DIY Bridal Capes
Bridal capes are a great DIY project for sewing savvy brides. By creating your own bridal cape, you can add personal touches such as: choosing a non-traditional color or adding lace from your grandmother’s wedding dress. DIY bridal capes, wings and veils can be created simply with tulle fabric and a sewing machine or be more involved and require advanced sewing or embroidery skills. Watch or read several how-to tutorials before getting started. In this post, we share a few tips and products to help you create your own bridal cape.
Our Favorite Capes & DIY Patterns
At Denver DIY Bride, we love the DIY sewing patterns and custom made wings, capes and veils from One Blushing Bride. Image from One Blushing Bride.
What Is A Bridal Cape?Bridal capes are a veil alternative. Bridal capes lay across the bride’s shoulders and may be connected to a wedding dress’ shoulder straps or be clasped in front of the neck. Bridal capes are usually long, up to cathedral length, though short styles can be a fashion forward option. Bridal capes are easy to put on or take off as needed. Capes elongate silhouettes, add drama to your wedding look and are a memorable veil alternative.
1. Measure Twice, Cut OnceTo determine how much fabric you will need, you will want to measure length and width. To get an idea of the length you want, measure and cut two six foot lengths of yarn. Tie one to each shoulder. Look in a mirror, ask a friend to take photos. How long are the lengths of yarn on you? Do you like the length considering the style of your dress? Trim the yarn as desired and use the length from the knot at your shoulder to the end for your length. Still unsure? Many bridal capes available for purchase are about five and a half feet long. The width measurement will be determined by where you want to clasp your cape. If you are attaching your cape to your shoulder straps, measure from shoulder to shoulder and add 6-10 inches for seam allowance and drape. Like the length, you can play around with a length of yarn to see where different widths will fall across your back. If you are clasping your cape in the front, you will want to measure from about the middle of one collar bone to the middle of the other, across your back. Add inches for seam allowance and drape. Now that you have your measurements, you can determine how much fabric you need. You may need to sew multiple panels of fabric together to achieve the look you want.
2. Select the FabricWhen choosing fabric for your bridal cape you will want to consider drape, feel and workability. Drape is the way the fabric falls. Silk tulle and silk chiffon are not stiff as traditional tulle and drape well. Both fabrics are soft to the touch, which is important if you are going to be wearing it for several hours! You may also want to think about color, lace and details. Capes in blue or another color are a fantastic way to add color to your wedding day ensemble without committing to a colored dress. If you are unsure, go to a fabric store and look at several different types of fabrics.
3. AttachmentsUnlike veils, bridal capes can be attached to straps with a sewn in ribbon or snap. If you are attaching your cape in the front of your neck, you can use a ribbon or a vintage cardigan clasp. Attaching with a vintage, or vintage looking, clasp or chain can add whimsy or drama to your overall look. Check thrift shops for sweater chains or look online. The attachment style will impact your overall look, so choose a method that is not only easy to attach and detach, but also complementary to your wedding day aesthetic.
4. Add Lace & Trim
There are endless styles of lace and trim that can be added to your bridal cape. These are just a few of the possible options. What ever color you want or style you want, there is some sort of option out there. Vintage lace is a beautiful option. Look for lace on vintage dresses and linens in thrift shops. Lace or adornments can be attached by hand sewing, glue or spray adhesive depending the weight and size of the items. If you find beautiful vintage lace that has yellowed, you may be able to restore it. Check out this tutorial from Really Handmade. Faux fur trim is also gorgeous, especially for fall or winter weddings.
Romantic & Magical DIY Weddings
DIY bridal capes are a fantastic way to add not so subtle style and taste to your wedding ensemble. They are a great project for brides with some sewing experience. Like all veils, wings and capes, they are entirely optional. Add flowers or jeweled clip to your hair instead. Or go unadorned. It’s your wedding, your style. For styling ideas, check out this post from One Blushing Bride.
Visit Denver DIY Bride’s Fashion & Beauty page for more DIY bride ideas and supplies!