How to Make a Capote Coat

Capote coats were worn by Native Americans. as well as by European traders. They come in a variety of styles, but they’re often made from colorful, striped blankets. Today, they’re used as costumes, or as warm coats for hiking or winter use. You can sew the capote coat by machine, or by hand using a blanket stitch. Some capote coats have buttons, fringe or beadwork, while others are more like simple robes that fasten with a belt. Many, but not all, capote coats have hoods.

Make a Capote Coat

Purchase a capote coat pattern, or cut an old robe apart at the seams to use for a pattern. If you’re using an old robe, add at least 1/2" to each edge for seam allowance and hems.

Cut out the pieces for the coat from fabric such as fleece, or a blanket.

Sew the front and back of the coat together at the shoulders and side seams. If you’re sewing by machine, place the pieces of fabric right-sides together, then turn the coat right-side out when you’re finished sewing. This will keep the seams from showing. If you’re sewing by hand, you may want the stitches to show as part of the style.

Sew the underarm seams of each sleeve. Line up the upper edge of the sleeve with the edges of the armhole, and line up the seam in the underarm of the sleeve with the seam in the side of the coat. Pin the sleeves to the coat, then stitch them in place.

Sew the hood pieces together, if needed, then sew the lower edge of the hood to the neck of the coat.

Hem all the edges of the coat. Or, if you’re using a fabric like fleece that doesn’t ravel very much, you may want to leave the edges unfinished as part of the rough style of the coat.

Add buttonholes and buttons or a belt to finish the coat.