Reversible Cape Tutorial for Capes for Kids

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Since I posted the capes I made for Milo’s preschool earlier this year, I’ve had a few people ask me for a tutorial. I never made one because I thought the blogosphere was a bit oversaturated with cape tutorials. But folks continue to ask, and so the masses must be appeased!

Capes for Kids
Capes for Kids began with a goal of giving 3200 handmade capes to the kids of Newtown. They have long-since reached their goal for the brave kids of Sandy Hook, but they remain active donating capes to other causes. Contact to request information, or visit them on Facebook.

1000 Capes Project
I was contacted by The 1000 Capes Project to use this tutorial as the official tutorial for their wonderful cause. Founder Celeste Sarvata wrote to me, “We are sewing superhero capes for children with brittle bone disease (osteogenesis imperfecta) and their siblings, celebrating the indomitable spirit of children, and the amazing families that are facing this painful genetic disease.” Visit The 1000 Capes Project on Facebook to get involved!

Reversible Cape Tutorial
reversible cape tutorial

The Fine Print: Please remember that all tutorials, patterns and projects on Hideous! Dreadful! Stinky! are for personal use only and may not be distributed commercially without my permission. Make them for yourself, make them for your friends, hand them out at your kid’s birthday party, but please don’t sell them without my permission. Making objects from my patterns for charitable donations is also okay, as long as you do not exceed 25 pieces for that purpose without permission  If you want to make larger quantities or sell objects made from this pattern, please contact me for licensing information at For independent handmade sellers, I ask for a nominal fee ($5-$10/year) and a design credit. Thanks!

1 yard each of 2 coordinating fabrics
Star and lightning bolt template
Lite Steam-a-Seam 2
matching or contrasting thread
1/2″ Sew-on Velcro strips

Here’s how to make a reversible cape:
Prep your fabric:
Pre-shrink and iron all fabric. For each fabric, cut an 18″ x 24″ rectangle (for a longer cape, expand that to 18″ x 30″).
Choose one of the fabrics and cut a 22″ x 3″ rectangle for the collar.

Make the appliques:
First, print out the templates provided in the Materials list, or make your own symbol (about 5″ x 7″ is a good size).

Trace your templates onto the Lite Steam-a-Seam 2. Make sure you trace onto the side that has the webbing stuck to it (the webbing is sandwiched between two sheets of parchment paper. One piece will come off easily, the other will be stuck to the webbing). Remember that whatever you trace will be reversed – keep that in mind, especially if you are making any letters!

Set your iron to a cotton, steam setting. Roughly cut around the symbol you just traced. Remove the piece of parchment paper that comes off easily. Stick the Lite Steam-a-Seam 2, webbing side down, to the wrong side of the fabric. Quickly pass your iron over the paper once to tack it onto the fabric.

Use fabric scissors to cut along your traced lines to make your super hero symbol appliques.

Remove the second backing, making sure the webbing is stuck to the fabric and not the parchment. Stick the applique about 6″-7″ from the top edge of the right side of your fabric. It should temporarily stick.

Iron the applique onto the fabric using a steam iron. Iron for about 10 minutes. This will create a permanent bond. If you want to make it super-duper secure, you can stitch along the edges of your applique.

Repeat on the other piece of fabric.

Time to sew:

With right sides together, starting at the top, sew all the way around with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Leave a 4″ gap at the top. Trim extra fabric, cut off corners and turn right sides out through the gap at the top.

Back to the ironing board! Make the collar:

Fold the 22″ x 3″ rectangle in half lengthwise. You now have a 22″ x 1.5″ folded rectangle. Press in the edges 1/4″ all the way around.

Fold and press to make a long strip of fabric. Sew all the way around with a 1/8″ seam allowance. Add velcro strips to the ends. You’ll want the “hook” and “loop” pieces to be on opposite sides of the fabric. (I don’t have a good picture here. Scroll down 3 pictures and you’ll see what the Velcro looks like.)

Press all around the cape. To make a casing for the collar strip, fold down the top edge 1.5″ and press.

Using a contrasting thread, sew along the bottom edge of the casing you just folded over, and sew all the way around the edges of the cape at about 1/8″ seam allowance.

Here’s what it should look like. Notice the Velcro pieces are on opposite sides of the collar strip. Push the collar strip through the casing. Gather the cape along the collar strip. If you want the make sure the collar doesn’t get separated from the cape, you can sew a few stitches near the edges to tack them together.

reversible cape tutorial

Your reversible cape is now complete! Go save the world!

18 Responses to Reversible Cape Tutorial for Capes for Kids

  1. I LOVE this style of the capes. I have seen plenty of tutorials, patterns, etc of various Superhero Capes online. Yours is so much fun. Simple and quick but with an extra little “oompf” to it. :-) Thank you for posting. I had fun making some for my boys!!

  2. Oh my, I absolutely have to make these! My son loves every superhero out there and the fact that these are reversible will help reduce closet space. I love this, thank you!

  3. Thank you for the easy to follow tutorial. I am in the process of making three of these for my grandsons. I found fabric with their favorite superheroes on it so I am not doing the applique step. But, they are still reversible and very cute!

  4. For what size child is this for? I am making one for a 1 year old who happens to be wearing 2t, but 18×24 seems a bit long? yay, nay?

    • I made these for pre-schoolers (ages 3 and 4), and they still look fine on my 7-year-old son. I think they would be a bit big for a 1-year-old. You could measure from neck to below the bottom and add an inch or so for seam allowance. For width, I’d measure shoulder to shoulder and add a few inches.

  5. Love this cape! I almost have all the pieces done to sew all up. Can’t wait to make them for the boys I nanny for too! I could be missing it or not totally understanding tutorial as I am still kind of a beginner sewer, but how do you do the casing that you put the red Velcro collar through?
    Thanks so much!

    • Hi, Allex! After you turn the cape to be right-sides out, you just fold that top edge down about an inch and a half and sew it to the cape. This closes the opening that you turned the cape though, and creates a casing for the collar piece.
      See the illustration that is the third picture up from the bottom. The white dotted line is the stitch line.

      • Oh my goodness! I did miss it after I thought I read it all 10 times over! Totally makes sense! I was thinking I needed to use another cut of fabric! Thank you so much! I can’t wait to finish it up and give it to my niece for being a new super big sister! Thanks again! :-)

  6. I want to make these for my 5year old twin grandsons. How do I make them bigger. Where do I adjust….length….width? I am a beginning sewer but this looks like something I could do. Thanks for any help. Susan

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Marigold Haske

I'm Marigold and I like to make stuff. Hideous! Dreadful! Stinky! is a place where I share my love of DIY and working with my hands. You'll find projects for kids and adults that are quirky, fun, artful and functional.You can email me at