Curtains to Cloaks

cloaks-and-oak-tree-2I’m not sure what my Grandmother would say, but I’ve cut up her curtains. The ones she used to put up in her front room in the winter. I’ve also cut up an old maternity dress of mine. I’m not going to use it again.

Why? Well I had requests for two cloaks. The curtains and the dress were the right colours and the right amount of fabric. Their time had come.

Snip, snip

cloaks-and-oak-treeThe two younger children had been invited to a Halloween party, which called for dressing up. It’s the kind of dressing up that they don’t object to. They were going trick or treating, as part of the party, so they were keen to wear cloaks.

As you can imagine, it is fairly easy to make a cloak out of a pair of curtains. If you do it carefully, you can use the existing hems as the bottom hem and the open front. Cuts down on the sewing required, which is my kind of upcycling.

curtain-to-cloak-diagramThe exact measurements will depend on how big the curtains are and how big the finished cloak needs to be.

Rough guide to making a cloak from a pair of curtains

  1. Cut off the top of the curtains to remove the curtain tape. Tempting to keep it, but it is too bulky.
  2. Fold the curtains in half as shown, so the edges are together.
  3. Cut out a trapezium shape on the fold of one curtain, as shown. (back of cloak)
  4. Cut out 2 trapeziums, not on fold, from the other curtain, as shown (2 fronts of cloak)
  5. Join sides e and d together, making sure bottom hems match up.
  6. Join the two f sides of the hood together.
  7. Fold over edges h, separately, and stitch to neaten the edge of the hood around the face.
  8. Handstitch a gathering stitch along the new edge made by A and B.
  9. Gather this edge so that it will match the edge C of the hood.
  10. Stitch edge C to the gathered cloak edge (A+B). Twice. Remove the handstitched gathering stitch.
  11. Stitch g edges together.


The cloak is now finished and ready to wear. We added a brooch to fasten the cloak. Believe me, it is a lot more straightforward to make than to write down the instructions. Let me know if I’ve left anything out.

The hood could be extended into a longer point, or rounded like the black cloak.

cloaks-and-oak-tree-2The black cloak is made out of my old maternity dress. The skirt was cut off at the waist, cut down the front and gathered.

The hood was made from the sleeves. I cut the sleeves off the dress and down the seams. There is a lot of fabric in sleeves.

Next I drew round the side view of the hood from one of his hoodies, adding a generous couple of inches all round before cutting out the two sides.  Finally stitching it all up.

cloak2Now each of the children have a cloak. I made the purple one years ago and it has been used more times than I can remember. I suspect these new cloaks will be brought out just as much.

They are so easy to make. Perfect for school dressing up days, Halloween, or a Christmas gift.

Oh. I should just point out that using curtains that are already in use as curtains, may not be the best plan. Nor would it be good to remove them from elderly relation’s houses without them knowing.

I’d like to think my Grandma would approve of the new cloaks, but I suspect she’d still tell me off for cutting up her curtains!


Linking up with:

Fiona’s Trash 2 Treasure linky

Skip to my Lou’s Made by You


    1. Thanks Louise! 🙂 Although, I think, my daughter, for one, could wear almost anything and look amazing, (jealous/notjealous).

  1. these are wonderful Cheryl, my kids would have been happy to wear these for their trick or treating too and actually I could have done with one. I’ve been a witch for too many years now! I love the pointy cloak hood and the rich red from the curtains is perfect. I’m sure Grandma will be delighted her curtains have carried on being used in a new guise by the grand children. The tutorial looks perfect.

    Thank you for sharing with me on #Trash2Treasure

    1. Thanks Fiona. They did have fun wearing them. Haven’t shown the photos, but they looked suitably scary on the day. Cloaks are perfect for so many dressing up occasions and great for imaginative play. Even for Tweens and Teens. Everyone should have one or maybe more!

  2. Gorgeous You are clever!

    (My mother made wonderful clothes for us when we were kids using older cousins clothes ..she made many beautiful things out of cast offs!)

  3. Really lovely, thanks so much for the tutorial……great to upcycle and if Grandma isn’t happy about these cloaks, so upcycle the fabric again and make a quilt or lap blanket, I’m sure she’d approve of that? Thanks so much for sharing on craft schooling sunday!

    1. I’m sure she would have forgiven me eventually, but probably not forgotten. I do like the idea that fabric can have more than one life.

  4. I think your grandmother would be thrilled to see her great grandchildren running around in her curtains. Role playing and dressing up in cloaks and capes provides endless entertainment for kids. I once made superhero capes from shiny curtains. #Trash2Treasure

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