DIY: Batman cape costume for children

When I was buying fabric for my daughter’s Butterfly Wing Cape, I got two pieces of velvet fabrics for capes. My son asked for black fabric for his cape. Initially, I was going for a plain cape. Then I decided do sew him a Batman Cape costume for pretend play. I googled for resources and found Vanilla Joy‘s “The Nearly No-Sew Batman Cape” instructions for starters. I modified the hood, didn’t cut out scallops on the skirt since I was using velvet instead of fleece and my Batman Cape needed a bit more sewing than hers (hemming).

IMG_7777Vanilla Joy has really good, step by step instructions on how to cut the cape with an arc. If you are confused here, please visit her page.

  1. I folded the fabric onto its right sides. I measured my son’s arm span to his wrists (53″) and marked the top edge at 26,5″ from the neck (top right corner in the photo).
  2. Then I measured the length of the cape skirt we wanted and marked 36″ at the bottom (bottom left in the photo). Don’t forget that you are going to sew about 10″ in to the sleeves. So determine your length accordingly.
  3. Pinning the measuring tape to the corner of the neck (top left in the photo) I drew a semi-circle (about a quarter of a circle) w/ 36″ radius until I reached the salvage edge of the fabric.
  4. I drew a straight line from the 18″ mark from the top edge to the end of the arc on the side and cut a diagonal. Here is the cape part.

IMG_7778I used one of his hoody’s to cut out a pattern for the hood. I initially cut out a plain hood which turned out to be small for his head.
IMG_7061When I was cutting out a bigger one – added an inch and a half all over – I added a quarter of a circle to the forehead of the pattern. You can see the final pattern I cut and sew was more or less like a helmet. I even cut out neck bands, with the intention of adding velcro.
IMG_7775I sew the sleeves in and hood pieces together. Then I sew the hood to the cape. Another step I did different than Vanilla Joy’s Batman Cape was to cut the neck of the cape, matching my hood pattern, not matching the neck of a shirt.
IMG_7040 Here is the finished cape. When the first hood didn’t fit his head at the initial rehearsal, he was closely involved in the rest of the process. When I made the mask hood, he didn’t want eye holes and told me to leave it like that. I didn’t cut out scallop patterns on the skirts of the cape, since velvet was going to roll up. I hemmed the edges and left the plain arc.
IMG_7048 I put cardstock triangles in ears to hold them up, since velvet is softer than fleece.

My son loves his cape – even though he was less than enthusiastic to pose in it. I was glad that I was able to sew him something he enjoys because sewing options for boys are very limited compared to girls and I always feel guilty that I sew more for my daughter.

You can find my other easy, almost no sew Halloween costume or pretend play costume ideas under “Children’s Costumes” tag.


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