DIY Super Hero Cape tutorial

My husband loves Zara with all his heart but has watched Lion King approximately 27,173 times. He was flipping through HBO to see if there was a different children’s movie when Superman Returns came on. Z was transfixed when she saw the flying scene. After she watched it several times, I had to get involved as well. I read a whole bunch of different ways to make a cape and came up with a combination of methods plus a bit of my own ingenuity added in. Here’s my DIY Super Hero Cape tutorial.

Cape re 1First thing we had to do was find an old red t-shirt which my sweet hubby supplied. As he is 6’6″ this cape will be long enough for many years to come. The trickiest part was to see how much neck band to leave.

Keep this in mind when you are cutting off the parts that you don’t need. Make sure that you keep the neck band intact and the back.

I cut off the sleeves and the front but kept the entire neck band. I had the whole back hanging off of it and tried to see how much of a neck band she needed for a comfortable fit. I had to guess as she didn’t really like this stage.Cape re 2

Super heroes can be temperamental!

I took my tape measure to help draw a straight line from the neck band to the end of the shirt. I discovered that old t-shirts are not overly easy to straighten. This one was stretched out of alignment so I did the best I could.

Cape re 3

I used my rotary cutter and my longest ruler to cut a straight line. I kept the hem that was already in the shirt. I liked the weight of it, I figured it would keep the cape hanging a bit better. Cape re 5

But you could cut to the height of your child. You could just cut it off or hem it.

I ironed a piece of wonder under on a piece of yellow fabric that I have had in my stash for decades. I was so excited to use it.

I used a pencil and free hand drew a Z. It was hard to see it so in I drew a line over it. I actually did a better job making a Z than this picture appears.

Cape re 6

I cut out the Z and peeled off the back of the paper. I love Wonder Under but you have to be careful when you peel. Make sure it is affixed.

I then ironed it down onto the cape. I suppose you could just leave it. But I could not. Cape re 8

I used the blanket stitch on my machine to sew the Z down. You could also use the zig zag or even a straight stitch. If you don’t sew it down, I wouldn’t ever wash it!

I did not want ties around Zara’s neck. I opted for velcro. If she gets caught on something, it will come open. Ties or buttons might now.

Cape re 9I used zig zag stitch on this. And yes, it was a tiny bit annoying to have to change the thread for such a little itty bit of sewing.

If you don’t sew, I would get the stick on kind of velcro. Don’t sew with it however, it will gunk up your machine. I learned that one the hard way.

The last step is to find a Super Hero to model the cape. I happened to have Super Z around my house and she was very happy to comply. Cape re 10

She and my husband had an absolute riot with this cape. He held onto her and pretended she was flying. She had her legs straight out and her arms straight in front of herself. He made appropriate wind noises.

She took it home with her and plays with it all the time. She puts it on and runs around, likes to jump off things and proclaim she is flying.

Yes, it does make me smile that we sent all that fun home! (You’re welcome Emily!)

Here’s a video of what Zara thinks is happening while she wears her cape.

Sew happy!

Want to join in with other fun posts and quilt funnies? Check out my Facebook page. Like the page and join the conversation! If you want to keep reading my blog, you can subscribe. To do so, type your email address in the box and click the “create subscription” button. You will receive a verification email. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.

I also wrote a post about how to make fabric tea bags for little kid pretend fun. Read it here!

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    Kathy Mathews

    My passions are quilting and sewing. Add to that French, Spanish, books, swimming, travels, new restaurants, yoga and chocolate and you have me. All of these are best shared with family and friends. Except for chocolate, don't touch my chocolate. You can email me at

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