Free Superhero Cape Tutorial

Here you have it, the most popular, free sewing pattern for superhero capes on the internet. Thanks for coming and be sure to enter your photos in the Flickr Pool to win great prizes like fabric, patterns, and more!

NOW AVAILABLE: I have two size ranges of my PDF cape pattern in my shop now – sizes 2-7 AND 8-11. All the hard work is done for you for only $3.99!! The patterns also include TONS of fun applique patterns to make your own superhero logo. Visit my shop today!

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Batman on one side and Superman on the other.

You can also make a girl version with a princess crown on one side and a Supergirl symbol on the other. I used pink and purple, but you could use your daughter’s favorite colors.

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The instructions are for a Batman/Superman cape, but you could also make SuperWHY, Wonder Woman, or whatever your little one desires.

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Click here to view my entire selection of free superhero applique patterns!

Materials (Boy)
3/4 yard black fabric
3/4 yard red fabric
1 sheet each of red, yellow, and black felt (see picture below)
Heat n Bond Lite (fusible web)
red thread
black thread
small piece of Velcro
Download and print out Superman and Batman applique patterns

felt
This is what the felt rack looks like at my Joann’s. Many fabric stores carry small pieces of craft felt (not wool!) that are very inexpensive. I think these were $.50 each.

If your child is older or taller, or if you just want the cape to be a lot longer than mine you might need to buy one yard of each fabric (or more).

All of the directions below can be applied to the girl cape, except use the princess crown applique instead of the batman applique. I’ve done a girl version in dark pink on one side and light pink on the other and it looks totally fantastic.

1. Measure your child from the shoulder down to the knee. This will be measurement A. You can decide how wide you would like your cape, or you can use my suggestion which is 20″.

2. Fold your fabric in half selvage to selvage. Using the picture below, mark your fabric with chalk or a fabric marker. The side measurement is A and the bottom is 10″ (or half of your desired width). **NOTE** I have a PDF version of the pattern for sale in my shop for just $5.75!

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3. Cut out on your chalk lines. Place your black cape on top of your red fabric on the fold. Trace or pin and cut.

4. Using your printouts of the Superman and Batman (or princess) images, trace onto the paper side of the Heat n Bond Lite. Each image needs two pieces of felt, so for the Batman symbol trace the oval separate from the bat. For the Superman symbol, trace the triangle and the “S” separately.

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5. Cut apart each shape (NOT on the lines!).

6. Iron the shapes onto the felt according to the directions on your fusible web. It only takes a few seconds to fuse the paper on.

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7. Cut out each shape on the lines. Peel paper off.

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8. Iron the shapes onto the right side of the cape. Batman on the black; Superman on the red.

**It is very common for red fabrics to change color with heat (temporarily!). Do not be alarmed if your red fabric has darker spots where you ironed. Once the fabric cools off it will return to its normal color.**

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9. Stitch around the edges of the appliques. I like to use a regular zigzag stitch at the default width. Since felt does not fray in the wash, there is no need to cover the edges completely. However, if you are a pro with applique, a satin stitch would look very nice.

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10. Pin cape pieces right sides together and stitch using a 1/2″ seam allowance. Leave a six inch opening on the bottom for turning it inside out.

11. Trim seam allowances and clip curves (clip valleys, notch mountains).

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12. Turn the cape right side out and press.

13. Edgestitch around the entire cape (using black thread on the top and red thread in the bobbin).

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Try the cape on your child and mark where you want the velcro to go. Stitch velcro on. One piece will go on the red side and one on the black side. I get questions about this occasionally because it is a little confusing. Just trust me that you’ll never see the velcro when it is fastened. :)

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All done! One happy little boy (or girl)!

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***Please do not sell items that you make from this tutorial or with my applique patterns. I offer the applique patterns for free, but they are copyrighted images, so they shouldn’t be sold. :)***

593 comments

  1. [...] Cape Tutorial Georgia from Puking Pastilles created this Superhero Cape Tutorial with girl and boy-friendly versions (her daughter’s has a princess crown on one side and a [...]

  2. ~jackie says:

    I would like to contact you privately regarding this sewing pattern – if you wouldn’t mind, of course.

    Thanks!

  3. zannestar says:

    What a great tutorial! Your kids must be estatic. The capes look amazing.

  4. Jorja says:

    Thank you, zannestar!

    Of course, jackie–I will email you right now.

  5. Meg Eskander says:

    I was wondering, how do you place the velcro so that you dont see it when it is on the reverse side? Why doesn’t the red side velcro show when you have it on the batman side?
    I am a total novice, so any advice is helpful! What a great looking cape!

  6. Jorja says:

    Meg–good question! I didn’t address that and I should have. Separate the velcro and sew one piece on a red side and the other piece on a black side. Look closely at the last picture in the post and see how the pieces lay on top of each other. The velcro is inbetween these two pieces. I hope that makes sense. Let me know if you need further assisstance and I can send you some pictures. Happy Sewing!

  7. Valerie says:

    I’m going to give this a try for my son’s 5th birthday. He wants a superhero themed party. I”m not the best sewer. I’ve made a number of things, but with help. How would you rate this project on the scale of 1 to 10 (ten being the hardest)?? It is SO cute. I’m sure your kids are very happy that you are so creative! :)

  8. Alyssa says:

    Thank you, thank you thank you so much for this great pattern! My son loves the main superhero from the pbs cartoon super WHY!, so I thought I’d make him a super Why! costume for halloween, but I had no idea how to make a cape! You have helped me so much I cant wait to tell my husband and get started making it! Again thank you very much! I’ll be back to post pics when I’m done!

  9. Jorja says:

    Valerie–This is very easy to make. The hardest part is the applique (sewing around the edges of the batman and superman logos). You can easily simplify this by sewing very slowly and by using the zigzag stitch that I suggest in the tutorial. I would rate this a 3, I think. Just take it slowly and you can do it! I’m sure he will love it. Let me know if you have any more questions!

    Alyssa–I can’t wait to see pictures! I was just mulling over in my head how to make a Super WHY! costume too! My 4yo adores it:)

  10. robin says:

    Thank you sooo much…My son has recently become enthralled with Wonder Pets, so I am off to make a Wonder Pets cape. Thanks again

  11. kristie says:

    i am wondering what fabric you (or anyone who has made one of these) use or what you think works best?! i have seen a cape in a magazine recently that was made out of a polyester satin and i was wondering if you thought or know if that material is easy to work with when making your adorable capes! can you even iron on to polyester satin? any help you can send my way would be much appreciated. thanks so much.

  12. Jorja says:

    kristie–I just use 100% cotton, but you could use polyester satin. It would be more difficult to work with, but it would be shiny! I don’t *think* ironing would be a problem, but definitely test it out first. The cotton wears better (in that it is more durable). Polyester satin tends to get pulls in it. Good luck!

    robin–good luck! I must go google wonder pets now…

  13. Jorja says:

    by the way, I just realized that the whole copyright disclaimer at the end sounds super militant. I meant that we can’t go around selling stuff with Superman on it without giving proper due to whoever (whomever??) owns the copyright to that logo. :) :) That’s all.

  14. Lorene says:

    I have to tell you, many years ago – over 20 years ago! I made my sons capes! almost exactly like yours. I have been looking high and low for the pattern to make my grandsons! thank you for posting! your insturctions are very good. thanks again….

    Lorene

  15. robin says:

    I just wanted to say thank you again…My son woke up this morning to his wonder pets cape and was tickled! We have been playing with it all day and having a blast! Thanks

  16. kristie says:

    thank you for your quick response concerning the fabric you use for these capes! i can’t wait to make one.

  17. Meg Eskander says:

    Another novice question:
    Thanks so much for responding to me! I totally understand what you mean. Now i have another question…for the edgestitching…is that just a single stragiht-line stitch? Do you do it close to the edge?
    This is so nice that you have posted this and are taking time to answer questions. My son is going to be supergrover and on the reverse i will do superman!

  18. Jorja says:

    Meg–Supergrover, what a great idea! Yes, it is a single straight stitch very close to the edge. Try to find a mark on your presser foot or on the machine itself to help you make it a uniform width from the edge. The edge stitching will help keep the layers together when you wash it (and makes it look more professional). I hope everyone will send me pictures of your finished capes!

  19. Alyssa says:

    I am having a hard time figuring out how to do the rest of the costume, have any suggestions?

  20. Jorja says:

    Alyssa–I am just about to get started on mine, so I will take pictures as I go for you. My son has a Spiderman costume, so I was going to copy that pattern. I already bought some blue and green tricot (which is really cheap, if you can find it). I bought 3/4 yard of each, but I’m thinking it will be more than I need. We’ll see! You might be able to find a pattern for a form fitting costume of some sort at the fabric store and go from there.

  21. Alyssa says:

    ok that sounds great! Thanks for all your help!

  22. [...] you might want to try making this adorable pucca costume at zakka life, or perhaps even attempt the reversable superhero costume at Puking [...]

  23. Sharon says:

    Hi, Jorja. I’m glad to have found your website. I am going to make a Word Girl (PBS character) cape for my daughter for Halloween. She is *very* particular about details. So I need to ask you about the shape of the fabric around the neck. She wants the fabric to be closer around her neck everywhere. How do I make the cut in the correct shape? Did you just free-hand make the chalk line on your black fabric? How do I determine the correct shape for a closer fit? My daughter was hoping for the piece that connects with velco would instead meet cleanly in the center with a straight line and a snap. Closure is not as important as the shape fitting around the neck. How do I make it to fit closely around her neck?

  24. Jorja says:

    Sharon–Wow, she is particular! I would start with a really cheap piece of fabric you have (or an old sheet or something you were planning on giving to Goodwill anyway) and try the shape shown in the picture. The finished cape I have shown in the pictures is actually a *tad* bit different around the neck than the pattern shown. The one in the pattern will work better for your situation. If you want it to fit closer to her neck, don’t cut as shallow a neck hole (instead, cut it higher). This would be the line on the fold at the top of the pattern. Start an inch or so higher here and draw the rest of the pattern the same as the picture. You can also cut the “straps” (or the pieces that connect on the front of the neck) closer to the fold of the fabric. You might have to try it once or twice on the practice fabric before you get it right. Be sure to remember that seam allowances are already added in the pattern (so it will be 1/2″ smaller finished).

    Additionally, I would shy away from a snap depending on how old she is. I always use velcro because it will pull away easily just in case it got snagged somewhere. Think Edna in the Incredibles (“NO Cape!”). Just a suggestion:) I know how it is to have a child be really particular about clothing, though so I understand that it might not be negotiable…hehe.

    By the way, we love Word Girl. Such a smart little show!

  25. Sharon says:

    Jorja — Thank you so much for your prompt and detailed reply. I truly appreciate your help. You are a valued and experienced seamstress. I’ll give-it-a-go. By the way, your opening line to me made me laugh out loud. Thanks. Lucky I didn’t awake the meticulous little darling.

    Thanks also for your caution about snaps. You are right. I’ll have to sell her on velcro.

    Thanks again! Also, you have such pretty hair! It is so wonderful that you chose to share it with someone in need of hair due to an illness.

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