super Bean”. Thanks for sharing!

18 Lynne April 19, 2015 at 12:48 pm

Thanks for sharing. Have spent a fair amount of time wondering how to make a cape that didn’t tie in the front….for safety reasons! How long should this be for a 5 year old? Between knee and floor? Less? Could I guestimate the size of the neck hole from a size 5 t-shirt? Any advice is much appreciated. Thanks.

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