Child’s Cape Pattern & Tutorial

Child's Cape Tutorial + Free Sewing Pattern

My son has endured countless trips to JoAnn fabrics and has never been too excited, until our most recent trip. We walked by this fabric and he yelled, “THOMAS THE TRAIN!”. He held the bolt of fabric the whole time we were in the store, then carried his cut fabric around the house telling me he needed to wear it. So I thought now would be the perfect time to make him a cape so he could wear his special fabric whenever he wanted. I made this pattern to fit his neck size and height but it’s a fairly simple pattern that could be modified for a different size superhero.

To get started you’ll need:

  • Cape pattern (free download here). This pattern is made so the cape ends just above the ankle for a 3T size (36″ tall), so size up or down accordingly for the child you’re making the cape for. You’ll print out 7 total pages, sized at 8.5″x11″. The first 4 pages are the right side of the cape and the last 3 pages are the left side. Just line up the stars and tape the pages together. Make sure you print at 100% and that page scaling is turned off. It will look like this:

cape page layout

  • 2 pieces of fabric cut from cape pattern for the cape front and back. Each piece of fabric will need to be a minimum of 30″ wide x 35″ tall but you may want to give yourself an extra few inches in case your fabric isn’t perfectly square. I used the Thomas the Train cotton fabric (affiliate link) on one side and a navy swimsuit type of fabric on the other side. It’s stretchy so it’s a little more tricky to work with but it resists wrinkles and drapes nicely.
  • Magnets or Velcro for the neck closure. I used a set of magnetic sew-in snaps (affiliate link) that worked perfectly. My son can easily take the cape off and on and it washes well without having to worry about the Velcro wearing out.

To make the cape:

  1. Line up the two pieces of cape fabric with right sides together. Sew around the cape EXCEPT for along the bottom with a 1/4″ seam allowance.
  2. Turn cape right side out and press.
  3. Topstitch around the cape EXCEPT for along the bottom with a 1/4″ seam allowance.
  4. Line up magnets in the neck and make sure the magnetic poles are lined up so the magnets stick and don’t repel each other. The magnets should be inside the of the cape, the photo above just shows the placement.
  5. Sew a seam across the neck pieces right below the magnet to hold it in place. The magnets may want to stick to your sewing machine. If this is the case put a piece of cardboard or thick cloth under the magnet (just make sure you don’t accidentally catch it in the needle!).
  6. Fold the bottom 1 1/2″ of the cape to the inside. If you have trouble folding in the fabric, try cutting off an inch of each corner before folding.
  7. Sew 2 seams across the bottom of the cape, one 3/4″ and one slightly above that.

Have fun sewing for your littler superhero! And if you look closely at the photo below, yes, the little guy is sporting his first black eye. I think it goes along with the cape pretty well.


Book Winner

Congrats to #138, Julie, winner of the Sew What! Bags book. She said, “I would LOVE to win this book!  I love bags and have gotten my granddaughters and daughters addicted to them too.  It would be so fun to make some new bags for all of us!”

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  50 comments for “Child’s Cape Pattern & Tutorial

  1. February 6, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    Lol, guess you can never underestimate the power of Thomas The Tank Engine :oD

  2. Fabric Fascination
    February 6, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    So sweet seeing him enjoy his new cape.

  3. L2L
    February 7, 2012 at 8:24 am

    Love the magnet closures!!!!! Very cute. I think capes have been ALL my children’s favorite, boys and girls alike!!!!

  4. February 7, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    Great cape – super cute fabric too!

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a fabulous week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  5. Tara@Tales of a Trophy WIfe
    February 8, 2012 at 11:21 am

    Every little boy needs a cape!

  6. February 8, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    this is so fun I would love you to add this and any other posts you want to show off to my What We Wore and Made party over at

    • February 9, 2012 at 9:57 am

      Thanks Marissa! Just linked up and added your button to our linky parties page.

  7. February 8, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    I love how you used the magnets! I’ve made my kiddos multiple capes for batman and various other dress up costumes… and I’ve always tied around the neck. Being the paranoid parent that I am I like how this isn’t a choking hazard :-)

  8. Colleen
    February 9, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    what a perfect model is he for you! He is the cutest, smartest, sweetest little guy ever! And so smart and entertaining! How wonderful that he is my grandson… lol grammie boasts!

  9. February 10, 2012 at 8:29 am

    Cute idea with the magnets! i never would have thought to use those! Stopping over from the share the wealth link up at Laugh, Love, Craft. Your little guy is too cute!

  10. February 11, 2012 at 5:59 am

    Love the cape…and love the tutorial! :)

  11. Donna
    February 11, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    What a cutie your son is! I remember dragging my kids to fabric stores too – they had a collection of pajama pants made from prints they picked out. Capes are so fun too- I made my now 20 yr old son a ‘real’ vampire cape for Halloween one year – black lined in red satin, and while it reached the ground for him at the time, it is now a perfect knee length for me so I wear it at Halloween! My little boy turns 20 on Tuesday “sigh” – time flies!

  12. February 12, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    This is awesome.. no little boy is complete without a superhero cape and I just love the Thomas fabric.. soo cute! Thanks so much for sharing your little crimefighter and his cape with the Pink Hippo Party!

  13. February 12, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    What a great cape. I would love it if you would share at our sharing party at Thank you!

  14. Marilyn Kingsley
    February 25, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Thank you so much for the cape pattern. It will get so much use with my “Super Girls”.

  15. Liz
    March 22, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    I’m making one for my little man right now. He’s so excited about it and I can’t wait to see the finished product. Thanks so much for the pattern and tutorial!

  16. Holly
    June 14, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    I only got my sewing machine for my birthday/mothers day prezzie and this is the first thing I have sewn. I found the pattern and directions very easy to follow.

    I couldn’t find the magnets so I did button holes at the neck closure. I then purchased a long sleeve shirt and put buttons on it (so the cape buttons on).
    I also had a go at applique and put a star and letter ‘S’ on the cape, and im currently designing a applique to put on the shirt :) That way it will all match :)

  17. Holly
    June 14, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    oh and thanks 😉

  18. Jeanne
    August 20, 2012 at 11:54 am

    Thank you so much for your time and effort. I was so amazed when I printed the pattern out.You did a fabulous job with it. And thanks for the “hint” of the magnetic closure. I didn’t even know about them and it should work really well for my long-haired granddaughter; no hair pulling.

  19. Kristin
    August 20, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    I just finished making this cape for my 4 year old daughter- she loves it! She picked sparkly pink satin for the outside and dark purple satin for the inside of the cape. I was able to applique a dark purple star on the back. It looks awesome! Thanks so much for the easy pattern and tutorial! Next up- a red one for my 2 year old son!

  20. Andrea Staniford
    August 24, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    LOVE the magnet closures. I have toddler twins who regularly grab each other by the back of a top, to drag their twin where they want to go. I was a bit worried about how they would get on with capes but now they will simply pull the cape off not choke each other. This mummy might yet get to put her feet up while they play YAY!

  21. Victoria
    September 4, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    where do you buy the magnets for the closure and where is the pattern

    • September 8, 2012 at 5:34 pm

      Hi Victoria, If you take a look at the second paragraph of text that begins with “To get started you’ll need:” there’s a bullet point list of the supplies you’ll need. The first bullet point has a link to the pattern and the last bullet point gives more information on the magnets. I used a set of “magnetic sew on snaps” from JoAnn Fabrics. Happy cape making!

  22. Katherine
    October 28, 2012 at 1:51 am

    Thank you for posting this–the pattern worked perfectly for our superkid costumes this year. I sized it up for a 4T and down for a 2T. They look great.

    • Anisha
      September 30, 2017 at 9:56 pm

      How did you size up the cape? I am trying to make the cape for an adult.

  23. Kay
    November 15, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    Thank you for sharing the pattern and directions, I’ve finished the first cape for grandson #1 and it turned out sooo cute, now to make one for grandson #2. I love making fun items for them and your help has been invaluable. I can’t wait to surprise them and their mommy(my daughter).

    • November 20, 2012 at 1:24 pm

      Thanks for letting us know you used the pattern! I’m so glad it turned out for you and hope the boys enjoy them!

  24. Faith Terry
    December 10, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    “If you have trouble printing directly from Google Docs, click the “Download Original” button in the upper right corner and save the file to your computer. Then open that file and print.”

    I have tried to download the pattern several ways, and still cannot get it to print. Any other suggestions?

    There is no ‘download original’ button in the upper right corner. I have tried to save the file, but cannot print. Please help!! I really need to make 2 capes for Christmas for my 3 and 6 yr. old grandsons, and this pattern is the only one I like and want to make!
    Faith Terry

    • December 10, 2012 at 9:28 pm

      Hi Faith! Looks like Google changed a few things since I wrote that post. In the upper left, go to File, then choose Download. I’m also e-mailing you the PDF just to make sure you get it!

  25. Kristen
    December 23, 2012 at 3:12 am

    I just wanted to stop by and say thank you! I made this cape for my son’s 2nd birthday in August, out of the same Thomas material :)
    It turned out beautifully, but of course, he hated it. He is just now starting to mention it when he sees it on the hook in his room, where it patiently waits for him to start feeling his super powers. I have no doubt that one of these days he’ll put it on and take flight!
    Kids are so funny.
    Anyways, thanks again!

    • December 23, 2012 at 5:39 pm

      Kristen, Thanks so much for letting us know it turned out!! I’m so glad you were able to use the tutorial to make a cape for your son. And, I think my photoshoot of my son wearing the cape is the longest he’s ever worn it. I thought it would be his most favorite thing! So I guess that leaves two beautifully and lovingly made Thomas capes without superheroes to wear them. I’m still hoping he starts to love it. You’re right, kids are funny, and so unpredictable!

  26. Wanda
    January 11, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    Mary: Thank you so much for sharing your pattern and instructions. I never would have thought to use magnets. I will be making it for my grandson for his 4th birthday. Thanks again!

  27. Jill
    March 25, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    Delighted to find your pattern of cape. Making it for an infant class who will have a special cape for a ‘Star of the Day’ child.
    Neckline and fastener ….just the job!
    Thank you.

  28. Jeanine
    June 6, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    Thank you so much for the free pattern. My grandson wanted to be superman. Up Up and Away!!!

  29. Allie
    March 17, 2014 at 1:07 am

    Thanks for the tutorial. I made my girlfriends son a Mickey Mouse themed cape. Very easy to make and great tutorial! Also love the magnets as well!

    • March 20, 2014 at 6:07 pm

      Thanks Allie! It’s great to hear back from people when they’ve been able to use a tutorial!

    May 7, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    Thank you so much for this pattern! My son has “superhero day” tomorrow and this is exactly what I was looking for. Made it in a few hours, will be making more. :)

    • May 9, 2014 at 8:24 pm

      Thanks for letting us know, Tanya! It’s always great to hear when our tutorials or patterns are put to use!

  31. Julia
    May 15, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    thanks so much for the cape pattern! it’s perfect!!!!!!!

  32. Charmaine
    January 8, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    Excited to find this! I am having a superhero/Spiderman party for my little guy and will be making capes for all the kiddos as their “party favor”! Wish me luck!!!

    • January 16, 2015 at 9:49 am

      Great idea Charmaine, you’ll have to let us know how they all turn out!

  33. Allyson
    January 18, 2015 at 12:14 am

    Thanks for the great pattern and tutorial. I just got my first sewing machine of my own, and chose this as my first project. My three-year-old now has a pink and purple cape with an Elsa blue supergirl “S.” I love the magnet closure, and FYI I ordered them on Amazon.

  34. Sandra
    September 30, 2015 at 7:46 pm

    I found this just in time to make a ‘Super Hero Cape’ for my little friend who is turning 2. His mom can have her towel back, and I’ll get extra points for this. Thanks for the idea and for making it so easy.

    • September 30, 2015 at 9:32 pm

      Thanks for letting us know you were able to use the pattern! I’m glad you enjoyed it and I hope your little friend does too!

  35. Anne
    October 23, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    Thank you so much for posting this pattern and instructions. It is perfect for me as it is clear and not too hard. I’m making a cape for my three-year-old grand daughter and she will love it! Thank you, thank you!

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