This tutorial was originally posted on That’s What She Crafted and I”m bringing it home today!
I’m so happy to share my Dinosaur (or dragon!) Cape Tutorial with you! I actually posted a tutorial for this last fall, but since then, I got a new camera and have gotten much better at writing, so technically this is the Updated Dinosaur Cape Tutorial.
This tutorial actually has a lot of different uses. You can make just a plain cape, leaving out the spikes; with a little revision, it can be a Hobbit Cloak; you can use the spike method and make a dragon hoodie. Whatever you do with it, I’d love to see!
These are fast, simple, and so customizable! They are sized for toddlers and elementary kids, but it’s easy to size them up using the same methods – it just takes about double the fabric.
First things first: as with anything that goes around your child’s neck, please, please keep an eye on them! I use a velcro closure which is less likely to get stuck, but please use common sense when your child is wearing their cape and don’t leave them unattended. Feel free to sell capes made from this tutorial, but you are responsible for your own safety disclaimers.
Here’s a pattern for the hood and a cheat sheet for you (click to download). The hood goes all the way to the edge of the page.
You will also need:
- One yard of fleece
- 1/4 yard constrast fleece
- Small amount polyfill
- 1″ of 1″ or 3/4″ velcro
- Regular sewing supplies (I like to use a walking foot to keep the fleece from bunching and pulling)
- Ruler and rotary cutter
- Use 3/8″ seam allowance unless noted otherwise
First, keep your fleece folded in half and then fold it again (selvedges to center fold).
Using your ruler and rotary cutter, even out that edge. Depending on the weight of your fleece, you may need to go over it more than once. I prefer a lightweight fleece to make this easier.
Open it up so there’s only one fold again. We’re going to be cutting a half circle. You can use the string-tied-to-a-pen method, this awesome free template, or use your ruler like I do. You want the top line to be about six inches from the fold.
The bottom line will be the full width of the fabric: 28 to 30 inches, depending on the exact width of your fleece. This part doesn’t have to be super accurate, so long as it looks even!
Cut out a right and left hood from the leftover section at the bottom. I had a remnant on the end of this cut, but the hood will fit fine on a yard.
When you cut out the cape, cut just inside the Sharpie marks so they don’t show.
Then cut open the fold so you have two cape pieces and set aside.
Keeping your contrast fabric folded in half, fold it in half again, like before. Cut a four inch strip lengthwise (it will end up 4″ x approximately 60″). I like to use a fairly lightweight fleece for this, too, so it’s easier to cut. I have also used minky and scraps from a tee shirt and they both turned out great!
Starting at the side with the two folds, line your ruler up with one corner and move the bottom over 1.5″. Cut.
Cut out the spikes one way, measuring three inches between the cuts.
Then turn your ruler and cut them the other way. Your spikes will end up four inches tall and three inches wide at the base.
You will need around fifteen and this will give you some to mess up :) Sew two together along the long edges (wrong sides together) leaving the short bottom edge open. Use 1/4 inch seam allowance. Put your needle down when you get to the end of the first side and lift the foot to turn the spike. This part gets pretty tedious, but keep going and you’ll be done sooner than you think!
Stuff each with a small amount of polyfill. You only want enough to make the spike stand up on it’s own. I don’t turn the stitching to the inside because I like the look, but if you prefer, you can stitch them right sides together and then turn.
Now open up your hood and position the spikes along the rounded edge. I like to use five or six. Use plenty of pins to keep it from shifting around! Make sure to leave about 1/2″ at the bottom so you can attach the cape.
Re-match the hoods and pin some more.
Sew along this edge, backstitching at both ends. I also like to use a wide and tight zigzag to finish the seam and make it more sturdy. When you open it right side out, it will look like this:
Use the same method to add spikes along the long straight edge of the cape that you cut open, making sure to leave 1/2″ at the neck again.
Cut two 3″x2″ pieces from either your main or contrast fleece and fold in half. You could go ahead and make a tube and flip it right side out, but I don’t bother!
Sew on your velcro to each end. I like to sew a box with an x through it. Line it up with the edges of the hood, leaving about 1/2″ at the top to be folded over later.
If you keep the velcro pieces attached for this step, you won’t accidentally sew them in backwards (don’t ask how long and how many un-picks it took for me to figure that out!). Sew another box with an x to attach these.
This is a good time to add in a hang loop made from a long, thin scrap and a tag.
Match the hood up to the cape, right sides together. Starting from the middle seams, pin together. The hood will not go all the way to the edge of the cape. Just make sure it matches up in front. Since you cut the hood on the bias, it should have just enough stretch that you can ease it a little if you need to. Sew all the way from the cape edge to edge.
Then you can fold the top edge of the cape inside and topstitch the whole way around the neckline.
And there it is! These work great for a quick Halloween sew or just to beef up your dress-up box. They would also make sweet birthday or Christmas presents and they’re so quick you could even whip one up the night before!
You’ll want to hand wash in soapy water and line dry to keep those spikes from getting munched.
If you make one, I’d love to see it! The giveaway is closed (congratulations Erin!) but you can go to this post to see way more pictures :)