My 5-year-old nephew is VERY into superheroes, so I made him a cape so he could be his own kind of superhero. But I couldn’t find a pattern anywhere (not even in Halloween costume pattern books), so I made one up. I’m putting my pattern on this site in case it might help somebody else. It’s a superman-type cape (see the pictures), with Velcro at the collar so if it catches on anything it will easily break free.
My nephew’s measurements:
neck 10-1/2” around
22” from the base of his neck to the back of his knees
shoulders 12” wide
I wanted it to be sturdy and washable, so I chose sturdy red cotton cloth (broadcloth, I think) and used the same material for the lining of the cape, and regular cotton fabric for the icon on the back of the cape. I used a ½” seam allowance for sewing the cape.
I wanted the cape to end up being 15” wide at the shoulders and 22” long from the back of the neck to the bottom, so I chalked a rectangle 16” wide (with seam allowances) and 22.5 inches long (with bottom seam allowance). I added 7.5” to each side on the bottom of the cape (in order to end up with 30” base plus two seam allowances), and drew a straight line up to form a triangle with the 16” top. This gave me a trapezoid!
Now comes the geometry part: a circle (neck) with a 10.5” circumference is about 3.5” in diameter (1.7” in radius), so I added material to the top to run forward over his shoulders to the front of his neck (3.5” plus 0.5” seam allowance = 4”). I added this as a 4”x16” rectangle at the top of the trapezoid and rounded off the corners (by eye). Finally, I drew a circle that touched the very top and was 3” in diameter. I will describe later how I cut ½” radiating slices around the neck circle before attaching the collar, and this produces a 4” diameter neck.
So, I cut this cape shape out of the cape material, and then used fusible web according to directions to attach a yellow-gold letter C to a square of black cotton (and zigzag-stitched around it in matching thread), then used fusible web to attach the square to one of the layers of red cape (and zigzag-stitched around it in matching black). This gave me my ‘C’ icon.
I laid the two identical cape pieces with right sides together and stitched around, stopping at the neck hole. Turn the cape right-side out and iron the edges, then sew around the cape (1/2” from the edge) so the layers will stay together correctly. I then cut ½” radiating slices around the neck circle. I used stiff fusible webbing (slightly smaller than the collar) to line the collar, then folded it in half (lengthwise, fusible out, and sewed the short ends closed. I turned the collar right-side out and turned in (and ironed) the ½” at the bottom of the collar to hide the ends. I then pinned the collar so that the cut neck tabs were inserted into the inside of the collar, and sewed it. The collar is extra long (to allow the child to grow) so it will extend a couple of inches beyond the edge of the cape (at the start of the neck hole) - but sew the bottom of those parts of the collar shut. Sew Velcro onto the neck, making sure to put the prickly part on the part that faces away from the neck, and the soft part on the side of the collar that will be farthest from his skin.
That’s it! By the way, I also got a simple ring kit from the craft store and made him superhero rings with a replica of the ‘C’ icon (I gave him one and his mother several extra in case he breaks or loses them).