Cloaks, both with and without hoods, were very popular in the olden days. This type of garment is loose fitting and is worn over indoor clothing. It keeps out the cold, like a coat, except it is sleeveless. Some cloaks are waterproof and were commonly used as raincoats.
In fact, many emergency kits still include a form of plastic or rubber cloak. They can be rolled up into a small ball, so they won’t take up too much room in the emergency kit. Yet, when unfolded, they are large enough to wrap completely around yourself for warmth and keep the rain at bay in case you are caught outdoors when trouble hits.
A cloak is easy to remove and doesn’t constrain you with cumbersome sleeves. Over time cloak designs have been changed to match fashion and available textiles. However, most cloaks today are used mostly for dress-up as part of a costume.
So how do you make a hooded cloak? Making a hooded cloak is as easy as 5 simple steps: measure and cut the fabric, sew the pieces together, choose what style of hood you want and sew the hood onto the cloak, and attach the closure.
Cloaks generally fasten at the neck or over the shoulder and the usual length is about mid-calf. But, they can range from the hip down to the ankle. Other variations include a hood, fasteners down the front or completely closed all around like a poncho.
They generally have holes or slits on the side for your hands or arms to get out and are almost always sleeveless.
How to Sew a Hooded Cloak
Cloaks are used with a variety of costumes from princesses to wizards and appear in just about every fantasy play. So, if you need a cloak for personal use as a special dress-up party or have been tasked with creating the costumes for an upcoming performance, you have come to the right place!
The first step is to choose your fabric.
You can make a cloak out of just about any fabric, including plastic and rubber. It all depends on the look you want to create. If this is your first time making a cloak, you may want to choose cheap cotton so that you are not out too much money in case it doesn’t turn out quite right.
The lining is generally shiny, like satin, but again, if this is your first time, inexpensive cotton will be fine.
Velvet is one of the most popular choices for the outer fabric and satin for the lining. But, keep in mind, both of these fabrics are quite slippery and more difficult to sew.
Experienced sewers can work with these easy, however, beginners might find it daunting and difficult to work with these materials.
What You’ll Need
This project is about making a hooded cloak. You will need:
- Sewing machine – Pretty much any sewing machine will work. You could even sew the whole thing by hand if you like, but a sewing machine will make the job much quicker and easier. There aren’t any complicated sewing techniques required, so a simple machine is just fine.
- The Brother RLX3817A 17-Stitch Sewing Machine is a renewed model, however, it works and looks like brand new! It’s Perfect for beginners not wanting to fork out a ton of money until they have honed their craft.
- Basic sewing skills – You don’t need to be an expert to make a hooded cloak. If you can sew a straight line and maybe a curve here and there, you are golden!
- 3 – 5 yards of fabric – Any type of fabric will be fine. But, some could give you more trouble than others.
- If you get a fabric that frays easily, you will have to hem the edges to keep your cloak from falling apart prematurely. Sewing the edges is not necessarily a bad thing, just a bit time-consuming. And it could add a great look to the finished project!
- On the other hand, a fabric that doesn’t fray doesn’t need any hemming at all and looks great! Fleece is an example of a fabric that won’t fray and doesn’t need hemming. And just think how warm and snugly a fleece cloak can be!
- Baum Textiles Winter Fleece Northern Lights Fabric is absolutely adorable! It is the perfect choice for a wizard cloak and very easy to work with.
- A pattern or some type of design – Buy or create a basic pattern.
- Simplicity Women’s Cape is a great choice. This product has three different styles to choose from. You can scale down the pattern if you are making a cloak for a smaller person or increase the dimensions a bit for a larger cloak. As long as you follow the basic outline of the pattern, you’ll be fine.
- Thread, scissors, tape measure, pins, and needles – The thread you choose will depend largely on the type of fabric you are using. You want a strong, reliable thread that comes in an appropriate color for your cloak.
- Some type of closure – Like a clasp, a button, or a fancy ribbon.
Step By Step Instructions – 5 Easy Steps
Okay…let’s get started!
Step 1: Measure and cut the fabric
Layout the pattern and carefully cut the material. Double-check everything before you cut! You can’t easily fix a bad cut, so make sure to cut carefully.
The length of the cloak can be adjusted. You don’t have to follow the pattern on the length, just make sure to add about an inch to allow for the hem and about five inches for the neckline.
The amount of fabric you need is approximately your height times 3. For example, if you are 5′ 5” that is 65 inches, plus 1 inch for the hem and 5 inches for the neckline = 71 x 3 = 213. Now divide that by 36 to see how many yards you need. That is about 6 yards.
You may want to add an extra yard for the hood. Also, keep in mind that this is 6 yards for the outer layer and 6 yards for the lining.
After you cut the fabric, the unfolded piece should look like a semi-circle. Continue to cut out all of the pieces according to your pattern and then repeat this step for the lining.
You should now have all of the pieces you need for the outer and inner layers of your cloak and hood.
Step 2: Sewing the pieces together
Pin the outer pieces together with the right sides facing each other. Sew all of the outer pieces, leaving a half-inch seam allowance, then iron the seams flat.
Once the outer pieces are done, do the same with the pieces for the lining.
Put the two sections together, with the right sides facing each other. Pin the sides and the bottom and sew them together. Make sure you leave the neckline open. Turn the cloak right side out and iron out the edges.
Step 3: The hood
The hood can be made in different ways. The best choice for first-timers is to follow the pattern and cut the pieces accordingly.
Sew the outer fabric and lining together. Turn the hood right side out and iron flat.
Step 4: Sewing the hood onto the cloak
The bottom edge of the hood should be a perfect fit for the top edge of the cloak. Line up the two pieces and pin them together. The cloak and hood should look complete, except they are not yet sewn together.
Leaving a half-inch seam allowance, sew the two pieces together. Remove the pins and iron the seams flat.
Step 5: Attaching the closure
The closure can be a variety of things. It can be a simple string, like the one on a hoodie. To do this properly, you will need to make a special seam around the outer edge of the hood for the string to be laced through.
Or, you can simply sew the strings or fine ribbon onto the edge of the hood. This can be a very attractive look!
Traditionally, the hook and eye method are used. It is invisible from the outside and keeps the cloak closed securely. For this method, you just sew the hook part on the back of one of the edges and the eye part on the other.
Make sure you don’t sew all the way through to the front of the fabric. This is supposed to be invisible, after all. Other super cool options include the frog closure or an attractive button. There is no right or wrong type of closure. Whatever suits your style is just fine.
And that’s it! Enjoy your new cloak and hood!
You know you can usually rely on me to find the best video tutorial for you. Check out this one by Professor Pincushion on YouTube!