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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

DIY Haircutting Cape with Ties

Are you ready for another free project?!  Today I'm going to show you how to make a haircutting cape!  And not just any haircutting cape.  This one has enough coverage for everyone in the family, even Dad!   And all the way down to the smallest wigglers, of course. 

PLUS -- my favorite feature of this design is that it doesn't use velcro. Yes!

 I don't know about your kids, but mine despise the velcro that you usually find on storebought capes.  It pokes at their neck, it comes undone too easily, and it gets all the hair trimmings stuck in it, ICK. Aside from that looking nasty, it becomes totally unusable after awhile.  Boo on that.  

So I solved the above problems and we love this tie-back cape! 

As you can see it's PLENTY roomy!  In the past I have made my kiddos strip down to their underwear under the tiny storebought cape so we wouldn't get their clothes all hairy. But this cape totally covers all their clothes. Fabulous!  

The best fabric to use for this is PUL or laminated fabric. It is laminated on one side so the hair slips right off, but on the back side it is fabric so it's softer on the skin and won't cling to their skin. 

The neck closes with ties in back, which will make it less obnoxious and much more sturdy. Plus, you can see that the cape falls at an angle to cross in back -- no more trying to get the wiggly kids to help you hold the cape shut! 

 I should add that the cape should only be worn with adult supervision -- I assume you're not going to be leaving the kids alone with scissors and a cape to do their own haircuts... Nope?  Alright, then let's continue! 


2 yards of 60" wide Laminated Fabric or PUL (This one is from Hobby Lobby. Use a coupon!)

1.5 yards of double-fold bias tape (1/4" or 1/2")  

1 Printed Neck Cutout Piece (Click here to download) (or a 5" circle)

Sewing Machine 

Let's get started!

First, lay your fabric out flat on a large surface with the selvages at the sides. It should be about 72" tall and 60" wide. 

On the top edge of the fabric, find the center. Then measure down 28" and draw a straight line connecting the edge to the 28" mark. See red in the photo above.  You may need to use a ballpoint pen to draw on the laminated fabric. 

Just below the line you drew, lay the round Neck Cutout Piece with its edge touching the line, centered.  Trace around the circle with your pen. See red in photo above. 

(Note: This neck piece is a 5" circle and fits children and adults.)

When you have your lines drawn and remove the paper piece, it should look like the photo above. 

Use scissors to cut along the line you drew. Then cut out the circle you drew. 

Now trim the selvages off the two long sides of your cape. 

When you're done cutting, it should look like the photo above. 

You're ready to sew!  On the straight edges only, do a narrow folded hem, as instructed below.  

Note: I do not recommend using a rolled hem because little bits of hair like to get caught in the hem threads, so its best to keep the edges smooth with a folded hem. 

To make a narrow folded hem, first start on one end and fold the edge 1/4" to the wrong side and sew straight down the center of the fold as you go, from one end to the other. 

Then go back and repeat, again folding 1/4" to the wrong side and sewing down the center of the fold as you go.  

When you're done, there should be a 1/4" narrow hem on the edge.

Do this with all seven straight edges of the cape.  It will take awhile but it will be worth it.  Do not hem the circle! 

Note: As you're hemming, the corners may get bulky.  If your machine protests a little, be sure to switch to a stronger needle if necessary, and hand wind the machine to get started through the bulk. 

When you're done, the corners and edges should look neat, as shown above. 

With all your straight edges hemmed, all that's left is to complete the neck circle!

Flip the cape over so the wrong side is facing up. 

Take your bias tape and find the center. Open it out flat and match the center of the tape to the very front of the neck hole, pinning the raw edges together. The right side of the tape is facing the wrong side of the cape.  

Pin the raw edges together all around the neck hole, bending the bias tape around as you go. As you place your pins, be careful to keep the pin holes within the first 1/4" of the bias tape so there won't be extra holes outside when you're done!  Go slowly and use plenty of pins.  When you get to the edges of the neck hole, leave the extra bias tape extended off the edges; these ends will become your ties.  

Take the cape to your machine. Align your needle with the first fold of the bias tape, which will be approximately 1/4" from the raw edge. Sew along the fold all around the neckhole, removing the pins as you go.  See photo above. 

Turn the cape over so the right side is facing up, and pull the bias around to the right side. It should look something like the photo above. 

On the center front of the neck hole, refold the bias tape so its raw edges are enclosed and it just barely covers the stitching on the front. Pin in place. See photo above. 

Do the same all around the neck edge, refolding the bias tape and pinning it in place. It should cover the previous stitching. Again, try to keep the pins only in that closest 1/4". 

When you get to the edges of the neck, continue refolding the bias tape, this time pinning the bias tape to itself.  This will form the cape ties after you sew.  See photo above. 

When you get to the very ends of the ties, open out the bias tape folds. Fold the very end in about 1/2" so it looks like the photo above, and press with your fingers.

Then refold the bias tape (with the end tucked in) and pin in place.  Do the same on the other tie. There should be no raw edges at the end of the ties now.  

Take the cape to your machine. Using a thread color that matches your bias tape, start at the end of one tie and sew the pinned edges shut, removing pins as you go, and continuing on to the neck edge.  As you sew around the neck edge, stitch very close to the edge of the fold, without going onto the cape fabric. Continue sewing around and then across the tie on the other side.  

When you're done, your neck binding and ties should be completely sewn in place. See photo above.

Your cape is now complete!  You may notice that there is a slight gap along the center back. Don't worry though, because when the cape is worn, it drapes toward the center and the gap disappears entirely because of the sides overlapping. I'll show you: 

If your model was to hold his/her arms out straight during the entire haircut, you may have a problem on your hands.  (Not to mention his arms will get very, very tired.)  However... 

If your model sits in a normal position during the hair cut, the sides naturally fold in toward the center and overlap each other by quite a lot.  You could add snaps or velcro if you want, but they tend to be more annoyance than help, in my opinion. 

So that's it! You're all set!  Your new cape is large enough for the whole family, hair resistant, easy to put on and off, non-scratchy at the neck, and sturdy for years to come.

I hope you enjoy this free pattern! Now if only the five haircuts that are waiting for me could be that easy.... Wish me luck!  

Let's Create! ~ Kristen 


  1. Do you ever feel like God's Hand is leading you? I was hoping to figure this out, and here you've already done the hard part! And for free! Thank you so much!

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  3. Exactly the tutorial I needed. No fuss, no muss, no YouTube. Thanks for the detailed instructions!