Saturday, 2 March 2013

Little Red Riding Hood Cape Tutorial

World Book Day is coming - whoooo-hooo!

That means one thing - the chance to dress up and play out our favourite stories.  We've recently been spending lots of time in the woods in our role as Forestry Commission Bloggers, and coincidentally, their theme this year is 'Fairy Tales', so you see, it all fits in perfectly because our favourite story is Little Red Riding Hood.

We have lots of copies and different versions at home, from the traditional Brothers Grimm version (too nightmare-inducing at the moment) to modern, more amusing versions.

It's a story we often re-tell when walking in the forest.  Our dog becomes the big bad wolf, and of course I get lumbered with playing Grandma.  But now I've made a cape to add to the mix, I know we're going to have even more fun.

I kept the cape simple to make - I'm no seamstress!  There's no pattern, I just did it by eye, measuring it up against my daughter as I went.

You will need:

  • 75-100cm of red fabric (depending on the length of cape you want, my daughter is 5yrs and we used 75cm).  This fabric is 150cm wide. Velvet; fleece or faux fur is ideal.  Check out markets and Asian stores for good value fabrics.
  • same amount of poly-satin for the lining - if your fabric is non-fray and has a nice reverse, you can skip this step
  • Matching red cotton
  • 150 cm of red satin or velvet ribbon

Begin by laying both fabrics together, back to back so the good sides are facing outwards. Pin together to keep in place. If you are not lining your cape, skip this part.

Fold the fabric in half (along the long length).  Then, cutting through all 4 layers together (or just the 2 layers if you're not lining) cut a nice curved shape off one of the corners.  This will mean when the cape hangs from the shoulders, you wont have ugly square corners.

Open out the fabric and turn over the edges twice, rolling in the edge of the lining and secure with pins.  Hand stitch all the way around.

Next, place the cape over the child's head (the long straight edge is your top, the curved shorter edge, the bottom).  Gather by hand around the shoulders, and shape into place to make the hood.  Carefully mark the points where the two edges meet under the chin and at the back of the neck.  Mark with tailors chalk and then lift off over the head.

Your fabric will then naturally be folded in half, with the points marked like so:

Open your fabric out flat, and on the inside mark a sweeping curved line joining the points up.  This will be the base of the hood.

Take some double thickness cotton, tie a secure knot in one end then stitch a wide running stitch all the way along that curved line.

Now hold on to both ends of the thread and pull to gather.  Arrange the gathers and folds as you like, checking for fit as you go.  Now it's beginning to look like a cape.

Open out flat again, careful to keep it gathered as you want, and lay your ribbon over the lining where your running stitch is.  Be sure you have even lengths left for the tie at the ends.  Pin into place holding the gathers in situ.

Machine zigzag the ribbon in place, securing the gathers.  Remove pins and you're done!  For younger children, if you are not comfortable with a ribbon tie round the neck for safety reasons, cut the ribbon back close to the cape edge and stitch some velcro or press studs on instead.

Now you're ready for skipping through the forest.

What's your favourite character for World Book Day?  Do you love traditional fairy stories, or do you prefer more contemporary books?


  1. Wow! That turned out super gorgeous! Love it. And great to get photos in the snow with it! The perfect contrast!!


  2. Lovely! I'm planning a cloak/cape for the dressing up box and this is a great way of doing it. Need to make some wings first though!

    1. Thanks Mel. It's much simpler than sewing on a separate hood and it works really well, it didn't take very long at all x

  3. I wrote a really incisive, thought provoking and generally ace comment which seems to have gone missing.

    Basically it said: nice cape.

    Also love the snowy pictures.

  4. Hi! Just to let you know that I featured your Riding Hood cape on my blog! Go check it out!

  5. Thank you so much.I am not much of a sewer but your tutorial was so easy that I made my daughter's red riding hood costume in an hour.Thanks again

  6. N your daughter us really adorable.N the pics are really nice