This easy cloak has only 3 seams (unless you're doubling the width). It's a great last-minute project if you need something with a high neck. Depending on the material, it could also be a warm layer for trick-or-treaters in cool climates.
- A couple yards of fabric. (I like to use "double backed flannel" - really thick flannel - or lightweight wool. If the fabric is too thin, it won't flow right.) See Fabric, below.
- Yard or so of decorative cord or drapery cord. (Ribbon is too light!)
- Sewing machine
- Needle & thread (to make channel narrow, and if you want to do it by hand).
- You're going to turn the fabric so the that the selvage (machine-finished edges) are the sides. This way, you won't have to sew the sides, too.
- Once you figure out how long you want the cloak to be, add several inches for the collar and hem. (See the directions to figure out how much).
- For a floor-length cape, measure from your neck to the floor, going over the shoulders, and add 2-3 inches for hem and flow (more if you have big hips, etc.). Then decide how high you want your collar to be and double that amount. For a 3" high collar, add 6". I'm about 5' 3" with generous hips and a yard and a half is plenty long enough.
- If you want it wider, you can get 2 pieces and sew them down the center. The regular width works well for kids and average-size adults. If you're bigger or just want it voluminous, buy twice this amount. Cut it in half, sew the 2 pieces together down the center (two selvages together) and then treat it as one piece.
- All measurements for this are guesstimates - just add a few inches to be on the safe side, and hem the bottom last.
- Fold the desired height of the collar down and either pin or iron into place (my preference).
- About 1/2" from the bottom of the fold, sew 2 seams, about 1" apart.
- Run cord through the channel you created and gather until the top fits comfortably around your neck.
- Tie knot in cord at one end near the gather, and then, using needle & thread, sew just a few stitches at the edge to make channel too narrow for knot to pass through. Repeat for other end.
- Try on cape and note where the hem should be. (A second pair of hands will come in handy if you're making this for yourself.)
- Hem to desired length. I leave this for the very last in case I miscalculated the length in either direction (if I made it too short, I make the hem as small as possible; if too long, hem to desired length and cut off excess).
For kids, make sure it doesn't drag the floor or they can trip while trick-or-treating. An inch or two above the floor is good for kid-length. Also, use caution with cords for young children, as they can be a choking hazard.