any advice on making capes?
Ooh, I love capes!
Types of capes:
There are different types of capes. Let's take a look at a few options.
Rectangle cape: the type of cape American superheroes wear. They consist out of a simple rectangle that can be tied or clasped at the neck. Use gathered fabric for extra fullness. This type of cape won't give you a lot of warmth as it will only cover your back.
Quarter circle cape: slightly more flared than a rectangle cape, but will still only cover your back.
Half circle cape: will cover both your back and shoulders and some of your body, which will give you extra warmth. Great for drama!
Fitted half circle cape: similar to a half circle cape, but made out of three separate pieces to fit around your body better. It won't cover you completely, but it will cover your back, shoulders, and more of your body than a normal half circle cape would.
Full circle cape: this cloak will cover your full body and keep you nice and warm.
Savvy sewists will notice these cape types are similar to circle skirts. The idea's basically the same. Instead of making a skirt, you leave your circle open in the front, and cut a hole that fits your neck rather than your waist.
(Image source) [ID: drawing showing five types of coats: rectangle, quarter circle, half circle, half fitted circle, full circle. Text: "Capes and cloaks. www.facebook.com/aliceincosplayland".]
Aside of volume, you can also play around with length. A floor-length cape has a very different effect and function than a cape that reaches your hips, or even a capelet.
(Image source) [ID: a pattern diagram showing four different cape lengths: floor length, hip length, waist length, and a capelet. Text: "6535 Front and back views. Newlook."]
Details like a hood or armholes can make your cape extra comfortable, and you've got a wide range of options when it comes to fasteners, too.
(Image source) [ID: back view of a long gray half circle cape that's been pleated at the shoulders.]
(Image source) [ID: a purple capelet with a hood, frills, cat ears, and lace, tied with a bow at the front. Text: "Gray. Alice and the Pirates."]
(Image source) [ID: a person wearing a brown monogrammed hip-length cape with front pockets and arm slits at the sides.]
(Image source) [ID: a person wearing a long gray hooded cape, standing in a forest and holding a sword.]
Before deciding what fabrics to make your cloak or cape out of, ask yourself what you're trying to achieve first.
Warmth, drape, fabric price, comfort, aesthetic, wearing context,... are some examples of things that can influence your decision.
A cosplay cloak has to look good but doesn't necessarily have to be warm. Choose a fabric that's suitable for your character's outfit, but also keep the circumstances in which you plan to wear your outfit in mind. For example, a warm cloak might pose issues if you do a lot of indoor photo shoots, but convention halls can be pretty chilly.
A fashion cloak intended for winter really does need to be warm! Wool, tweed, and velvet are good options.
A cloak intended for historical re-enactment preferably uses period-accurate materials and therefore won't be lined with fabrics like polyester and such. Which fabric to use depends on the period and region you're working in.
Tutorials and patterns:
Here's a few tutorials/patterns to get you started:
Fitted cloak: winterberry cape (Mood)
How to draft your own hooded cape (The Spruce Crafts)
Pleated half circle cape (Gilian Conahan)
Half circle capelet (Buzzfeed)
Long hooded cloak (Fleece Fun)
Full circle capelet (Project Run and Play)
Four ways to make a cape (WikiHow)
Eight types of capes (Sew Guide)
Half circle fashion cape (Indoor Shannon)
21 free cape sewing patterns (Love Sewing)
Hooded cloak with lining (Online Fabric Store)
Capes and cloaks make for fun sewing projects. They're pretty easy to make: if you know how to draw circles, you know how to draft a cape pattern.
Capes are a versatile garment, and can range from a great last-minute Halloween costume to an every-day winter cloak. Play around with materials, lengths, shapes, design elements, decoration,... to achieve different effects.
And most of all: have fun with it!
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hello ! i was wondering if there's specific hanfus for winter ? i've tried finding some for mens but idk if they exists ? thank you !!
Hi, thanks for the question! Yes, there are lots of hanfu specifically for winter. There are more options for women, but options for men exist as well! (x)
During winter, ancient Chinese generally wore their usual clothing items, just with warmer/thicker materials and more layering. I have a post here on winter hanfu and accessories, and my winter wear tag has more examples and links. The hanfu resource website Newhanfu also has many informative articles in its “winter hanfu” category. Below - Ming dynasty-style winter hanfu & tiger hats (x):
In particular, Ming-style hanfu is well-suited for winter, as it tends to be thicker & provides more coverage (due to the climate being colder during the Ming). Below - 1st row: Ming-style ao, 2nd row: Ming-style dahu (left) & bijia (right) for fall/winter, all from Shuyuci/漱玉词:
One of the most popular winter hanfu items for men is the qiuyi/裘衣 (“fur clothing”), a fur-lined long coat historically worn to keep warm in winter. Below - 1) qiuyi with Tang-style yuanlingpao (x) (note: this is also the style in the first photo of this post), 2) qiuyi with Ming-style tieli (x):
As with most hanfu styles, nowadays women can wear qiuyi too, as seen below - paired w/Ming-style hanfu - from Bansheng Luoshang/半生罗裳:
Another item for men traditionally worn for warmth is the changyi/氅衣, also known as hechang/鹤氅 or dachang/大氅. This is basically a long, large-sleeve coat with parallel-collars and ties in the front. Newhanfu has an in-depth article on it here. Below - 1st row: blue winter changyi from Dongting Hanfeng/洞庭漢風, 2nd & 3rd rows: winter changyi worn w/daopao from Jingshui Tongguang/镜水桐光:
And then there’s the doupeng/斗篷 (cloak). There’s some debate on whether the doupeng can be considered hanfu depending on it’s structure, but regardless it’s extremely popular and is an ubiquitous part of the modern hanfu wardrobe (x):
For specific hanfu shops, in addition to the brands mentioned above, you can also check out my hanfu shop rec list here. Several shops on the list have options for men and women’s winter hanfu.
Hope this helps, and if anyone has more info/recs please share!
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