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Picture of Make a Costume Cloak - Unusual Method

I have a number of photo-shoot projects that require a cloak. Someone told me that surplus military blankets make an ideal and cheap material to make cloaks, so I popped down to a surplus store and bought 5 blankets. Two are a cream colour and silk lined at the edges, two are brown/green and edged with over-locked red twine which looks nice, and the fifth was a brown fleece material edged in a lighter brown trim. I paid very little for all that fabric.

Now please bear in mind that I am no seam master, in fact I can just about manage the sewing machine (badly), so I was looking for a simple pattern with as little sewing as possible. That turned out to be a pipe dream.

What follows is a method of making a 'reasonable' cloak from a good sized single blanket. This one has no hood, but adding one would be easy enough. I was looking for either a 'Game of Thrones' sort of style, or a 'LOTR' Strider style cloak.

Here's my first attempt at making anything like this and my experiences.

Step 1: Finding a Pattern ....

Picture of Finding a Pattern ....

First a word about blankets. There is no 'standard size', lots of sites quote that there are, but the reality is they all vary a bit. To make this cloak successfully you are looking for a blanket that is a MINIMUM size of 78" (200 cms) wide by 78" (200 cms) long. You MIGHT get away with 66" wide but you would need some additional fabric for the cowl or liner. My blanket turned out to be 78" wide by 95" (240 cms) long. More than ample for a cloak but not according to conventional patterns.

There are LOADS of cloak patterns on the net, most call for a semi-circular pattern 120" (305 cms) along the straight edge with a radius of 60" (150 cms). Not one of my 5 blankets was big enough for this, I'm going to have to seam and join the two sets of two blankets together to use one of these patterns, and my lonely single blanket just wouldn't make the cut. So I came up with a slightly novel idea. If I divide up the blanket carefully, and make a cowl to hang the main body of the cloak from, then there would be plenty of material to make the entire cloak.

First you need to work out the drop needed. Measure from between your shoulder blades to 2" (5 cms) from the ground. That is your drop. Mine came out at 48", but since my blanket was exactly 95 inches long, dividing it in half gave me a drop of 47.5" - I can live with that! I took the plunge and cut the blanket exactly in half. I retained one half for the body, exactly 47.5" long and 78" wide.

You will now need some tailor's chalk, some good dressmakers scissors and a steady hand.

Next, using the other piece of the blanket CAREFULLY measure and cut out two circles of fabric (it is VERY important that you mark the centre lines of both circles). Cut one with a 12" (30 cms) radius, and the other with a 13" (33 cms) radius. On the smaller circle, also mark a 10" radius circle inside the first.

If you want to hem the top cowl then add 1/2" or 1 cm allowance making 13.5" in total.

BLASTFEMI1 year ago

Your cloak turned out so nice! Good idea to use lined blankets! Looks so warm! I like the idea of a hood too. Thanks for sharing!