There are many different types of cloak and cape patterns available, and they vary from no-sew circle cloaks that are incredibly simple to make, to extremely elaborate cloaks made to measure and formed from many different pieces of material. A traditional medieval cloak is floor length, and has either an attached or detachable cowl or hood. A very simple medieval cloak without a hood can be made from one piece of material; this is known as a circle cloak or a semicircle cloak.
Choosing and cutting your fabric
Velvet is a good fabric choice for a medieval cloak, and this can be lined with satin, but it depends on the type of effect you are going for. A traveling or peasant cloak might be made out of wool and lined with canvas. Choose two pieces of fabric for a lined cloak. Measure from the back of your neck to your ankles, or the length that you want your cloak to fall. This should be the width of your fabric. Draw a line marking the center of your fabric and then draw a semicircle, with that line as the reference point. Then cut a smaller semicircle for the neckline. The line that you drew should bisect this smaller semicircle. Cut both pieces of fabric.
Glue or sew the edges
If you are making a lined cloak then you should glue or sew the edges of both pieces of fabric together, with the right sides facing. A hot glue gun works well. Sew or glue all the edges together except for the bottom of the cloak. Turn the cloak inside out and then glue or sew the bottom seam together, turning up 1/4 inch of both pieces of fabric and tucking them into the seam, then sewing or gluing the bottom edge together to create a neat hem.
Fastening the cloak
The cloak can be fastened either by sewing on a button and cutting a button hole, or by sewing or gluing on two pieces of ribbon or cord that can be tied together at the neck. The cloak can also be fastened with a broach or pin.
Adding a hood
To add a hood, all you need are two rectangles of fabric. Measure from the back of your head to the tip of your nose, and then add 5 inches. Then double this measurement. This will be the length of your rectangle. Measure from the top of your head to the bottom of your neck for the width of your fabric. Cut out one rectangle from each of your fabrics and sew the seams together with the right sides facing, leaving one seam open, as above. Turn the fabric inside out and close that final seam by turning 1/4 inch of the edges in to create a neat seam. Fold your rectangle in half; the fold is the back of your hood. Then sew one edge of the hood together in a straight seam to form the top of the hood. The bottom edge of the hood is then attached to your cloak. You can either sew or glue it on, or attach it by sewing on four buttons and cutting four button holes. Alternatively, you can attach the hood to the cloak with Velcro strips.
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- The History of Cloaks
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