Home Arts & Crafts DIY kids cape from an old prom dress

DIY kids cape from an old prom dress

by Leanne

Old prom dress before and afterHave an old prom dress hanging around? Why not turn it into an awesome fancy cape for your little one {or for yourself, if you're looking to make a capelet}? I had honestly thought I purged all my old prom dresses when we moved into this house, but I discovered them tucked away in my daughter's walk-in closet while we were doing our winter cleaning. Since she has the only floor length hanging bars in the house, I remembered I had stashed a few of my nice dresses and my wedding dress in there, but I hadn't realized that there were some prom dresses mixed in.

I donated two of the prom dresses, but one of them was so out of date that it was just begging for a little DIY inspiration. I knew immediately that it would make the perfect dressy cape for my kiddos to play pretend in and the layers would add a level of drama that the kiddos would adore. 

Of note: I don't claim to be the best seamstress around, and my sewing skills are basically limited to alterations and simple decor items, but even I could see the potential hidden in this 90's-style strappy number. While your DIY will depend a lot on what kind of material and length of gown you are working with, hopefully you can use this as a rough guide for a simple sewing project. Sewing at midnightReady to get started? Great!


Cape from prom dress step 1To start with, you will want to pin your dress together at your desired cape length. I used the length of my dress zipper as my guide so I could cleanly cut off the zipper and not have to deal with altering that as well. Make a kids cape from a prom dressAfter it is pinned, you will mark a line approximately two inches above the pinned line using a straight edge and fabric chalk and then cut along the line. This two inches will give you room to fold over your fabric and finish off the top of the cape without taking away from your cape length. Cape from prom dress step 2Keep the top of the dress pinned and use a straight edge and fabric chalk to mark a line from hem all the way to the top. Then, cut along the line up the front of the skirt, taking care not to accidentally cut the back side of the gown.
Make a kids cape from a prom dress 2
Cape from prom dress step 3It's starting to look more like a cape now, and all that's left is finishing off the edges and adding a tie!

To finish off the edges, you will need to unpin the top so that the cape can fully open. You will want to leave the dress perfectly flat while you repin the top so that the fabric layers don't move too much. This is especially important if you're dealing with lots of fabric layers, but even my three layers were rather hard to keep perfectly straight, so I ended up leaving as many pins in as I could and working from one side to the other. Make a kids cape with a prom dress 7Pin and sew the sides of your cape using whatever finishing stitch you prefer. Since my kids love Disney's Frozen, I used a snowflake-themed stitch for some extra fun. Make a kids cape from a prom dress 5
Cape from prom dress step 4Now that the sides of the cape are finished, it's time to finish off the top. You will want to pin and sew the very top of the cape all the way across the top. You will then fold the sewn hem over making a pocket for the ribbon tie.
Make a kids cape from a prom dress 8You are ready to insert the ribbon so you can tie it around your neck. If your ribbon pocket is on the smaller side, try using a safety pin in the end of your ribbon to help you work it through the pocket fully. Make a kids cape from a prom dress finishedNow your little one is all set to play dress up, and if yours are anything like mine they will love knowing that they get to play with Mama's old prom dress. It does help that they have the pictures of hubby and I taken at this dance so that makes the cape extra special to them. Make a kids cape from a prom dress twirlsWe get so many compliments on the cape when the kiddos wear it out and about, and no one can believe that it used to be an old prom dress. I'm just happy to have breathed a little more life into an outdated dress that would have sat on the thrift store shelves.
Make a kids cape from a prom dress 4Want to pin this for later? Here's a handy pin for you! Make a kids cape from a prom dress DIYWhat did you do with your old prom dresses?
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6 comments

Helen January 18, 2017 - 4:24 pm

What a great idea! I’m sure I have some dresses lying around

Reply
Laurajj Jacobson February 2, 2017 - 7:08 pm

Oh this is such a fun idea!!! I do not have any, but will have to watch garage sales this summer or the thrift stores for ones that will work!

Reply
Janet W. February 3, 2017 - 4:01 am

That certainly makes a beautiful cape! What a great idea!

Reply
Julie Wood February 3, 2017 - 6:11 am

This cape looks so gorgeous and the color is so pretty! I like how you re purposed this dress!

Reply
Hannah C February 3, 2017 - 6:32 pm

I love the cape! It’s so cute and I love the color!

Reply
shelly peterson February 18, 2017 - 1:35 am

What a great cape! I love this idea!

Reply

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